Every day tens of thousands of California residents, visitors and tour groups travel our city streets and California highways by bus. While public transit is generally safe, accidents do occur because of driver negligence, unsafe driving practices, poor maintenance, defective parts, and dangerous road conditions.
At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, we are a trusted resource for those who have been affected by bus crashes. We are proud to help our clients get back on their feet while recouping their physical and financial losses.
Who Is Legally Responsible for Bus Accidents?
Whether a city-owned bus or a tour bus, buses are common carriers and therefore legally required to use the highest degree of care to ensure passengers’ safety and well-being. Yet, we continue to learn of catastrophic bus accidents caused by driver error or mechanical problems, such as the 2013 Scapadas Magicas LLC bus accident in Yucaipa, California. While the government looks at enacting regulations to make bus travel safer, the legal system must do its part to hold bus drivers, companies and manufacturers accountable.
If a passenger is injured, he or she may be able to sue the private bus company or the municipality that operates the bus company. Likewise, if you were a pedestrian or biker hit by a bus, or a driver or passenger in a vehicle hit by a bus, you have a right to bring an insurance claim or a lawsuit to get fair compensation.
Multi-Million Settlement for California Tour Bus Accident: In May 2008, a Royal American tour bus crash on Interstate 40 injured 23 passengers. GB&W represented eight of these passengers and was vital in securing a multimillion-dollar settlement.
Contact our Los Angeles office if you were hurt or a loved one was killed in an accident involving:
- A private bus company such as Scapadas Magicas, Greyhound, National Express Coach, or Coach Skyline — After a bus accident has occurred – especially if there were injuries or someone died – the bus company often has an investigator on the scene within 20 minutes to take pictures and gather evidence. It is critical that you enlist the help of a law firm with extensive experience discovering, examining and interpreting evidence. Keep reading to learn more about our investigative resources.
- A charter tour bus such as Caravan, CalTours, Orion Pacific, Royal American Tours, Las Vegas casino tours and others –A tour bus accident does more than ruin a trip; it can have consequences that last for years. When a tour bus is involved in an accident in California, our lawyers draw on their decades of experience and history of strong results to seek full and fair compensation for the people affected.
- An MTA bus, or other Los Angeles-area buses including Antelope Valley Transit bus, Burbank local bus, Carson circuit bus, El Monte Transit Service bus, Municipal Area Express, or Norwalk Transit — Our bus accident lawyers have obtained millions of dollars in financial compensation for people who were seriously injured as passengers of MTA buses, or as drivers, pedestrians or cyclists sharing the road with MTA vehicles.
- A Santa Monica Big Blue bus — Big Blue buses service Santa Monica to downtown L.A., to as far as the Valley. Most passengers, however, are in the metro area, and most Big Blue bus accidents occur in the heavily populated areas of L.A. We have represented cyclists, pedestrians, passengers and other drivers who have been injured in accidents with Big Blue buses.
- A San Diego-area MTS bus — With 12 experienced trial attorneys on staff, an in-house team of accident investigators, and access to both medical experts and accident reconstructionists, we are fully prepared to get to the bottom of your MTS bus accident case whether it involved a bus-vehicle collision, a bus-pedestrian or a bus-bicyclist accident.
- An OCTA bus or other buses in Orange county— In 2005, OCTA was judged America’s Best Public Transportation System by the American Public Transportation Association. Even with such accolades, like every public transit system, there have been accidents. In recent years, a number of OCTA buses have been involved in accidents with cars. Our lawyers represent people hurt in OCTA bus accidents, injured tourists and families who have lost a loved one in a fatal OCTA bus accident.
- A Culver CityBus or Torrance Transit bus — Mass transit bus services in the Culver City area are provided by Culver CityBus, bright green buses that radiate from the center of the city out toward Marina Del Rey, Venice, Westchester, Westwood, West Los Angeles, Palms, Rancho Park, Mar Vista, and Century City. Common carriers, such as city bus and charter bus companies, can be held financially accountable in the event of a bus crash resulting in injury or death.
- A school bus–School buses are statistically the safest vehicles on the road but, in the rare event of a crash, passengers can sustain serious injuries. An average of 19 school children die in school transportation-related traffic crashes each year in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. We draw on substantial experience representing child injury victims and a thorough command of transportation laws to pursue justice for families affected by school bus crashes.
- Bus service into the Valley, such as a Glendale Bee Line bus, a Golden Empire Transit bus, or a Santa Clarita Transit bus –It only takes one mistake for an uneventful bus commute to turn into a nightmare. Our trial lawyers are respected throughout Southern California and beyond for our dedication to clients, contributions to safety and a history of results securing compensation for people who have been hurt.
Every bus system is somewhat different, but all of them are common carriers – organizations that offer transportation services for a fee to anyone willing to pay the fare. Common carriers are held to a higher standard than other drivers. They must provide a higher level of care when transporting their passengers. If they fail to do so, the company or its employees can be held accountable in civil court.
The bus accident attorneys at Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, represent people who have been hurt in private and public bus accidents in Los Angeles, in communities across Southern California, and throughout the state. We represent residents of California as well as tourists injured while visiting California.
Millions of Dollars for Victims of Bus Accidents
Our law firm has won significant verdicts and settlements against defendants in a number of bus accident claims. We represent people who were injured while entering, exiting or riding the bus as well as pedestrians and other motorists who were injured in bus accidents.
We are experienced in obtaining financial compensation for clients who were injured by publicly owned bus companies as well as privately owned shuttle bus firms.
$13.82 million – Verdict in a case against L.A. County MTA Bus Company – Our attorneys used onboard video footage to demonstrate how a bus collision with a parked truck caused serious injury to our client, a passenger.
We Know Where to Look and What to Look For
Our success in handling bus accident cases is due, in part, to our extensive investigative resources and to our understanding of bus company practices, policies and procedures. We understand bus company data management practices, including its use of GPS, video and audio recordings. Our in-house investigative team knows how to obtain and preserve this evidence in our evidence warehouse for later use in trial.
Onboard videotapes are particularly valuable. In one case, our client suffered a subdural hematoma (blood in the brain) leading to severe brain damage and paralysis on his left side when the bus in which he was riding hit a parked truck. The onboard videotape demonstrated how violently our client had been thrown around inside the bus and why his injuries were so serious.
While the evidence in that case was compelling, we often need to use models, accident reconstructions, computer simulations and other forms of demonstration to help juries understand how the accident occurred.
Buses and Injuries to Senior Citizens
Elderly bus accident victims deserve special attention. Because senior citizens ride buses more than others, and because they often have physical limitations, they are more likely than other riders to suffer injury as a bus passenger. As a common carrier legally responsible for the safety of passengers, and as a matter of company policy, bus companies have a special duty of care to elderly passengers under Civil Code 1200. The bus company can be held legally liable for injuries to seniors or handicapped persons if the bus driver failed to operate with reasonable care.
Seniors and handicapped persons are at risk of injury from falls. The bus driver should wait for a senior citizen to be fully seated before moving. The bus driver should wait until the senior has fully disembarked and is no longer holding on to the bus before pulling away from the curb. If the senior or disabled person is using a wheelchair, that wheelchair must be securely in place before the bus moves.
Our Work Makes the Community Safer
We have handled many big cases over the years that brought safety problems to the attention of business managers and government officials, resulting in changes in the law or changes in policies. One such case involved the operation of the San Diego trolley.
In order for trolley patrons to reach a trolley on another track, it was common for the rider to walk/jump between cars. Our client was seriously injured while “couple jumping” between trolley cars. Our client achieved a significant financial settlement, and thanks to the dedication of his California MTS trolley injury attorney the trolley company now prohibits patrons from doing this and has installed warning signs to limit future injuries.
After a Crash, There’s No Time to Waste. Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney for Free Today.
After a serious accident involving a bus, it is critical that you take action promptly. Accident cases involving public transport vehicles often have strict statutes of limitations, or time limits after which it is impossible to pursue compensation. For example, injury claims involving public transit government agencies in California must be made within six months of the date of the accident. In addition to preserving your right to a trial, acting quickly allows your lawyers to gather as much evidence as possible and build the strongest possible case for you.
We accept motor vehicle accident cases on a contingency basis, which means you will only pay attorney fees if we successfully recover compensation for you. If you’ve been involved in a bus accident, get immediate, experienced legal help. Contact Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, at 310-576-1200 to schedule an initial consultation at no cost.