Many people rely on public transportation because it is economical and environmentally friendly. When people board their bus, they expect to safely reach their destinations. Unfortunately, accidents can happen at any moment, and bus accidents, in particular, can lead to devastating consequences, turning a routine commute into a nightmare.
The physical and emotional toll on victims and their families after a bus accident can be incredibly overwhelming. To make matters worse, they need to pursue a claim to recover fair compensation that helps them deal with physical, mental, and financial damages caused by the accident. Bus claims can be challenging because there are many moving parties, including the potential of multiple liable parties. It’s important to work with an experienced San Diego bus accident attorney who can help you navigate the process.
Who Is Liable if You’re Injured in a Bus Accident?
Unlike standard car accidents, bus accidents often involve multiple parties who may share liability. The possible parties who may be wholly or partially liable for your injuries sustained in a bus accident include the following:
1. Bus Driver
When thinking about who is liable for an accident, it’s typically the driver. The bus driver is the first party that’s investigated when examining the cause of the accident. An attorney will look at the driver’s actions, conduct, and adherence to traffic laws, which play a significant role in determining liability. When a driver fails to adhere to their duty of care and participates in negligent behavior, they can be held liable for damages. Negligent actions include:
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
Bus drivers are responsible for following traffic laws and ensuring they do everything they can to keep their passengers safe. When their actions fail to meet that legal standard, it can lead to immense pain for the driver and anyone else involved in the accident.
2. Bus Company or Operator – Public Transit Authorities
Liability doesn’t always start or end with the driver. Often, the bus company or operator may share liability for the accident. The bus company or operator has a duty to ensure their buses are properly maintained and that their drivers are adequately trained. Often local government authorities and public transit authorities operate buses. When they fail in their duty, they can be held liable for damages. Actions that may lead to liability include the following:
- Driver Negligence
- Employer Negligence
- Inadequate maintenance
- Inadequate training
- Negligent hiring
- Negligent supervision
Investigating a company’s involvement in the accident is not an easy task. They will try to avoid sharing any liability for the accident, so it’s important to contact an attorney with the experience and resources necessary to hold negligent parties accountable, regardless of how challenging they may try to make it.
If a public transit authority operates the bus you were injured on, there is a short window of time to file a claim – often just 6 months. If you do not file a claim with the local government authority, you could lose your right to pursue a claim altogether.
3. Bus Manufacturer or Maintenance Provider
Sometimes, accidents aren’t the result of a driver’s or company’s negligence but rather the negligence of those responsible for the parts of the bus and maintenance. Accidents caused by a defect in the bus (faulty brakes or steering) result from manufacture or maintenance negligence, and they can be held liable by filing a product liability claim.
4. Government Entities – Public Transit Authorities
When an accident is the result of a poorly maintained road, inadequate signage, or other factors under the government’s control, they can be held responsible for the accident. Claims against a government agency aren’t easy; they often involve complex legal procedures and short deadlines, so it’s crucial to work with an experienced attorney.
Contact an Experienced Bus Accident Lawyer in San Diego, California Today
It can be daunting and emotionally taxing to try and navigate the aftermath of a bus accident, especially because the claim process is so complicated. At Jassim Law, led by the esteemed Attorney Pajman Jassim, we are dedicated to providing unparalleled legal services with a client-centric approach. Licensed in 2003, Pajman, after seven years of diverse practice, founded Jassim Law with a vision to represent clients with a level of focus and commitment that larger firms couldn’t offer. Seventeen years into his practice, his firm’s ethos is to serve individual clients and their families with utmost dedication, making our communities safer in the process.
Our San Diego personal injury lawyers understand the challenges you’re facing, which is why we offer free consultation over the phone, the convenience of coming to you or meeting via Zoom to discuss your case. Contact us today at (619) 554-0624 or complete our contact form and take the first step towards reclaiming your life.