Southern California Bus Accident Lawyers
Bus Accident Lawyer in Southern California
In geographically-dense, metropolitan areas like Southern California’s Los Angeles, or Murrietta, public transportation is a helpful alternative to owning and/or driving a car. Public transportation, including buses and light rail transit systems, provide a convenient alternative to driving when and where it makes sense. Unfortunately, negligent public transit drivers, inadequate driver training, shoddy maintenance, and over-worked bus drivers are sometime the cause of unfortunate accidents involving public transportation buses that cause injury and even death to bus riders, pedestrians, auto and bicycle operators and others.
Moreover, because buses often lack the safety features that modern day automobiles take for granted, such as seat belts, bus accidents often result in more serious injuries to its passengers.
Statistics show there are lots of Injuries & Deaths each year
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that in 2012, bus accidents resulted in:
- Two hundred fifty (250) fatalities due to bus accidents (page 33 1)
- Twelve thousand (12,000) injuries (page 34)
- Forty-two thousand (42,000) instances of property damage (page 35)
- NOTE: these statistics only include buses that transported nine (9) or more people, so considering the smaller city “Dial-A-Ride” buses, the true statistics may actually be higher. 1U.S. DOT Bus Crash Facts 2012
Bus Accidents Involve Pedestrians, Bicyclists, Car Drivers & Passengers
Bus accidents have many causes. Accidents occur because of driver negligence, driver fatigue, inadequate driver training, defective equipment, shoddy or improper maintenance of buses. In some busy and noisy urban settings in some of Southern California’s busier cities, a bus driver maneuvering the city streets may not even be aware that their bus has collided with a pedestrian, a bike rider or even an automobile. For bus riders, injuries can be sustained when buses make sudden movements, lane changes or turns that cause passengers to be thrown to the floor or hit up against poles. Riders can become human projectiles. Injuries can range from bumps, bruises, skin lacerations to more serious injuries such as broken bones and concussions. Concussions can be especially dangerous for more “fragile” elderly riders and young children.
Inadequate & shoddy maintenance
When municipalities and private bus companies fail to maintain the buses they put on our roads, mechanical failures can lead to accidents and collisions that result in injuries and deaths. Old brake shoes/pads that are not replaced at timely intervals can contribute to a bus driver rear ending a vehicle for example. Worn tires can also cause dangerous blowouts leading to crashes and collisions.
California Law states that “Common Carriers” have a Higher Duty
Bus driver negligence has also resulted in crashes and collisions when drivers attempt to talk on their cell phone, text, eat while driving, and other distracting activities. Under California law, buses are considered “common carriers”, and owe a duty to use the highest care and the vigilance of a very cautious person in protecting the safety of their passengers. California Civil Code Section 2100 states that “A carrier of persons for reward must use the utmost care and diligence for their safe carriage, must provide everything necessary for that purpose, and must exercise to that end a reasonable degree of skill.” A common carrier does not insure the safety of its passengers, but it must use reasonable skill to provide everything necessary for safe transportation.
Bus driver smoking pot. Passes out. Crashes into a HOUSE
Shocking footage has emerged of a bus driver appearing to smoke cannabis while driving a bus before he crashes into a home.