California – March 4, 2021

California is a “fault” state with regard to accidents, meaning that a victim can bring a claim against the responsible party, or parties, before filing a claim against their own no-fault insurance.  Under the state’s comparative fault rules, an injury victim is able to receive compensation from the negligent party’s insurance, proportionate to their percentage of fault, even if the victim is partly responsible for the injury.  A California bus accident attorney can assist victims of bus accidents by explaining how federal and state laws affect the award outcomes.  Because a bus is a large and heavy motor vehicle that can carry more than 10 passengers including the driver, the potential for larger monetary damages compared to that of a single motor vehicle accident is a reality.

Statute of limitations.

There is a two year time period to file a suit after an accident. The recovery of damages is contingent upon California bus accident lawyers proving another individual, or entity was the cause of the injury and owed a duty of care to the victim.  Developing a case for negligence can be complicated, so it is important to seek legal counsel shortly after an accident to make sure a personal injury claim is filed within the legal framework of the California statute of limitations for accidents.

Settlement valuations.

An experienced accident attorney will work with insurance companies after an accident, recognizing that the insurance adjusters may often use formulas that result in lower insurance settlement offers to close out claims quickly.  Legal counsel will then review industry-standard processes utilized for damage valuations of property, residual bodily harm, and wrongful death, and make certain the insurance company’s offer represents resultant compensatory and punitive damages to cover a victim’s losses in line with insurance coverage limits.

Negligence.

Negligence could be due to a person, owner maintenance, mechanical error, weather, other drivers, or a transportation route itself. Legal action can be brought against the bus company if the elements of negligence are present including an owed duty of care, a breach in the duty of care, and the breach caused the injuries, or loss to a bus accident victim.  The persons that can be sued in a bus accident scenario are:

  • Owner(s) of bus as employer,
  • Driver of bus,
  • Commercial insurer of bus,
  • Regulatory agency supporting bus safety on issues of bus manufacturer and parts manufacturer,
  • Licensing agencies of privately owned and public transit vehicles, city, county, or state,
  • Other negligent drivers.

Damages.

 The two types of damages that victims can sue for include compensatory damages, such as lost wages, medical bills, and property damage, and non-economic losses including pain and suffering.

Bus accidents may occur due to:

  1. A lack of proper training for bus drivers,
  2. Driving under the influence of drugs, or alcohol,
  3. Talking on the phone or texting while driving,
  4. Limitations to bus driver visibility,
  5. Aggressive driving techniques, speeding, or dangerous maneuvering of bus,
  6. Sudden acceleration, or braking,
  7. Poor bus maintenance.

Hire a lawyer.

Bus accident victims should seek legal counsel shortly after a bus accident causes harmful losses to them.  USAttorneys.com is a valuable resource to find an experienced lawyer who can guide a victim’s actions, and apprise them of the possibility of recoverable damages through insurance settlements, or court actions.

 

Sources:

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=VEH&sectionNum=23152

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/vehicle-registration/insurance-requirements/

https://www.courts.ca.gov/9618.htm

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