California has the largest mass transportation system for school buses in the country, and approximately 2 million Californians ride a bus to work every day. While bus systems are a helpful service across the state, bus accidents are unfortunately always possible. If you’ve been involved in a bus accident, you’re probably wondering about your next steps. Continue reading or contact a San Mateo County, California Bus Accident Lawyer today to find out more about how to file a personal injury claim after an accident.
WHAT CAN CAUSE A BUS ACCIDENT?
There are many different circumstances that may lead to a bus accident. Many bus accidents are because of negligent drivers, but many factors outside of the bus driver’s control can lead to an accident. Some of the most common causes of bus accidents are:
- Dangerous weather conditions
- Other hazardous road conditions (ex: potholes and construction zones)
- Bus driver errors (ex: failing to check a blind spot before switching lanes)
- Bus companies’ failure to perform routine maintenance
- Driver fatigue
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Other motorists’ negligence
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF BUS ACCIDENTS?
The most common types of buses involved in bus accidents are:
- Public transportation
- Commercial bus lines
- School buses
- Private charter buses
- Tour buses
Public transportation buses and school buses are considered municipal property because they are funded and run by the government. Because of this, finding someone liable in accidents involving government property can be much more complex. Because of California’s sovereign immunity, you likely will only be able to file a claim against a government-run bus line if the bus driver’s negligence caused the incident.
Commercial bus lines are required to have insurance. Depending on the circumstances, you may have a valid claim against the driver, the company, or the bus manufacturer. With the right lawyer, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER A BUS ACCIDENT?
The first thing you should do after any motor vehicle accident is to call the police to file a report. The police can normally determine what caused the accident, which could be crucial if you’re planning on filing a personal injury claim. If applicable, you should also keep track of hospital records to verify the extent of your injuries. If the accident was caused by another negligent driver and not the bus driver, then you can only file a claim against the negligent driver’s insurance. If the bus driver caused the accident, then you can find the bus driver liable and possibly other parties.
According to the California Tort Claims Act, you have 6 months after an accident to file a liability claim if you were injured by a public transportation or school bus. The statute of limitations states that you have 2 years to file any other personal injury claims.
Looking for an experienced bus accident attorney to help you file a claim? Contact the Law Offices of Allister R. Liao today for quality legal counseling.