Bus Crash Lawyers in Santa Barbara
Bus accidents can involve complicated state and federal regulations, multiple defendants and insurers, damage caps, shortened statutes of limitations in which to bring a claim and a number of other important legal considerations.
Many bus accident victims are also taken in by so-called "fair settlement" offers soon after the incident, because they do not know what their legal rights are or how serious their injuries may turn out to be. For all these reasons and more, seek the advice and representation of an experienced law firm as soon as possible.
At NordstrandBlack PC, we represent people who have been injured in Southern California bus accidents involving bus company negligence, reckless drivers and a wide range of other common causes. You deserve to have an experienced Santa Barbara injury attorney - not a junior associate - representing you at a time like this. At our firm, you will. We know that this makes a difference.
Bus companies owe a higher duty of care to their passengers than they do to the other drivers and pedestrians they share the road with. If you were injured as a passenger on a bus, talk to our attorneys about your unique legal rights and options for recovery.
Collisions involving a school bus create a number of special concerns that city-bus accidents do not. When a school bus crashes, it is important to look at how the crash occurred, why it happened, how it might have been avoided, and if someone was negligent in creating the situation that caused it.
The driver of the school bus may be to blame, but the cause can be far more complex than that. For example, consider a scenario in which a school bus driver strikes a wall, injuring students on the bus. The immediate reaction would be to blame the driver – but what if the bus driver had to swerve to avoid another vehicle that made an illegal maneuver in front of the bus? What if the brakes failed, and the bus driver did his best to slow down before striking the wall?
These kinds of accidents can be complicated, and emotions often run high. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide an objective point of view to determine who is at fault. Once liability is established, it is easier to get compensation for the victims. There are shorter deadlines to file a claim against a school district, which may have government immunity. Don’t wait to talk to a lawyer.
Tour buses are usually owned and operated by private companies. When a city bus or school bus is involved in a collision, the city or school district, both public entities, will investigate what happened. When a tour bus crashes, there may be less incentive for the company to perform an exhaustive investigation.
While there are still statutes of limitations in a tour bus crash claim, a lawsuit against a tour bus operator is typically easier to pursue than one against the city or state. If the company was negligent in any way, perhaps through poor hiring standards or insufficient maintenance, the company is legally responsible to the injury victims.
There are many reasons a bus accident can occur. Some of the most common include:
- Bus driver negligence: Bus drivers are susceptible to fatigue, mind-wandering, distraction, and poor judgment while driving this large vehicle. If they did not show due caution for their passengers’ safety, they (and their employers) should be liable.
- Other driver negligence: A driver in a car who swerves in front of a bus and slams on the brakes without enough space for the bus to stop could cause a serious collision.
- Defective parts: Failing parts on a bus, such as the brakes, can also cause an accident. When this occurs, it may be the manufacturer of that part was negligent and is responsible for the crash.
- Improper maintenance: Bus operators, whether private or public, are expected to perform necessary inspections and maintenance on all buses to keep them running safely. When this is not done, mechanical failures or defective parts can cause accidents.
- Bus company negligence: Even when maintenance is performed, negligence by the company or agency that operates the bus can still cause a collision. If a bus operator fails to perform background checks and hires someone with multiple DUI arrests, who then crashes the bus, it was a foreseeable consequence of their negligence.
Over 25 years of experience and success with vehicle accident lawsuits has proven to us, time and time again, that nothing should be taken for granted - that no two accidents are exactly the same and that no two people are affected by even the same injury in exactly the same way.
Our attorneys work closely with injured victims and families, with medical specialists and with other professionals to ensure that when the time comes - we can tell their story to defense counsel, to a judge or to a jury in clear, compelling terms and see to it that our clients receive appropriate compensation for all of their injuries and losses.
If you or any member of your family has recently been injured in a Metro bus, private charter or school bus accident - call our law offices directly at (805) 962-2022 or contact us online. The consultation is free and does not obligate you to hire us. There are no legal fees to pay unless we win.
- Commercial Driver Handbook: Section 10: School Buses
- Safety Information for Passenger Carriers
- School-Transportation-Related Crashes
- Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District
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