San Jose Bus Accident Attorney
Relative to other forms of ground transportation, buses are safe, but accidents still happen. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 15,000 bus accidents resulting in injury occur on the nation’s roads each year. Over the last decade or so, school buses and transit buses account for about a third of all fatal crashes, with intercity buses being the safest—city bus accidents only accounting for 13 percent. When a bus accident occurs because of another party’s negligence, California law entitles victims to seek damages in civil court.
The attorneys at Bohn & Fletcher have helped injured clients recover millions of dollars through skilled negotiations and diligent trial advocacy. We offer personalized attention and exceptional legal representation throughout the legal process. All of our esteemed attorneys are AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® and focus exclusively on personal injury cases. If you were severely injured in a bus or streetcar accident, you deserve a San Jose bus accident lawyer with the highest standards for ethics and professionalism. Contact Bohn & Fletcher at (408) 279-4222 to schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your case with one of our San Jose bus accident lawyers.
Causes of Bus Injuries and Accidents
A wide array of scenarios might lead to a bus accident that results in injury and the need for a bus lawyer. Some common examples include:
- A road hazard causes the driver to make an abrupt adjustment.
- A distracted bus driver crashes into an object or another vehicle.
- A drowsy bus driver falls asleep at the wheel.
- An inexperienced driver loses control of the bus.
- Another motor vehicle crashes into a bus.
- A driver who is impaired by prescription medication, drugs, or alcohol causes an accident.
- A pedestrian or bicyclist walks or rides in a driver’s blind spot.
- Poor maintenance leads to a malfunction that results in an accident.
Common Bus Injuries
A bus accident might cause a variety of injuries for passengers, people in other vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians who were involved. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Fractured bones – The impact of an accident might lead to one or more broken bones. Recovery might take months and require a cast and crutches. When victims sustain multiple fractures, healing takes much longer and might even require surgery.
- Head traumas – Head injuries can occur from direct impact, but even jarring of the head might also cause trauma. In either case, victims may experience a mild to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Mild TBIs, typically referred to as concussions, heal quickly in most cases, but more severe brain injuries might cause a victim lifelong complications.
- Lacerations – During a bus accident, deep cuts might occur. Not only are they painful, but they can lead to permanent scars.
- Neck injuries – The most common neck injury in motor vehicle accidents, including bus accidents, is whiplash, which is soft-tissue damage in the neck. Impact from a collision causes a person’s neck to abruptly move back and forth like a whip.
- Back injuries – The impact from a bus accident could also lead to back injuries that include cracked vertebrae, herniated discs, and other painful injuries that require extensive recovery time and sometimes surgery.
- Spinal cord injuries – A person’s spinal cord is one of the most delicate organs in their body. If a bus accident results in a spinal cord injury, victims might experience temporary or permanent paralysis in one or more parts of the body.
- Internal bleeding and organ damage – Internal injuries are one of the reasons that bus accident victims need to seek immediate medical attention even if they don’t have visible injuries. The impact from a crash might lead to broken ribs that puncture organs, or the trauma might cause rupture or separation. These kinds of injuries are often life-threatening or may result in lifelong complications.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – Surviving a severe bus accident might lead to mental anguish after the accident. Similarly, those who see another person injured or killed in a bus accident might also suffer the emotional consequences. Although symptoms vary, those who suffer psychological challenges after a bus accident might have PTSD.
Bus Drivers and Other Common Carriers Owe You a Heightened Duty of Care
Under California law, buses belong to a category of transporters called common carriers because they transport people for a fee. Vehicles that qualify as common carriers have a heightened duty of care to their passengers. All motorists have a duty to others on the road to obey traffic laws such as using turn signals and driving the speed limit, but California common carrier law places specific requirements on common carrier drivers. When common carrier drivers and companies fail to uphold that standard, a California court can find them negligent and award damages to victims. California common carrier law specifically states the following:
- A common carrier must use the “utmost care and diligence” to safely transport passengers, must provide needs for that safe passage, and must have a reasonable degree of skill to ensure safe carriage.
- A common carrier must provide safe and appropriate vehicles; malfunction does not excuse a failure to meet the required standards of care.
- Common carriers may not overcrowd or overload vehicles.
- Common carriers must provide usual and reasonable accommodations, treat passengers with civility, and give them a reasonable amount of attention.
- Common carriers must travel at appropriate speeds, without delay or deviation from a proper route.
Recovering Damages After a Bus or Streetcar Accident
In the event that you have been injured in a city bus accident, school bus accident, or streetcar accident, you might be eligible to recover damages related to loss from your injuries. A qualified school bus accident lawyer, public transit accident lawyer, bus accident lawyer, or streetcar accident lawyer will guide you through the legal process. If a California court rules in your favor, you can claim the following damages for your injuries:
- Cost of past and future medical treatment including ambulance services, emergency department visit, surgery, hospitalization, x-rays, medications, and more
- Lost wages due to time away from work as a result of injury and/or hospitalization
- Lost earning capacity when a severe injury or permanent disability prevents a victim from returning to the type of work they enjoyed before or pursue certain kinds of employment
- Non-economic costs including pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, emotional distress or others that apply to a specific case
In the event that you have lost a loved one in a city bus accident or trolley accident, you need to contact a San Jose bus accident attorney to find out your eligibility to file a wrongful death claim against the liable party. You may recover some of the aforementioned damages as well as burial costs and funeral expenses. One of our San Jose bus accident attorneys will advise you on the best course of action for you and other surviving family members.
Time Limit to File a Claim Against a Bus or Trolley Company
California has a two-year statute of limitations after the date of the accident to bring suit against the responsible party. These suits often involve the driver and their employer as well as the company’s insurance carrier. When the responsible party is a government entity those injured must take legal action within six months. If you are unsure which time frame applies to your case, our San Jose bus accident attorneys can advise you how long you have to take legal action. Failure to file a claim or bring a lawsuit within the appropriate time frame might result in waiving your right to recover damages related to your injuries.
The following is a list of Bay Area transporters that might be liable for your bus, trolley or other common carrier accident:
- Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
- Greyhound Lines
- Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH)
- Altamont Corridor Express (ACE)
- Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)
- Capitol Corridor
- San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (SFMTA) including SF Muni
Contact a San Jose Bus Accident Lawyer Today
Our bus accident attorneys advocate for people injured throughout California and the Bay Area, including San Jose, Cupertino, Palo Alto, Campbell, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, San Francisco, and the surrounding communities. You deserve full and fair compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial aftermath of the accident. If you sustained a severe injury because of a negligent common carrier, we can help you recover compensation for damages related to the accident.
The San Jose bus accident lawyers at Bohn & Fletcher are here to listen to your story, provide legal counsel, and pursue the best possible outcome for your case. We offer free consultations to all potential clients and operate on a contingency fee basis, only collecting attorney fees if we secure a financial recovery for you. Our San Jose bus accident lawyers will gladly meet you in your home or hospital if your injury prevents you from traveling. We proudly serve citizens throughout the Bay area and California. Contact Bohn & Fletcher online or call (408) 279-4222 today to schedule a free consultation with a San Jose bus accident lawyer.