Every single day, millions of people rely on public transportation to get to work, school, home and other destinations. Many of them opt to take the bus as it is an inexpensive and reliable way to get from one place to another. If you don’t have a car or even a driver’s license, riding the bus is essential for getting to places. Overall, buses are considered to be a safe means of transportation when you are unable or unwilling to drive your own car to a destination.
However, just like any other vehicle on the road, a bus can get into an accident. In California and other areas, when a bus driver gets into an accident with passengers on their bus, there is a risk of everyone on board suffering serious injuries. Individuals in other vehicles involved in accidents with buses are also greatly at risk for injuries. It’s important to understand your rights if you are involved in an accident with a bus.
California Bus Accidents
Generally speaking, most public transportation buses are owned and ran by the local government. School buses are owned and operated by the school or school district. Of course, there are other buses on the roads as well, including charter buses, tour buses and coaches. However, no matter what type of bus you are on when an accident occurs, it can be a devastating experience.
In many cases, after a bus accident, someone from the bus company or its insurance company may try to get in touch with you. It’s important to know that the bus company and their insurer are not looking out for you; they are out for their own best interests, which makes it imperative that you speak with experienced bus accident lawyers in Newport Beach. Newport Beach bus injury lawyers will give you advice that can explain what your rights are and how you can proceed with starting a personal injury claim.
The Danger of Bus Accidents
Bus accidents are not common incidents, but when they do happen, they result in serious injuries. They are huge vehicles in comparison to cars and they weigh more as well. Buses also carry many more passengers, which can result in numerous injuries that may range in severity. A passenger car that gets into a crash with a bus can also leave the driver and passengers of the car seriously injured.
Another thing that can make bus accidents more dangerous than a regular car accident is the unusual shape of the bus. Buses are usually bulky and rectangular, which makes them more top heavy. As a result, they can easily roll over, unlike regular cars when they get into accidents. This can have devastating impacts on the bus’ passengers and anyone else involved in the accident.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
Unfortunately, bus accidents happen in California all of the time for a number of reasons. Many of them stem from some type of negligence. The bus driver may be to blame for some accidents while the bus manufacturer may be responsible for others. However, regardless of who is responsible, when there is negligence involved in an accident involving a vehicle so huge, it’s important for the injured victims to know their rights. Newport Beach bus injury lawyers can ensure that their rights are protected.
Certain situations commonly lead to a bus accident. They include the following:
Driver error: If the bus driver lacks experience or was not adequately trained to operate such a huge vehicle, they may drive in such a way that puts passengers and everyone on the road at risk. Other types of driver error include texting while behind the wheel or using a cell phone to take or make a call.
Driver impairment: Bus drivers are required to safely operate a bus. Unfortunately, many times, an accident occurs as a result of the driver being impaired, such as through the use of alcohol or drugs. In other cases, the driver may simply be overly tired due to long working hours and other aspects.
Manufacturing defects: If the bus has a manufacturing defect, it can put everyone at risk whether they are on the bus, a pedestrian or in a vehicle sharing the road with the bus.
Improper maintenance: Buses are required to be properly maintained to ensure their safety. If the bus company neglects to use proper maintenance practices, it puts everyone at risk.
Unsafe roads: Sometimes, a bus accident may occur because the roads are unsafe. The road can be hazardous due to construction that isn’t properly contained or lack of construction when road work is necessary.
Inclement weather: A bus accident can also happen in certain types of weather. If the roads become slick and wet, it can lead to a disaster. The bus driver may stop and wait it out if the weather is bad enough that visibility is poor.
If you have been injured in a bus accident, contact bus accident lawyers in Newport Beach at your earliest convenience.