Los Angeles Bus Accident Attorneys
California Metro Bus Accidents
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is the main operator of public bus services in the greater Los Angeles Basin. Metro Bus (MTA Bus) offers a cost-effective form of transportation for the region. There are more than 100 separate MTA bus routes. Unfortunately, Metro bus accidents do happen. In this article, our Los Angeles transportation accident lawyers explain the most important things to know about Metro bus accident claims.
Most buses are owned and operated by local governments and schools. However, there are also tour buses, coach buses, charter buses and other buses on the road. Regardless of the type of bus you were riding in, being involved in a bus accident is a traumatic ordeal. In the aftermath of such an incident, you and the other passengers may have been approached by representatives from the bus company and/or their insurance company. As helpful as these representatives may paint themselves out to be, they only have one thing in mind: protecting their client. Even if they know full well that you are entitled to damages, they won’t make it easy for you, so make sure to hire one of our bus accident lawyers in Los Angeles for help.
Special Rules for Claims Against Government Entities: California Tort Claims Act (CTCA)
While you can file a claim against L.A. County MTA, it is important to understand that special rules apply. Under California law, government entities have sovereign immunity. The immunity has been waived by the California Tort Claims Act (CTCA). However, the CTCA imposes some additional requirements for personal injury claims involving a public entity. In effect, you must provide valid written notice of your intent to take legal action against the MTA within six months of your accident. Failure to do so could prevent you from filing a bus accident injury lawsuit, even if your case is otherwise still within the standard statute of limitations.
Why Are Bus Accidents So Dangerous?
Although bus accidents aren’t very common, they are downright devastating when they occur. A few factors contribute to the dangerous nature of these incidents. First, there’s the sheer size of the average bus. School buses, city buses, charter buses, tour buses, and similar vehicles are enormous when compared to regular passenger vehicles. They weigh several tons too. While they tend to inflict major damage on other vehicles, their size results in major collisions that cause serious injuries to their passengers too.
Another thing that makes bus accidents so dangerous is the shape of the average bus. They are big and bulky, and that tends to result in more severe collisions. More importantly, they are also often top-heavy. They’re designed like this to provide passengers with roomier and more comfortable accommodations. The downside is that it makes buses more susceptible to rolling over in collisions. As you can imagine, when a bus rolls over, passengers don’t tend to fare very well. If you’re in another vehicle that’s involved in a rollover accident with a bus, you can incur serious injuries too.
Causes of Bus Accidents in Los Angeles
At El Dabe Law, our Los Angeles bus accident attorneys handle numerous bus accident cases every year. They happen all over the state of California, and they happen for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, the vast majority of bus accidents are caused by the negligence of some kind. Sometimes, the driver is to blame; other times, the bus company or manufacturer is. Regardless of who is ultimately responsible for a bus accident, victims need to take steps to protect themselves. Government entities, school districts, and tour bus companies aren’t going to do it for them. A few of the most common causes of bus accidents include:
- Driver Error – Due to inexperience, a lack of training, inadequate training, or other factors, the driver of a bus may react inappropriately to hazards or otherwise engage in behaviors that put passengers at risk. These days, texting while driving is often to blame and is certainly among the most egregious offenses imaginable.
- Driver Impairment – Bus drivers are charged with safely transporting people from place to place. Often, these people are schoolchildren. Despite this serious responsibility, bus drivers sometimes partake in alcohol or drugs before getting behind the wheel. Other times, they are seriously fatigued and have no business operating a massive vehicle.
- Manufacturing Defects – Defective bus components often put innocent people at risk. Could they be to blame for the injuries you incurred in your bus accident?
- Improper Maintenance – Whether a bus is owned by a local government, a school, or a private company, it needs to be properly maintained to ensure its roadworthiness. Sadly, many companies and other entities fail to keep up with bus maintenance or cut corners in order to keep costs down. When companies engage in these behaviors, innocent passengers like you lose.
- Unsafe Roads – Local municipalities have an obligation to maintain roads. Sometimes, bus accidents happen due to defects or hazards on the road. Proving negligence of this kind is very tricky, but victims have been able to recoup damages under such circumstances.
- Inclement Weather – In a way, a bus accident that happens due to inclement weather is ultimately the fault of the driver. At a certain point, a bus driver must make a judgment call about whether or not it’s safe to operate a vehicle during bad weather. Whether roads are icy or heavy rain has reduced visibility to practically nothing, a conscientious bus driver will know when to stop and wait.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Los Angeles Metro Bus Accident Attorney
At El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, our Los Angeles commercial transportation accident lawyers have the skills and experience to handle Metro bus accident claims. Get in touch with us by phone at 213-985-1120 or contact our legal team online to schedule your free, fully private personal injury consultation. From our Los Angeles office, we advocate for car accident victims throughout the region, including in Commerce, Pasadena, Gardena, Inglewood, Compton, and Torrance.
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