If you have suffered a serious injury as a result of a bus accident, you may have legal options available. We encourage you to reach out to our Long Beach bus accident lawyers at Madison Law Group right away to discuss your case at a free consultation.
According to statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 450,000 public school buses travel over 4.3 billion miles in the state of California annually.
Although the majority of buses make it to their destination without any issues, we continue to see a significant number of accidents take place every year that leave victims with serious injuries that affect their lives forever. If you are ever involved in an accident with a school bus, it is important that you are able to hold the liable party accountable. At your earliest convenience, you should seek help from a Long Beach bus accident lawyer to ensure your legal rights are protected.
For decades, our dedicated bus accident attorneys at Madison Law Group have sought to protect the legal rights of the injured and families who have been negatively affected by negligent bus drivers, incompetent bus companies, and other negligent parties. If you have been affected as a result of the bus accident, our team will demand full compensation for the losses and damages you face. You must reach out to our Long Beach bus accident attorney immediately to ensure you are able to get justice.
What to Do After a Bus Accident
If you have the unfortunate experience of being involved in a bus accident, it is important that you take various steps to protect your legal rights and best interests. Some of the things you should do immediately after your accident include:
- Contact the police immediately to have them respond to the scene of the accident so you can obtain an accident report.
- Seek medical attention without delay. You should seek medical treatment regardless of the extent of your injuries or if you feel like you have not been injured. You may have injuries that are undetectable by the human eye and need to be diagnosed by a medical professional. This is important as you will need to obtain proper documentation of your injuries and medical expenses in case you want to pursue a bus accident lawsuit.
- Collect the names and contact information of all parties involved. This can include the bus driver, bus passengers, or any other drivers who were involved in the accident. Also, try to get the contact information for any witnesses.
- You will never want to say anything at the scene or afterward that sounds like you blame yourself for the accident that took place. You should never provide a recorded statement to the insurance company without first consulting with an attorney.
- Take photographs and videos of the scene of the bus accident. You will want to take pictures of any damage, your injuries, and other relevant information. This could be important evidence in your Long Beach bus accident claim.
Finally, call our bus accident attorneys at Madison Law Group so that we can get started helping you protect your legal rights.
Types of School Bus Accidents Reported
A bus accident can have an overwhelming impact on your life. Suffering serious injuries due to another person’s negligence can be incredibly difficult to deal with. Unfortunately, there are several types of school bus accidents that we see take place here in Long Beach. Some of those common types include:
- Rear-end collisions: These accidents typically occur when a vehicle strikes the back of a school bus, often while the bus is stopped to pick up or drop off students. They can also involve a bus crashing into the rear of another vehicle.
- Side-swipe collisions: This type of school bus crash occurs when a vehicle strikes the side of the bus, often while trying to pass it or traveling next to it.
- Intersection accidents: These occur when a bus is involved in a collision at an intersection, either with another vehicle or a pedestrian. Intersection accidents often involve some form of negligence, such as running a red light or failing to yield.
- Rollover accidents: School bus rollover accidents occur when the bus tips over onto its side or roof. These accidents are often caused by vehicles traveling at too high speeds, performing sharp turns, or other acts of negligence.
- Single-vehicle accidents: These occur when a school bus is involved in an accident that does not involve any other vehicles on the road. These accidents can include those where the school bus crashes into a fixed object or a building.
- Underride accidents: Underride accidents occur when a passenger vehicle crashes into the side of the school bus and becomes lodged underneath it. This type of accident often takes place as a result of a driver in a passenger vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed and being unable to stop or slow down in time to avoid the collision. It can also take place when a school bus abruptly stops or turns in front of the passenger vehicle.
- Head-on collisions: A head-on collision involving a school bus occurs when the front end of a school bus collides with the front end of another vehicle, usually traveling in the opposite direction. This type of collision can be very dangerous, as the force of the impact can be significant. This is especially true if either the boss or the other vehicle involved was traveling at a high rate of speed.
School bus accidents have the potential to cause bus passengers and other people sharing the road significant injuries. Unfortunately, many of the accidents that we see here in the Long Beach area are caused by negligent and reckless drivers.
Common Causes of School Bus Accidents
Although thousands of bus accidents occur in the state of California annually, the majority of these bus crashes are completely preventable. We often see negligent and reckless actions lead to these accidents occurring. Some of the most common factors in bus crashes across our state include:
- Driver error, such as distracted driving, speeding if a bus driver loses control, or driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants
- Inadequate driver training or supervision
- Bus drivers who are unqualified to operate the vehicles
- Poor or inadequate maintenance
- Mechanical defects or other issues with the bus or its components, such as brakes or tires
- Overcrowding or improper loading of students on the school bus
- Negligent actions of other motor vehicle drivers on the road, such as failing to yield to a bus, weaving between traffic, and passing buses illegally
- Dangerous road conditions
- Inappropriate or reckless behavior by students on the bus, such as distracting the driver, being out of their seats, or engaging in fights
If you have been injured in a bus crash, you should seek legal assistance right away. Our Long Beach bus accident lawyer can help guide you through the legal process and fight for fair compensation on your behalf.
Common Injuries From School Bus Accidents
Thousands of bus accidents are reported around the United States every year. Here in Southern California, we see countless people left with significant injuries as a result of these accidents. Some of the most common injuries that our bus accident lawyers at Madison Law Group have helped clients recover from include:
- Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries have the potential to be incredibly devastating. These injuries can result in paralysis, which can be permanent in some cases. People who suffer from spinal cord injuries often have to go through months of physical therapy and rehabilitation. In severe cases, they may have to utilize medical devices and the assistance of others indefinitely.
- Broken bones: Bus accidents can result in severe bone fractures. However, the type of bone that is broken will generally depend on the specific circumstances of the accident and the location of the impact. Unfortunately, there are several bones that are commonly broken in bus accidents. These include the limb bones, such as the legs and arms, pelvis, ribs, sternum, skull, and spine. Broken bones can be incredibly devastating and require extensive medical treatment.
- Cuts and bruises: Cuts and abrasions are common injuries in bus accidents and are caused by various factors, including broken glass from windows, flying debris and other objects, or contact with hard surfaces within the bus. These injuries can be serious due to the fact that they can result in significant blood loss. If the injuries are not cared for properly, they can develop into life-threatening infections.
- Head injuries: Head injuries are a common and serious consequence of bus accidents. They can occur when a passenger’s head strikes a hard surface, such as a window, door, or the back of a seat. They can also occur when the head is suddenly jerked. These injuries can be debilitating, especially if they are severe enough to be categorized as traumatic brain injuries. People who suffer injuries to the head often experience dizziness, memory loss, and mood problems.
- Neck injuries: Neck injuries can be incredibly debilitating due to the fact that they often result in a range of motion limitations. People who suffer from neck injuries often experience problems lifting, stooping, and performing various tasks. In severe cases, people with this kind of injury may have to go through therapy and rehabilitation.
- Back injuries: Back injuries can be especially difficult to deal with. They are actually one of the leading causes of disabilities in America. People who suffer from back injuries often experience problems lifting, and cannot sit or stand for extended periods. Back injuries can include problems with the spinal cord, discs, or muscles in the back.
- Severe burn injuries: Severe burns can result when someone gets trapped inside a vehicle that catches on fire. Bus accidents can result in these injuries due to the fact that they carry several people and there are very few doors to escape from. Unfortunately, we see many people left with severe burn injuries that require surgery and result in permanent scarring and disfigurement. Not only are burn injuries incredibly painful, but they can have a lasting emotional impact as well.
- Internal organ injuries: Internal organ injuries can be life-threatening if they are not treated immediately. Unfortunately, we see many people involved in bus accidents left with lung injuries, kidney punctures, spleen ruptures, and other internal organ injuries as a result. People who suffer from internal organ injuries often require emergency surgery and have to utilize medication forever.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Post-traumatic stress disorder can make it difficult for injury victims to move on from their accidents. Trying to cope with the pain and suffering on a physical and emotional level can seem like an impossible feat. When people suffer from PTSD as a result of bus accidents, they may require medical treatment, such as rehabilitation, mental health therapy, medication, and other forms of care.
If you have been harmed as a result of a school bus accident, it is important that you are able to get the immediate medical care that you need, and that you have the funds available to pay for it. For this reason, it is in your best interest to seek guidance from our personal injury lawyers immediately.
Our experienced bus accident lawyer at Madison Law Group will be able to help you identify who is liable for the accident and take the appropriate legal action against them. We will fight to help you get the financial compensation that you need to cover your losses and damages.
Wrongful Death Claims After a Fatal School Bus Accident
If your loved one has died as a result of a bus accident, your family has the right to file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party. Seeking guidance from a Long Beach bus accident lawyer early on can provide your family with the best chance of getting justice.
After the loss of a loved one, your family has the ability to sue for financial compensation to cover various losses and damages that you face. This can include the cost of funeral arrangements, burial expenses, and more.
A skilled bus accident attorney will be able to prove your case against the bus company, bus driver, or other responsible party so that your family is able to hold them accountable for their actions. It is crucial that you seek help as soon as possible to provide yourself with the best chance of obtaining a favorable outcome for your lawsuit.
Liable Parties for School Bus Accidents
Suffering serious injuries as a result of a bus crash can be devastating. Unfortunately, there are countless instances where people are injured as a result of school buses crashing unnecessarily. Too often, negligent and reckless actions lead to serious accidents taking place.
When innocent people suffer serious injuries due to school buses crashing, they may be able to take legal action. Filing a personal injury claim can provide victims injured in a school bus crash with the financial resources that they need to cover their medical expenses and various other damages. After being involved in a bus crash, it is important that you are able to identify who is liable. In California, there are several people who can be held responsible for school bus crashes. These parties may include:
- The bus driver, if they were negligent or reckless in their driving
- The school district, if they were negligent in their hiring, training, or supervision of the bus driver or company
- The bus company, if they failed to properly maintain the bus or hire qualified drivers
- Manufacturers of defective bus parts or equipment, if the accident was caused by a defect
- School officials who were negligent or acted recklessly, such as failing to provide proper safety equipment or overseeing the actions of bus drivers or contractors
- Any government entities that are responsible for road maintenance or construction if the school bus accident was caused by poor road conditions or due to construction on the road
- Contractors who were in charge of performing maintenance and working on the bus or road if their work was negligent or improperly performed
- Parents or guardians of children who cause the accident by interfering with the operation of the bus, such as by distracting the driver
- Another motor vehicle driver on the road who may have caused or contributed to the accident
Our Long Beach bus accident lawyer will be able to review the circumstances surrounding your accident in order to determine who is liable for the crash taking place. Once we identify who is responsible for your crash, we will take the appropriate legal action against them.
Damages You Can Recover for a School Bus Accident Claim
After being involved in an accident, a bus accident attorney can help you recover the maximum compensation possible for the damages that you face. Our dedicated legal team at Madison Law Group has represented bus crash victims in Long Beach and all over Southern California. We will help you get the maximum compensation possible for the damages that you face.
Some of the damages that our Long Beach bus accident lawyer will help you recover include:
- Pain and suffering: After an accident, you have the ability to obtain compensation for the pain and suffering that the accident has caused. This compensation is generally determined by the severity of the injuries that you have, the length of time that you have to spend recovering, and the impact that the injuries have had on your life. In some cases, testimony from medical experts can help to bolster your claim for pain and suffering damages.
- Loss of consortium: When a person is injured in an accident, it will often have an impact on their ability to have relationships with their spouses and children. For this reason, injured parties have the ability to pursue compensation for the loss of consortium an accident has caused. The amount of compensation you can recover for this is based on various factors, such as the severity of the injuries that you have suffered, the length of the recovery period, and the impact of the injury on the person’s life and their loved ones. In general, the loss of consortium damages can cover the loss of companionship, loss of affection, loss of comfort, and loss of support and services.
- Medical expenses: A bus accident lawsuit can provide you with financial compensation for immediate medical costs. This can include compensation for your surgical costs, medications, hospitalizations, and other care that you require immediately after your accident.
- Long-term medical expenses: After suffering severe and catastrophic injuries, you will most likely require long-term medical treatment. For this reason, you have the ability to sue for these damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Long-term medical expenses can cover various treatments, including rehabilitation costs, medication expenses, medical equipment, nursing home assistance, and other long-term treatments that you require for your injuries.
- Lost wages: You have the ability to recover compensation for the lost wages that you have suffered as a result of your crash. Compensation for lost wages can include any time that you had to take off work to recover. You can also recover compensation for lost wages you have endured due to taking time off work for medical appointments and for other reasons related to your accident.
- Lost income: If you have been left permanently disabled as a result of your bus accident, you can request lost income in your personal injury claim. This compensation can cover any lost earnings that you miss out on for the remainder of your lifetime. The amount of lost wages is generally calculated by considering your current position, your chances for promotions, your level of education, and other factors.
- Property damage: If you have suffered property damage as a result of a bus accident, you have the ability to recover compensation to repair it or replace it. As bus passengers, property damage may include your clothing, electronic devices, and other personal effects that you had on you during the accident.
- Punitive damages: If the bus accident was caused by the gross negligence of another party, you have the ability to seek compensation for punitive damages. Punitive damages are generally awarded in cases where the wrongdoer’s conduct was especially heinous or egregious. This could include cases where a bus driver engaged in an action to intentionally cause harm to bus passengers or others sharing the road. It is important to note that punitive damages are not available in all personal injury cases. For this reason, you need an experienced bus accident lawyer to prove your case against the defendant so you are able to get full compensation for punitive damages, if they are applicable to your claim.
If you have suffered a serious injury as a result of a Long Beach school bus crash, you must reach out to our team. Our dedicated Long Beach bus accident attorney can help you seek the maximum compensation possible for these and other damages.
Proving Liability After a School Bus Crash
After being injured in a bus accident, you have the legal right to file a personal injury claim. For your claim to be successful, you must be able to prove liability. This involves proving that the elements of negligence existed at the time of the accident. To prevail on your bus accident claim, you must be able to prove the following:
- Duty of Care: The defendant, which could be the bus driver, the bus company, or another party sharing the road, owed you a duty of care. In general, any person traveling on roads here in the Long Beach area is required to act in a manner that does not cause harm to other people sharing the road.
- Breach of Duty: Next, you must be able to demonstrate that the defendant breached that duty of care by failing to take reasonable steps to prevent the bus accident or to ensure the safety of the bus passengers. For example, the bus driver may have been impaired while behind the wheel or the owner of the bus may have failed to properly maintain the vehicle.
- Causation: The actions of the defendant’s that breached the duty of care directly caused injuries that you have suffered. You must show that the accident would not have occurred if the defendant had not breached their duty of care.
- Damages: As a result of the accident, you have suffered damages, such as physical injuries, emotional distress, or financial losses. You must provide strong evidence of your injuries and the extent of the damages you suffered.
Having a knowledgeable Long Beach bus accident lawyer by your side can make a huge difference when it comes to your ability to prove your case. Your attorney will be able to take control of the legal process and perform various tasks on your behalf to prove your personal injury claim against the defendant.
How We Will Help You Prove Liability After Your Bus Accident
Our knowledgeable Long Beach bus accident lawyer at Madison Law Group is fully committed to helping each client we represent get justice. While working with our legal team, you can rest assured that we will do everything in our power to prove your case and help you get justice.
While working on your bus accident claim, we will take various steps to ensure you have the strongest evidence and case possible against the defendant. Some of the ways that our Long Beach bus accident lawyers will help include:
- Gathering evidence: Our dedicated legal team will collect as much evidence as possible from the accident scene. This can and often does include photos, witness statements, police reports, and any other relevant documentation. Whenever possible, we will work with experts who can recreate the accident to show what took place at the time in order to prove negligence.
- Determining the cause of the accident: Identify the cause of the bus accident, whether it was bus driver negligence, vehicle part malfunction, bus manufacturers, inadequate road conditions, or another factor. Our thorough investigation will help to determine all of the factors that led to your accident taking place.
- Identifying the parties responsible: Determine who was responsible for causing the accident, whether it was a negligent bus driver, another driver, the bus company, the school district, or another party.
- Seeking expert testimony: Our team will utilize the assistance of various experts in order to prove your case. Expert testimony can be critical in establishing liability, particularly in cases involving complex technical or scientific issues. For this reason, our Long Beach bus accident attorneys will work with reconstructionists, financial experts, medical professionals, and various other experts to help prove your case.
Without a doubt, our bus accident lawyers will do everything in our power to prove your case and to help you get the money that you need and deserve. We will fight to ensure you have all of the money you need for medical bills, lost earnings, and more.
Call Our Bus Accident Lawyers Today
It is undeniable that a bus accident can have an overwhelming impact on your life. Suffering serious and catastrophic injuries as a result of another person’s negligence can be difficult to move forward from. For this reason, accident victims should seek help from a skilled and knowledgeable Long Beach accident lawyer immediately.
After your accident, it is only right that you are able to maximize the amount of compensation that you recover for your bus accident lawsuits. Our team will do everything in our power to ensure that the driver, insurance company, and other liable parties provide you with fair compensation for the losses and damages that are available to you under California law.
At Madison Law Group, we are dedicated to providing those affected with guidance and support throughout the legal process. With our experience in negotiating fair compensation that covers all damages incurred in an accident, you can trust us to fight for the justice you deserve.