When compared to other vehicles, buses are regarded as relatively safer options because of its huge size, hard enclosed structure, and professional drivers. Hence, no one will expect to get involved in a bus accident or get injured as they climb aboard to travel for a vacation or to get to work. However, buses are also not immune to accidents and if bus accident happens, it is likely to be disastrous. Note that since the number of passengers traveling on a bus is higher, the number of fatalities as well in this case is likely to be higher. Sadly, the number of bus accidents in California is way higher when compared to some other American states.
If you or anyone you know is involved in a bus accident, you are likely to have grounds for a personal injury claim. So, make to consult a credible bus accident attorney and file a lawsuit against the opposite party. Note that multiple parties are likely to be held liable for bus accidents based on the circumstances. Do you know that if you are injured on a bus, you are likely to get more compensation when compared to that of a passenger car accident? This is because of the common carrier rule prevailing in the state.
Note that common carriers can be defined as ‘a company whose business transports property or people at a fee. Typically, it is any transportation company that has a contract to transport people, property, and goods across or around within state lines as public services. Before an entity is declared a common carrier, there are several factors to be considered under the law. Common carriers usually include uses, cruise ships, trains, taxis, and planes’. It is to be noted that in California, elevators, escalator, ski lift, and amusement parks are also considered as common carriers and the state is very concerned regarding the duty of care associated with common carriers. Hence, according to this rule, the bus authorities in California must;
- Be equipped with all the safety measures to secure passengers from getting injured when onboard
- Treat passengers with politeness
- Provide a reasonable degree of care to the passengers
- Warn passengers about the known dangers involved beforehand
- Not make sudden stops or drive erratically
- Provide proper accommodation for every passenger, especially disabled and elderly people.
- Hire properly skilled drivers
- Must protect the passengers from harm; this includes harm from co-passengers as well
Note that public buses are given a higher standard than private buses when it comes to common carriers. Hence, the compensation that you are likely to obtain from a public bus accident case will be higher when compared to a private bus accident claim.
Apart from this, there are many other factors that you must know regarding accidents in California that involves public and private buses. This will help you to make your case stronger and obtain maximum compensation from the opposite party. Some of those important points that you must know about are given below.
The Statute of Limitations for Bus Accident Claims in California
The statute of limitations refers to the time window within which you will have to file the accident claim. This time window will not be the same at every American state. In California, the statute of limitations when it comes to bus accidents is 2 years from the date of the accident. However, in case you failed to file the claim within this period, your case will be eternally barred from bringing to the court.
Note that this is the case of private bus accidents. If you are injured on a public bus transit, there will be a little change in the rule. In such cases, you will have only 6 months to file your case instead of two years. Worry not; if you are suffering from catastrophic injuries and are not in a condition to file a claim, your bus accident lawyer can do the task on your behalf. This explains the necessity of hiring a well-versed bus accident attorney. However, you can seek time extension under unfortunate conditions such as the victim being comatose or lost his/her memory.
Things you Need to Know about Private and Public Bus Claims
When you are injured in a public bus collision because of the negligence of the bus driver or the bus owner, you will have to file a lawsuit against the government agency. Note that public buses are the properties of government. Hence, even if you sue the bus driver or owner, it will be, in effect, suing the government. Here, things work a bit differently. As mentioned earlier, the statute of limitations, in this case, is only 6 months. So, you must soon consult a bus accident lawyer and file a case with the government agency. If they denied your claim, you will have to file a lawsuit as soon as possible.
On the other hand, if you are injured in a private bus accident, you will be suing a private entity and you will get a time limit up to 2 years from the date of the collision to file the lawsuit. In this case, you can hold the bus driver, bus owner, Bus Company, bus manufacturer, the bus Maintenance Company, etc., liable for your injuries and other damages. Needless to mention, it will be much easier to win a private bus accident case when compared to an accident claim that involves a public bus.