Bus Accident Attorney in Riverside, CA
Bus accidents are more common than you might believe. According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 310 people died and 38,000 people were injured in bus crashes during 2013, in the United States. This represents a 10% increase in bus accident fatalities and a 65% increase in bus accident injuries from the previous year. When you step onto a bus, you not only expect to be safe you have the legal right to expect the driver and company to do everything within their power to provide a safe ride.
According to California Civil Code §2100, commercial carriers are required to use the “utmost care and diligence” to protect you and to provide a safe ride. This higher level of duty of care requires the company and the driver to exercise a reasonable degree of skill. When a bus driver, the company, a repair shop, or anyone associated with the bus breaches this enhanced duty of care and then by doing so causes you to sustain injury, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against all responsible parties.
What Are The Common Causes of a Bus Accident in Riverside, CA?
There are numerous reasons why a bus accident may occur. Here are some of the most common causes:
- Distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol, aggressive driving, driver fatigue, or driver error
- Speeding and/or other traffic violations
- Inadequate bus maintenance
- Defective bus parts
- Lack of driver training
- Poor visibility, road, and/or weather conditions
- Brake failure
Regardless of the cause of the bus accident, if you or a loved one is injured, you need to take action to protect your right to receive compensation from the at-fault party. After seeking medical care, your first priority should be to call the Riverside, CA bus accident attorneys of Heiting & Irwin at 951-682-6400.
Our attorneys are here to answer your questions about your legal rights and to carry some of the weight off of your shoulders so that you can focus on your path to recovery.
Steps to Take After a Bus Accident
When you are involved in a bus accident, it is important that you take certain steps to protect your rights. Our bus accident lawyers have created a short checklist that will help you know what to do after a California bus accident.
- Call 911 – Report the accident and any injuries to the police.
- Seek immediate medical attention. Your health is of utmost importance.
- If you are able, obtain the name and contact information for the bus driver, other passengers, other drivers involved in the crash, and any eyewitnesses.
- Take a picture or write down the bus’s license plate and any other identifying numbers.
- Photograph all vehicles, property, and injuries. Take pictures of all resulting damages, license plates, and the accident scene including any skid marks or other evidence.
- Ask the driver if the bus is equipped with video cameras. Note the location of other cameras (i.e. traffic cameras, ATMs, storefronts, etc.).
- Keep all appointments with your medical provider and follow all instructions from your medical provider.
- Contact Heiting & Irwin online or at 951-682-6400 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Riverside, CA bus accident attorney.
Common Injuries Sustained in a Bus Accident
Being in a bus accident can be a traumatic event and may result in severe physical, mental, and/or emotional injuries. Because the circumstances of each bus accident are different, it is impossible to determine the physical injuries you may suffer if you are in a bus accident. Common injuries we see as bus accident attorneys in these types of crashes include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), concussions, closed head injuries, and other head injuries due to lack of seat belts to restrain passengers in a crash.
- Back, neck, and shoulder injuries
- and knee injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Internal bleeding and damage to vital organs
- Spinal cord injury
- TMJ and other injury to the jaw
- Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
- Psychological problems including stress, anxiety, PTSD, sleeping problems, irrational fears, depression, and eating problems.
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
- Lacerations, cuts, and bruises
- Wrongful Death
Because symptoms may not be present immediately following a bus accident, it is important to seek medical attention regardless of how you feel. The minor aches and pains you feel in the next few days could be an indication of something far more serious. To protect your health and your right to receive compensation for your damages, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible after a bus accident.
What Damages Am I Entitled to Receive From a Riverside, CA Bus Accident?
Our Riverside bus accident attorneys fight for your right to receive a fair and just settlement for your injuries and other losses. Under California law, a bus accident victim has the right to receive compensation for damages including:
- Property damage (including damage to your vehicle and personal property such as watches, cell phones, laptops); if your vehicle is totaled, you deserve to be paid the current market value of the vehicle; if your vehicle is repaired, you deserve to be compensated for the depreciation of value of your vehicle due to a bus accident
- Rental car fees incurred while your vehicle is being repaired
- All past and future medical expenses related to your injuries
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity related to the accident. This includes reimbursement for any lost benefits such as bonuses or other compensation you would have received had you not been injured in the bus accident.
- All past and future physical, emotional, and mental suffering.
- Loss of enjoyment of life and all other damages or expenses incurred as a result of the bus accident.
The damages you may receive for a bus accident depend on your injuries and the facts surrounding the case. By hiring an experienced bus accident attorney, you can increase your chance of receiving the maximum compensation allowable by law for your injuries.
Contact an Experienced Riverside Bus Accident Attorney
The bus accident lawyers of Heiting & Irwin have gained valuable experience and built a network of resources from representing individuals and families who have been injured in bus accidents. Put our experience to work for you. We want to fight to hold the negligent party(ies) accountable for their actions so that you can receive the compensation you deserve.
Contact our office online or by calling 951-682-6400 to schedule a free legal consultation.