It was anything but a smooth ride for a woman who was riding on an AC Transit bus with her family almost three years ago. According to the SF Gate, she broke her back when the bus hit a speed bump on its way to a shopping mall. Evidently the bus was traveling double the speed limit when it hit the bump. However, after the woman cried out in pain after her injury the bus driver verbally assaulted the injured woman. The whole incident was caught on tape by the bus’s camera and on Tuesday, the jury awarded the injured woman $14.3 million dollars for pain and suffering, medical expenses and loss of earnings. The jury found the bus driver to be negligent and although AC Transit had several opportunities to settle out of court, they refused and paid a hefty price. As San Francisco’s premier personal injury firm, we have represented many people who have been injured in bus accidents and know how to handle these cases.
Who can be Held Liable for Bus Accident Injuries?
It is important to note that entities that operate bus lines can be held liable for the negligent acts of the bus drivers they employ. This is because bus line operators have a duty to properly train their bus drivers. In addition to the bus line operators, the following parties may be held liable for injuries that occur during a bus accident:
· Bus Drivers · State, City or County agencies for defective road way construction · Bus Manufacturers · Manufacturers of Auto Parts · Other negligent drivers · Other bus passengers · The maintenance crew in charge of providing maintenance work for the bus
It is imperative to determine who the liable party is when pursuing an action for personal injury in bus accident cases due to the statutes of limitations. Depending on who the liable party is and what legal action is being sought, the law provides a time limit to file suit. Failure to abide by these time limits can prevent a person from filing a claim for recovery.
California Law Related to Bus Accident Liability
Under the California Civil Code, public transportation entities as well as private entities who own an operate busses are classified as “common carriers”. More specifically, Section 2100 imposes a heightened standard of care for “common carriers” and states, “a carrier of persons for reward must use the utmost care and diligence for their safe carriage”. Relevant case law also provides that “such carriers are responsible for any, even the slightest, negligence and are required to do all that human care, vigilance, and foresight reasonably can do under all the circumstances.” Thus, even the slightest negligence in operating or maintaining a public transit bus can result in liability for injuries in bus accidents.
If you are a loved one has been a victim of a bus accident it is important that you contact one of our experienced bus accident attorneys right away. We can work with you to gather the relevant evidence necessary to pursue a timely claim and to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
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National School Bus Safety Week