Articles Posted in Bus Accidents

annie-spratt-256172-unsplash-copy-300x200With over 4,000 large truck and bus accidents resulting in fatalities in the United States in 2016, it is clear that accidents can happen even on vehicles we typically deem to be safe. Whether you are traveling on a local bus, like a Muni bus, or a long haul bus, like a Greyhound, it is not always possible to avoid accidents and injuries. If you have been injured in a bus accident, make sure you know who is responsible and what your remedies are. Call an experienced personal injury attorney in your area to talk through your case and learn about your options moving forward.

Types of Buses in California

For most San Francisco natives, Muni and Greyhound are the two main types of buses used to get around. However, there are a variety of buses in the Bay Area that cater to other audiences, like tourists. Tour buses and school buses are just as prone to accidents as Muni or Greyhound buses and can be held liable in case of an accident that results in injury to its passengers.

orlando-leon-390504-copy-200x300What is a Common Carrier?

In California, a common carrier is a transportation company that transports people, goods, or property around the state. A transportation company that wants to be labeled a common carrier must meet the following requirements:

  • The reason the transportation company was established was to transport people or goods from one place to another

daniel-monteiro-413416-copy-199x300In early February, an Alameda-Contra Costa (AC) Transit bus collided with a vehicle before striking a home in Berkeley. The bus, traveling west on Ashby Avenue, struck a red sedan driving south on California street. Both vehicles then careened into another parked vehicle and nearby home. The driver of the red sedan was killed in the crash. The bus driver and one passenger on the bus were not harmed. It is unclear what caused the accident and the Berkeley Police are investigating.

Why Bus Accidents Happen

Bus accidents are like any other type of car crash; they occur for many of the same reasons. One of the most common causes is bus driver error. Despite specific training, a bus driver can be careless or reckless behind the wheel, leading them to make dangerous mistakes. They could speed, tailgate, change lanes inappropriate, and make other reckless maneuvers. Drivers could be distracted by passengers on the bus, their cell phones, or a host of other things. Worse yet, a driver could work while impaired due to drugs or alcohol.

stephane-milot-135111-copy-300x169In late September, two Alameda-Contra Costa (AC) Transit buses collided near Howard and Fremont streets in San Francisco just before 9:30 in the morning. AC Transit officials stated that both buses exited I-80, heading north on Fremont. The buses were supposed to turn right onto Folsom. The first made the turn, and the second bus appears to have lost control before doing the same. The second bus collided with multiple vehicles before driving onto a sidewalk and stopping once it collided with the scaffolding of a building. Initial reports from passengers and pedestrians who stopped to help state that the driver appeared to have lost consciousness just before the incident. Four individuals, including at least one of the drivers, were injured and taken to nearby hospitals. It also appears that a fifth person was injured and took themselves to the emergency room.

It is likely these individuals will need to file insurance claims or lawsuits to recover compensation for their injuries. If you have been hurt in a bus or public transportation accident, do not hesitate to seek legal advice regarding your rights and legal options. At Brod Law Firm, we are ready to help you recover the compensation you deserve under the law and need to move forward with life.

Bus Accident Statistics

filippo-ascione-161021-copy-300x200Following a deadly charter bus accident in August 2016, Merced County district attorneys have brought multiple charges against the driver, Mario David Vasquez. A law enforcement investigation uncovered Vasquez was overly tired, talking on his cell phone, and violating multiple commercial regulations at the time of the crash, which led to four fatalities. Due to the evidence of Vasquez’s negligent actions while behind the wheel, he has been charged with four counts of vehicular manslaughter and five misdemeanor traffic violations.

While Vasquez faces criminal charges, he and his employer, Auto Buses Coordinados USA, could also face civil wrongful death suits based on his actions. If the families of those lost in the charter bus crash can prove the driver’s negligence, they may be able to obtain compensation for their losses.

California’s Wrongful Death Law

yo3whnbzxsc-joel-peel-300x200On February 7, a school bus carrying students crashed into another vehicle in Lancaster, California. The bus rolled over and hit a utility pole near East Lancaster Boulevard and 20th Street East. The accident occurred around 7:15 a.m. while the bus was carrying eight students with special needs and two of their aids. Seven students suffered minor injuries and one suffered critical injuries. The driver of the other vehicle, a Cadillac, was also taken to a local hospital with serious injuries. The crash is currently under investigation though an initial statement from the bus driver alleged that the Cadillac ran a red light.

This accident is one example of the type of collision a school bus can be involved in. While school bus accidents are generally rare, they are not unheard of and can result in serious injuries and fatalities. While the students in Lancaster had seat belts and were wearing them, many students do not have safety belts in their buses or choose not to wear them. This is one of the reasons students may be seriously injured in a school bus crash. If you or a your child was hurt while riding the school bus, contact a San Francisco school bus accident lawyer from Brod Law Firm to learn about your legal objects.

School Bus Accidents

102abqkkhby-rezaul-karim-200x300A vehicle crashed into a Muni bus stand, injuring 10 people, several of them critically. The accident occurred on Stockton Street in Chinatown. The crash is under investigation. According to reports, the crash happened when a driver lost control of her vehicle. First, the car hit a parked vehicle and a moving car before careening into the bus stop enclosure. The crash happened on December 22, 2016.

Injuries Due to the Crash

Many people suffered serious injuries as a result of the accident. Reportedly, injuries included broken bones, head and neck injuries, and back injuries. An elderly woman suffered fractures to her pelvis, ribs, and leg. Most victims are expected to make a full recovery, but several were initially listed in critical condition with life-threatening injuries.

p_pnznnd7-y-ashim-d-silva-300x200A Google charter bus traveling in Saratoga struck and killed a woman last week. The woman was walking to a bus stop when the bus reportedly turned the corner and hit her. The accident occurred at the corner of Fruitvale Avenue and Athletics Way on the campus of West Valley College in Saratoga. The bus is owned by Storer Coachways and is used to transport employees to and from the parking lots at the community college.

Weather Conditions May Have Played a Role

An investigation into the cause of the accident is ongoing. However, initial reports indicate that there were strong winds and heavy rain at the time of the accident, which happened at 5:15 PM on January 3, 2017. The woman was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead. The bus company issues a statement of condolence to the woman’s family. It is not known whether the woman was in the crosswalk at the time of the accident.

800px-NS_-_School_busSchool bus accidents are among the most devastating, especially when young children are injured. Recent school bus accidents in the news highlight the importance of school bus riders and drivers taking proper safety precautions. Recently, a school bus in Tennessee careened off the road, flipping before hitting a tree, killing six children and injuring many more. Another bus carrying cheerleaders was involved in a highway accident with an 18-wheeler. These accidents caused serious injuries, and likely could have been prevented.

Seat Belts on School Buses

Most school buses are not equipped with seat belts. There is some disagreement as to whether seat belts help or hurt in school bus accidents. Seat belts can certainly prevent kids from flying out of their seats if the bus flips, or comes to a sudden stop. However, some people think that it may be more difficult to get children out of the vehicle should it be involved in a serious problem, such as a fire. The school bus involved in the Tennessee accident was not equipped with seat belts.

Tour_bus_in_ThailandNo two car crashes or highway collisions are the same, and no matter how many victims you help recover compensation through the civil courts, you can never be truly prepared for the carnage and tragedy of a crash like the one that happened this week on Interstate 10. There, a tour bus returning from a casino slammed into the back of a slow-moving tractor-trailer truck. The truck was believed to have been traveling at five miles per hour because of utility work that was going on; the bus is believed to have been traveling over 60 miles per hour when it struck the trailer. The crash killed 13 individuals and injured another 31, making it one of the deadliest car crashes in state history.

“No Evidence the Driver Applied the Brakes”

According to a Fox News report, the California Highway Patrol concluded that there was no evidence the driver of the tour bus applied the brakes to the bus before striking the tractor-trailer. In order to make this conclusion in this or any other car crash case, investigators usually look at two pieces of evidence: