BUS ACCIDENT LAWYER
Buses are the ultimate Los Angeles carpool, with over 800,000 people riding the bus every weekday. Using buses conserves valuable resources and keeps additional vehicles off our already-overcrowded highways. It’s a fine system—until something goes wrong. With so much traffic on the Los Angeles roads and so many people in a hurry to get where they are going, accidents happen. People speed, dart in front of buses, text and do many other things that make the driving more hazardous for everyone. If you are involved in an accident with a bus, or if you were involved in a bus accident as a passenger, the effects can be devastating, or even deadly.
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WHY BUS ACCIDENTS ARE SO DANGEROUS
Buses tend to get into fewer accidents than automobiles, but when they do, the consequences are usually severe. Some factors that contribute to the increased danger are:
Buses are significantly larger and weigh considerably more than passenger cars. When cars collide with busses, cars absorb the lion’s share of the impact. That’s good news for bus riders, but bad news for car drivers and passengers.
When a bus is moving at speed, its greater weight increases its momentum. In a crash, this forward energy is transferred to whatever gets into its path. This momentum can cause serious injury or death to motorists, motorcycle and bicycle riders and pedestrians who get in the way.
Number of people involved
Car crashes usually involve only a few people, due to the capacity constraints of the vehicles. Bus accidents can involve twenty or more people. Buses absorb less of the impact in a collision with passenger cars but there are other factors that determine the severity of a bus crash, including:
The effects of the accident may be more serious for the bus driver and passengers depending on how fast all vehicles involved were driving.
What else is involved in the accident?
A bus colliding with a large truck or another bus, parked cars, buildings or other stationary objects may cause very serious injuries or loss of life to all involved.
Not wearing seatbelts
Passengers often increase their risk of injury in a bus accident by not complying with laws requiring them to buckle up. If not properly restrained during a rollover accident, passengers can be ejected from the vehicle or collide with the interior of the bus, resulting in serious injury, or even death.
Buses are better prepared for front impacts and have very little protecting passengers from collisions from the side.
Because of the size of buses and the number of people involved, injuries from bus accidents can be severe. Common injuries from bus accidents include:
- Broken and/or dislocated bones
Treatment may include splints, braces, plaster casts, traction or surgically implanted metal rods or plates.
Small cuts can heal themselves with the aid of bandages. Deep lacerations may require stitches to properly close the wounds.
First-degree burns, depending on their severity, may be treated at home with cool water and bandages. Second- and third-degree burns should be treated by a medical professional.
- Back injuries
Back injuries may include slipped or ruptured discs. Either of these conditions can be very painful, and may require surgery and/or pain management therapies or medications.
- Neck injuries
Treatment may include rest, ice, physical therapy, pain relievers, and wearing a cervical collar.
Treatment may include physical therapy, chiropractic care, prescription medication, or occasionally injections.
- Spinal cord trauma
Unfortunately, there are no ways currently known to reverse spinal cord injury. Doctors frequently treat spinal cord trauma with surgery, traction, steroid medications, or experimental treatment.
- Internal bleeding or trauma to internal organs
Treatment includes intravenous infusions of vitamin K, platelets, frozen plasma and blood. Doctors are currently experimenting with inducing clotting through medication.
Successful reattachment depends what body part was amputated, the condition of the amputated part, time between amputation and attempted reattachment, the general health of the individual.
- Concussion or Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Any brain injury is serious. With so much still unknown about the brain and how it functions, doctors follow a “do no harm” approach, treating obvious external issues and hoping that the brain will heal itself. Some surgical procedures that may be used to minimize secondary damage to brain tissue are:
- Blood clot removal
Bleeding inside or outside of the brain can result in blood clots that put pressure on the brain and cause tissue damage.
- Skull fracture repair
Surgeons may need to repair severe fractures in the skull or remove skull fragments from the brain.
- Surgery to stop bleeding in the brain
Bleeding in the brain that does not stop on its own may require surgery.
- Opening a window in the skull
If there is excess pressure in the skull, one method to relieve it is through opening a window in the skull to allow more room for swollen tissue.
- Blood clot removal
- Permanent disability
Many serious injuries are impossible to fully recover from. The effects of permanent injuries will be felt for the remainder of the victim’s life. If the permanent injury is severe enough, the victim may be permanently disabled.
- Wrongful Death
If a victim loses his or her life due to the fault of another person, the family of the victim may be eligible for compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Usually a bus crash has more than one cause. Several minor factors coming together at the same time can make a normally safe situation dangerous. Common factors that can contribute to bus accidents include:
- Driver fatigue
When bus or car drivers fail to get adequate rest before embarking on a trip, they put themselves and everyone else in danger. Recent studies show that driving tired can be even worse than driving while intoxicated, because unlike an intoxicated driver, drivers who fall asleep while behind the wheel cannot even attempt to take evasive action.
- Distracted driving
Although it is strictly prohibited, texting while driving is one of the main distractions that contributes to accidents. Most drivers don’t realize that if you read a text while driving at 55 mph, you will have taken your eyes off the road for approximately 5 seconds and traveled the length of a football field without looking up. Other distractions include using a navigation system, talking on the phone and eating while driving.
Increased glare, fog or reduced light can affect visibility. Rain can also make streets slippery, increasing the chances of drivers losing control of their vehicles.
- Blind spots, obstructions, or poorly designed roads
External factors, coupled with inattention or excessive speed, can be very hazardous.
- Mechanical failures
Whether caused by a failure to properly maintain the vehicle or simple bad luck, the driver may not be able to control the vehicle when essential functions are compromised.
- Violating the rules of the road
Speeding, failure to obey signs, and failure to yield the right of way can contribute to fault in a bus accident.
- Drunk or impaired driving
Whether on the part of the bus driver or another driver, drunk and impaired driving puts everyone on the road at risk.
- Left turns
Extra caution must always be taken when making a left turn. Combined with reduced visibility, speed or other factors, left turns can be treacherous.
While bus drivers typically follow the rules of the road, other drivers are often in a hurry. Car drivers pass busses at speed, jump in too close in front of busses and drive hazardously in a race to get ahead of the bus.
Public transportation buses are those most frequently involved in collisions in the United States, with thousands of drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and occupants of other vehicles injured or killed since 2002. Tour bus accidents are less common than public transportation bus accidents, but the results are deadly. Because tour buses frequently travel by highway at high speeds, accidents involving tour buses have a higher than usual rate of serious injury or death.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), school buses, in contrast, are one of the safest forms of transportation. Although about 134 people are killed each year in school bus-related accidents, the vast majority of them were drivers or passengers in other vehicles. 21% of the fatalities involved pedestrians, bicyclists and others outside of the bus, with only 8% of the fatalities occurring inside of the bus.
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a bus accident, it’s a good idea to consult a bus accident lawyer. Bus accidents have unique considerations that other accident types do not. An experienced bus injury lawyer will know how to build the strongest case for you so that you can get the compensation that you need to best recover from your injuries and/or provide for future expenses.
Call us today at (844) 444-2754 and get the benefit of our over 50 years of experience and 99% success rate. Pay nothing unless you win!