Californians have long relied on robust public transportation systems, with buses in particular serving as a popular and more affordable alternative to driving. With so many people in the state relying on buses every day, it may come as no surprise that California is often at the top of the list when it comes to states with the most bus accidents each year. According to the most recent data, there are approximately 150 fatal bus accidents per year in California, which is among the most in the nation.
If you sustained serious injuries in a bus accident, you may be wondering what you should do. Do you need to go to the doctor to get evaluated? What if you are forced to miss work and face steep medical bills? Do you need a lawyer for your case? What kind of lawyer handles bus crashes?
These are all important questions and the bus accident attorneys at Wisner Baum are here to help you. In this blog, we answer these and other common questions for those harmed in a bus crash. If you still have questions or would like to talk to one of our experienced attorneys about your case, you can always give us a call at (855) 948-5098.
Information for California Bus Accident Victims
- The First Thing You Should Do After a Bus Accident
- Bus Accident Injuries
- Do I Need a Bus Accident Lawyer for My Case?
- How Much is My Bus Accident Lawsuit Worth?
- Is There a Time Limit for a Bus Accident Lawsuit?
- How to Find a Bus Accident Attorney Near Me
The First Thing You Should Do After a Bus Accident
In the immediate aftermath of a bus crash, you need to get to safety and call 911. The next thing you need to do is seek medical attention if you are hurt. Even if your injuries seem minor after a bus crash, you may be in shock and not experiencing the extent of the harm. We strongly encourage bus crash victims to get looked at just to make sure they are ok.
After you are safe and have been evaluated, we recommend taking the following courses of action:
Document the accident scene:
- Use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene from multiple angles.
- Capture vehicle positions, road conditions, and damages.
- Note weather conditions and any other relevant details.
- Request a copy of the police report if law enforcement is present.
- Obtain insurance information from all parties involved.
- Collect names, contact details, and addresses of those involved in the accident.
- If it's a car or bus crash, note the vehicle make, model, and license plate numbers.
- Speak to other individuals involved and gather their version of events.
- Obtain contact information from potential witnesses.
- If possible, take note of any surveillance cameras in the vicinity.
Bus Accident Injuries
Catastrophic bus accidents may cause severe injuries and fatalities due to the absence of safety features like seat belts and airbags. Passengers may be thrown on the bus floor or ejected through windows during a collision. Common injuries in bus crashes include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury:
- Lack of seat belts can lead to catastrophic harm, causing passengers to hit their heads on metal bars, seats, windows, or the floor.
- Spinal Cord Injury:
- Intense impact may damage the spinal cord, resulting in muscle weakness, tingling, numbness, and paralysis, often requiring extensive therapy.
- Fractures/Broken Bones:
- The force of a bus crash can fracture bones, leaving victims with disfiguring scars.
- Burn Injuries:
- Explosions and fires in bus crashes can cause severe burns, necessitating skin graft surgery and reconstructive procedures.
- Lacerations and Cuts:
- Shattered glass in bus crashes can cause deep cuts and lacerations requiring stitches and bandaging.
- Internal Organ Damage:
- Forceful impacts in bus crashes may lead to life-threatening damage to internal organs in the chest, head, neck, or abdomen.
- Rollover accidents, exacerbated by the lack of seat belts, can result in severed extremities or crushed limbs, potentially leading to amputation.
- Internal Injuries:
- Bus crashes can cause internal injuries to soft tissues, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints.
Do I Need a Bus Accident Lawyer for My Case?
If you sustained serious injuries in a bus accident, you should seek legal counsel from an experienced attorney. Most bus accident law firms provide complimentary consultations, allowing you to inquire about your case and understand potential compensation in a settlement.
If you have been involved in any of the following scenarios, you should speak with a bus accident attorney as soon as you are able:
- A bus crash resulting in serious injuries or fatalities.
- Injuries leading to a significant work absence.
- Inadequate insurance settlement offers to cover expenses.
- Involvement of multiple parties in the accident.
- Negligence or recklessness of the bus driver.
- Involvement of an uninsured driver.
- Involvement of a commercial truck in the accident.
How Much is My Bus Accident Lawsuit Worth?
Determining the value of a bus accident injury compensation claim is not a straightforward process; numerous factors come into play when calculating a potential settlement for bus crash cases. Since each bus accident is unique, it is impossible to assign a specific value to your case.
That said, certain factors have a significant influence on bus accident settlement calculations, including the following:
Bus accidents can result in severe injuries, and the severity of these injuries is a crucial factor in determining the potential settlement. For instance, passengers with minor flesh wounds may receive less compensation compared to those paralyzed due to the crash. Some common injuries in bus accidents include traumatic brain injury, internal organ damage, spinal cord damage, internal bleeding, severe burns, fractures, facial injuries, crushing injuries, wrongful death, and loss of limbs.
Current and Future Medical Bills
The type and severity of the injury can lead to substantial medical expenses after an accident. For example, treating high tetraplegia, a severe spinal injury, may cost around $1.1 million in the first year and $200,000 annually thereafter. Therefore, when filing a personal injury claim, your lawyer should consider all past, present, and future medical bills, including hospital fees, medications, surgery costs, pain management treatment, ambulance fees, assisted living expenses, and follow-up care.
If you missed work hours during your recovery period, you may be entitled to compensation. Additionally, if you are unable to return to your job, you may receive compensation for transitioning to a lower-paying job or a new career.
If your vehicle was damaged in the accident, you may receive compensation for repairing or replacing it. The insurance company will assess the damage and determine if repair or replacement is the best option. Additionally, you may also be compensated for damaged items such as prescription glasses and your phone.
Pain and Emotional Distress
A bus accident can cause emotional trauma that continues well after the event. If you are experiencing significant mental distress months after the accident, you may file a claim to recover damages for pain and emotional distress in your bus accident settlement.
Remember, the list above is not exhaustive. Each bus accident case is unique. Talking with an experienced accident injury lawyer can help you determine your claims for damages and assist in calculating a fair settlement.
Is There a Time Limit for a Bus Accident Lawsuit?
Time is of the essence when it comes to bus accident lawsuits. In California, there is a two-year statute of limitations from the date of the incident. This means you have a limited timeframe to take legal action. Protect your rights and consult with our experienced attorneys at Wisner Baum as soon as you are able.
How to Find a Bus Accident Attorney Near Me
If you have been harmed in a bus accident, you may want to begin your search for a lawyer within your city or county. While this is not a bad instinct, we believe that experience and track record matter more than where a lawyer’s office is located.
The first thing you should look at when researching local lawyers is their case experience. Do they have significant verdicts and settlements in bus accident litigation? How long have they been practicing this area of the law?
Remember, bus accident cases can be complex with multiple defendants and causes of action. Hiring a lawyer with experience in bus crash cases will help ensure that you receive full and fair compensation for the harm you suffered.
Another important point of reference when researching attorneys is client reviews. Does the law firm have a lot of positive reviews? If so, that should give you the confidence to pick up the phone and talk with an attorney.
At Wisner Baum, we have satellite offices throughout California to give our clients the benefits of a local bus accident law firm combined with the resources of a nationwide firm. Our lawyers have been fighting for bus crash victims throughout California and across the nation for decades.
California Bus Accident Lawyers Representing Clients Nationwide
The bus accident attorneys at Wisner Baum can help in the following ways:
- We level the playing field: As an accident victim, the deck can feel stacked against you when figuring out how to pay for medical bills, your mortgage, and other expenses after a bus crash. Hiring a local personal injury lawyer with a nationwide presence will level the playing field and give your case a chance at the best possible outcome. With local California offices in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Sacramento, San Diego, Ontario, and Bakersfield, we are a trial-ready, solutions-oriented law firm dedicated to winning full and fair compensation on your behalf.
- We are highly knowledgeable about these cases: We know the ins and outs of personal injury law, from how insurance companies and large corporations defend these cases to both general and complex case law.
- We have a track record of success: We have a proven track record in recovering hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars, for our clients through personal injury lawsuits. Whether it be through a settlement or verdict, we’ll fight to maximize your compensation.
- We dig deep to find answers: Bus accident victims need and deserve to know exactly what happened to them. Our attorneys always work tirelessly to uncover the truth. In fact, we are known for finding “smoking gun” internal documents and exposing corporate malfeasance.
Wisner Baum's bus accident attorneys, have a remarkable track record, recovering billions for victims. We uncover the truth, exposing corporate malfeasance to ensure you get the justice you deserve.
If you have been injured, you need an attorney you can trust to go the extra mile and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.
Wisner Baum Bus Accident Case Results
- In 2017, Wisner Baum reached a settlement of nearly $10 million with Orange Unified School District (OUSD) in California on behalf of families of children who sustained serious injuries when an OUSD school bus left the roadway and crashed.
- $1.8 million wrongful death settlement for a tour bus passenger
- $1.9 million settlement for a tourist killed in a foreign bus crash
Our California bus crash lawyers prepare every case as if it is going to trial. While most bus accident lawsuits culminate in settlement agreements, our preparedness helps ensure you receive full and fair compensation. But don’t take our word for it; see what past clients have to say about us.