Bus Accident Lawyer in Oxnard
Because of the sheer weight of a bus, bus accidents often involve serious injuries to passengers, other motorists, and pedestrians. Forms of mass transportation are often referred to as common carriers, and they include buses, trains, and airlines. This can also include school buses. Buses are usually run by a government agency, such as the city, county, or state, and bus accident law in Oxnard is defined by the California traffic code.
Bus Accident Facts
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Large “Truck and Bus Crash Facts” report, there were 4,116 fatal crashes involving a large truck or bus in 2016. That number rose to 4,455 in 2017. What is also increasing is the number of registered large trucks and buses, from 12,474,722 in 2016 to 13,212,447 in 2017. That’s quite an increase, especially when looking back almost a decade prior to 2006 when there were only 9,640,966 registered vehicles of this sort. Unfortunately, with more people on the roads, the more open they are to being involved in an accident.
With little personal protection, a pedestrian or cyclist can easily be killed in an accident involving a bus. There have been numerous news reports over the last few years about bikers and pedestrians getting struck by buses.
It’s important to remember to always stick to the bike path or sidewalk and to be careful when entering the street or designated bus lanes. If you’ve been hit by a bus, then you will want to speak with a bus accident lawyer about your specific case.
Who Is At Fault
Determining who is at fault first begins with what type of bus was involved in the accident. If the accident involved a school bus and it was discovered that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash, for example, then either the school or the company contracted to transport the students will be held liable. Due to California’s “respondeat superior” laws, an employer is liable for damages caused by one of their employees while on the job. So if the driver was found to be impaired by a medication or from consuming an illegal substance, then their employer is still liable for their negligence. They may face other criminal charges that could prevent them from driving students or public transportation.
According to California law, bus drivers must adhere to strict limits for how long they can drive. This law is intended to prevent drivers from becoming drowsy. It is a misdemeanor for a bus driver to work more than 10 hours per day according to Vehicle Code 21702.
If the crash was due to a faulty part or because of bad maintenance, then the fault will be determined by resolving what exactly contributed to the crash. These are often debated in court, and can take years to resolve. But in less complex situations, the fault will lie with the parts manufacturer or the bus manufacturer.
Injured While At a Bus Stop
If you were injured by a negligent driver who was speeding or not paying attention to the road, then they are liable. If the bus stop is in a precarious location, then there may have been other accidents there, and your attorney can show in court that the government agency in charge of the bus stop was negligent in making a safe space for people in the public to sit and wait for the bus.
Why Hire An Attorney?
A bus accident lawyer in Oxnard has the resources to call in expert witnesses on your behalf. Doctors, police trainers, and other professionals can reconstruct the scene of the accident, explain the causes of injuries from a medical perspective, and can elaborate on the forces that affected impact.
A personal injury attorney in Oxnard also has the power to get important documents that are related to your case. These can include everything from a record of the driver’s logged hours to bus and part repair records, depending on which is relevant to your case. They can also review the hiring practices of the company that hired the negligent driver, in cases where this is necessary, to see if a company is liable for negligent hiring. They have the resources and experience to fight the insurance companies to help you get reimbursed for your medical bills, lost wages, and more.
Additionally, an experienced attorney will be aware of changes in the laws that can affect your case. For example, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law that pushes back school start times. The law is intended to make the roads safer for students on buses, teen drivers, and other motorists during busy times of the morning and afternoon. Other legislation may have an impact on your case.