If you’ve been involved in an accident with a bus, attorney David Azizi, California’s experienced bus accident lawyer will provide a free review of your important injury case. Call 24/7 to get started at (800) 991-5292.
If you live in Long Beach, chances are you take the city’s transit bus system from time to time. Whether it’s Route 1 (Easy Avenue) or 46 (Anaheim Street), or taking the Aqualink to visit the major sea-linked attractions such as the Queen Mary, you expect the carrier to transport you safely to your destination.
Alternatively, you might be a pedestrian or motorist who interacts with Long Beach Transit as you traverse the city. In this case, you expect the bus driver and company to take steps to keep other drivers safe.
Get Justice With a Long Beach Bus Accident Lawyer
Long Beach bus crash lawyer David Azizi has been working with bus accident victims for 22 years and provides legal support that is considered unparalleled by such experts as Super Lawyers, a renowned legal ranking firm. He leaves no stone unturned in his determination to obtain the compensation you need.
Don’t let the medical bills pile up or the lost wages make you worry about paying for the rent or mortgage. If you were involved in a bus accident, call David Azizi at (800) 991-5292 for a free, no-obligation case review. You can also contact David online if that is more convenient. Our offices provide consultations over the phone, virtual webcam meetings or in-person. Clients pay nothing unless they win, something he has the necessary resources to do.
Long Beach Transit System
Long Beach Transit has been operating since 1963 providing service to Long Beach, Signal Hill and other communities in Los Angeles County. These include Cerritos, Lakewood, Norwalk and Seal Beach. Besides regular bus service, Long Beach Transit also has two dedicated water-taxi services, Aqualink and Aquabus. Aqualink, a 75-passenger water taxi, connects the downtown attractions in Long Beach, including the Aquarium of the Pacific. Aqualink has wheelchair boarding at some ports-of-call.
Other transit providers in the area include the Los Angeles Metro Line and the Santa Monica transit company.
Long Beach Bus Accidents Are Not Uncommon
There are a number of different bus transit services in the Los Angeles area, including LA Metro. None are strangers to traffic accidents. While a necessary way to transport a large segment of the populace, there are approximately 63,000 bus accidents nationwide every year. These result in 325 fatalities and about 14,000 injuries overall. The number of injuries may be higher, however, because many are not reported.
Types of Bus Accidents
Not all bus crashes are alike, and there are substantially different types of buses. David Azizi is experienced in handling the following bus type accidents, including those involving school buses, long-distance coaches, transit buses, shuttles and tourist buses.
Some of the more common types of accidents are:
- Pedestrian accidents: Compared to the size of a bus, a pedestrian is minuscule. This is why when a pedestrian is hit by a transit bus, the outcome is disastrous. It often results in dire injuries or death. In one case David handled, a pedestrian was hit by an LA Metro bus, which resulted in the amputation of their leg. The company fought the personal injury lawsuit, saying the injured party had run out in front of the bus. David was able to prove this was not the case and successfully procured the compensation the person deserved.
- Bicycle crashes: Again, a bicyclist lacks the protection they need when involved in a bus crash. In such cases, the cyclist stands to suffer serious injuries or death.
- Passenger vehicle accidents: Buses lack the maneuverability of smaller vehicles and have large blind spots. A bus driver needs to take stringent precautions to accommodate these flaws, otherwise, accidents will happen. When motor vehicle/bus accidents occur, the likelihood of serious injury to occupants of the passenger vehicle and bus riders is high.
- Solid objects: Sometimes, buses collide with fixed objects such as traffic lights, central medians and roadway debris among others. This leads to bus driver and passenger injury.
- Injuries when boarding the bus or exiting: Doors on buses are automated, and sometimes a passenger will suffer injury when an arm, hand or leg is caught by the door. In one case, a child’s hand was caught in the door, and her thumb was amputated. David took the case and won the damages the individual deserved.
- Tripping and falling: Such accidents occur as bus passengers move about inside and when they exit or enter the vehicle. All efforts should be made to prevent such accidents and their resultant injuries.
Passenger behavior: Many times, the behavior of certain passengers on the bus can distract the driver, resulting in a crash.
Behavior Leading to Bus Accidents
There are certain behaviors that lead to bus accidents:
- Negligent bus driver: There are different ways a bus driver can be responsible for a bus crash. These include a fatigued driver, driving while intoxicated, lack of training or experience and reckless driving.
- Speeding: Speeding is a major reason for bus accidents as it causes the driver to lose control and be unable to stop to avoid an accident.
- Lack of maintenance: It is important for the bus to receive proper maintenance. However, some companies try to save money by avoiding this responsibility. If this is found to be the cause of the accident, the company can be held responsible. This is one reason that legal investigators should be on the scene as soon as possible before evidence such as maintenance logs disappear.
- Defective bus parts: Sometimes, a defective bus par
- t is responsible for the accident. This can include a brake, tire or steering apparatus defect. When this occurs, the manufacturer of the part can be held responsible, and a product liability lawsuit can be filed.
- Road defects: Not all reasons for a bus accident are due to driver error. Sometimes, road defects such as potholes, craters, upheavals or lack of signage is responsible. When this happens, the government agency in charge of road maintenance can be held accountable.
Injuries in Bus Accidents
The following injuries are prevalent in bus accidents:
School Bus Accidents in Long Beach
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that approximately 117 individuals die due to school bus accidents each year. Slightly over half of the deaths were attributed to those in passenger vehicles. About a third were passengers on the school bus with the rest being pedestrians.
Seatbelts on School Buses
The use of seatbelts on school buses is the result of a long-standing argument. A recent law (California AB 1798) ordered that three-point seatbelts on all school buses made after 2005 that carry more than 16 passengers be required. All other buses made after 2004 also require seatbelts.
Who Is Responsible for Bus Accidents?
Since accidents cause serious injuries that lead to long term hospitalization and possible life-long disability, it is important to obtain sufficient damages. This requires the insight of an experienced bus accident lawyer who will make sure that the injured party does not sustain financial harm in addition to physical injury. Determining who is liable for the accident is an important step in achieving this.
Common Carrier Standards
Both bus drivers and companies are held to higher standards under common carrier laws. For example, the company must ensure that the bus drivers meet licensing requirements and have the necessary training to transport passengers safely.
The company, whether public or private, also must institute routine tests for alcohol use and check the driver’s background record before they are hired. Finally, the company and the driver must ensure that the vehicle has undergone maintenance checks and repairs.
If another driver is responsible for an accident with a bus, they can be held financially liable. In this case, the third-party driver must be proven to be negligent, and a lawsuit can be filed against them.
Time limit to File a Bus Accident Lawsuit
Most personal injury cases have a two-year time limit between when the accident occurred and the filing deadline. However, if a government agency is responsible for the negligence that led to injuries, the time limit changes.
Under California law, if the city or state is responsible, the injured party must file an administrative claim with the city/state within six months. After that, the agency has 45 days to respond. If the claim is denied, the claimant has six months to file a lawsuit. On the other hand, if the agency fails to respond, then the claimant has two years to file a lawsuit.
What to Do After a Bus Accident
When you are injured in a bus accident, there are several steps you can take to improve the outcome of your case:
- Stay at the accident site.
- Contact the police.
- Note the bus company, bus line and information about the driver such as his or her name.
- Obtain contact information from drivers and witnesses. Do not say you are sorry if anyone was injured. If you are a driver involved in the accident, this may be misconstrued as an admission of liability.
- Note any witness statements and video them if possible.
- Use your cell phone’s camera to capture all aspects of the crash site such as the vehicles, pavement marks and street signs.
- Seek medical care. This is important since many times symptoms are delayed, and you might not realize you are injured. Without medical documentation, the insurer may be able to argue that the accident was not serious.
- Report the accident to the DMV.
- Report the accident to your insurer. You do not have to give a recorded statement. If they insist, let your Long Beach bus accident attorney talk to them for you.
Free Case Review – Long Beach Bus Accident Law Firm
David Azizi has been helping clients obtain the compensation they deserve for 22 years. He uses his career experience, tenacity and legal acumen to successfully resolve their claim, winning 98 percent of his cases.
David knows that clients need him to keep them abreast of what is going on in their case. For this reason, he even supplies them with his cell phone number.