California Bus Accident Lawyers
If you have been involved in an accident involving a bus in California, or elsewhere, you must contact lawyers with experience handling these cases.
Accidents involving buses are unique. Products defects issues, improper maintenance issues, and issues involving driver negligence, must oftentimes be analyzed in each case. Obtaining the justice you deserve requires a thorough analysis by qualified California bus accident lawyers.
If you are a passenger in a bus, and are injured as a result of an accident, special rules apply. For example, in California, a bus, (which is a common carrier), must use the highest care for its passengers safety, while the passengers need only use reasonable care for their safety. The degree of care which a bus must therefore utilize is higher than that duty owed through a negligence analysis. In other words, while automobile operators need only utilize “reasonable care”, the operator of a common carrier must use the “highest care” toward its passengers.
Common carriers must carry passengers or property safely. Common carriers must use the highest care and the vigilance of a very cautious person. They must do all that human care, vigilance and foresight reasonably can do under the circumstances to avoid harm to passengers or property. While a common carrier does not guarantee the safety of its passengers or property that it transports, it must use reasonable skill to provide everything necessary for safe transportation, in view of the transportation used and the practical operation of the business.
Where minor children are injured as passengers on a bus, special rules apply as well. In California, if a common carrier voluntarily accepts a child as a passenger, it must use as much additional care as is reasonably necessary to ensure the child’s safety. What this means is there is a further heightening of the care owed by the bus company above that involved for adults.
Where ill or disabled persons are injured as passengers on a bus, special rules will likely apply as well. In California, if a common carrier voluntarily accepts an ill or disabled person as a passenger, and is aware of that person’s condition, then it must use as much additional care as is reasonably necessary to ensure the passenger safety. Again, this is a further heightening of the care owed by the bus company above that involved for the non-disabled or healthy individual.
Common carriers must use the highest care in constructing, servicing, inspecting, and maintaining their vehicles and equipment for transporting passengers or property. Bus companies must follow this principle. For example, a common carrier is responsible for a defect in its vehicles and equipment used for transporting passengers or property if the carrier either (a) created the defect; or (b) knew of the defect; or (c) would have known of the defect if it had used the highest care. Moreover, common carriers must keep up with modern improvements in transportation. While they are not required to seek out and use every new invention, they must adopt commonly accepted safety designs and devices into vehicles and equipment they use for transporting passengers or property.
As indicated, it is generally undisputed that most bus companies for hire for the transportation of passengers are common carriers. Where a bus carrier maintains a regular place of business for the purpose of transporting passengers or property, and where the carrier advertises its services to the general public, and charges standard fees for its services, a common carrier may be found. In fact, I carrier can be a common carrier even if it does not have a regular schedule of departures, a fixed route, or a transportation license.
Accordingly, it is absolutely imperative that you contact qualified California bus accident lawyers if you have been involved in a bus accident as a passenger, pedestrian, or operator of other vehicle. Oftentimes, bus companies vigorously defend actions brought against them. This results due to the catastrophic nature of the injuries that usually result when a bus is involved in an accident.
Contact our San Francisco office today to discuss your case with our experienced bus accident lawyers. We look forward to putting our expertise to work on your case.