With nearly 40 years of experience and $1.9 billion in wins for clients, PARRIS bus accident lawyers have the skills, resources, and experience needed to get you the compensation you deserve after a bus accident.
Los Angeles Bus Accident Lawyers You Can Trust
When we pay a bus company to move passengers from one place to the next, we reasonably expect the driver to operate the vehicle safely. Sadly, this does not always happen.
A negligent bus driver is not just a danger to a bus’s passengers—pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers on the road are at risk when a bus driver fails to act safely. Bus crashes can leave victims with catastrophic injuries, which lead to expensive medical bills, months of lost work, and permanently altered relationships.
The road to recovery after a bus accident is not an easy one, but the team at PARRIS Law Firm can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Bus Accident Lawyers You Can Trust: PARRIS Law Firm
Since 1985, PARRIS Law Firm has established itself as one of California’s most prominent personal injury law firms, home to some of the country’s top trial lawyers.
An Unrivaled Track Record
The PARRIS Law Firm, located in northern Los Angeles county, specializes in all types of personal injury cases, including car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents. In our nearly four decades of operation, the PARRIS team has amassed over $1.9 billion in verdicts and settlements for clients.
Here are some of our clients’ stories.
One PARRIS client was a passenger in the carpool lane on the 5 freeway in California. Another car collided with her vehicle, rendering it inoperable. Though the car was clearly stopped in the carpool lane, a commercial bus drove straight into the vehicle, causing severe injuries to our client. The PARRIS team fought relentlessly for her, eventually obtaining a $4 million settlement on her behalf.
Two brothers were on their way to their annual fishing trip in Mammoth when a big rig driver drifted out of his lane, hitting the brothers head on. The accident permanently altered the brothers’ lives, leaving them with severe head and neck injuries. PARRIS attorneys fought for the men all the way to trial, where the jury awarded them a $56.5 million verdict.
Another PARRIS client was rear-ended by a big rig in Chatsworth, CA, which caused his vehicle to roll three times. His injuries were catastrophic. Though the defense made an initial settlement offer, the PARRIS team knew that our client deserved more. A jury later awarded him $7.4 million, which the defense paid in full.
When choosing an bus accident lawyer, results matter. Choose a law firm that won’t stop until they’ve secured the best possible result for your case.
Compassionate Client Care
The period following a bus accident is extremely challenging. We understand that recovery is your top priority, and at PARRIS, our bus accident lawyers make sure the road to that recovery is smooth.
Your team is always available to answer any questions you might have. As your investigator, case manager, and attorney work to secure your result, your client care coordinator contacts you at every new development in your case. We never leave you in the dark.
We’ve also developed a pricing model that best serves clients. At the PARRIS Law Firm, we work entirely on contingency, meaning that we do not get paid unless we win the case. The cost of the legal care you need never comes out of your own pocket.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2019, 5,005 large trucks and 232 buses were involved in fatal crashes nationwide, while about 119,000 truck accidents and 8,000 bus accidents caused serious injury.
Of all the fatal bus accidents in 2019, 84 involved school buses, 15 involved intercity buses, and 78 involved transit buses. Fortunately, all three of these stats were among the lowest numbers recorded since national statistics on fatal truck and bus accidents were first tracked in 1975.
Despite increasing bus safety regulations and a decrease in fatal accidents across the country, the number of bus crashes per year has generally increased over time. A negligent bus driver poses a great risk to pedestrians, cyclists, and occupants of other vehicles when they act carelessly.
What Causes Bus Accidents in Los Angeles County?
Bus accidents in Los Angeles have several common causes, including poor training, fatigued, drunk, or distracted drivers, irresponsible drivers surrounding the bus, poor maintenance, and road and weather conditions. Let’s dive into each of these below:
Poor training: A poorly trained bus operator is a danger to everyone on the road. Buses have large blind spots and make wide turns. They are often quite loud, especially when the bus’s passengers are schoolchildren. A careful bus operator must know where to check for cars and pedestrians, stop at every railroad crossing, and inform passengers of appropriate safety and emergency procedures. If a bus driver is poorly trained, their actions may cause an accident with another vehicle or person on the road.
Driver fatigue: Some bus drivers work long hours, especially on charter buses that travel on long trips. A drowsy driver’s attention may be impaired, leading to a higher likelihood of a collision or rollover accident.
Drunk or distracted driver: If a driver is intoxicated or distracted by their cell phone, they will not possess the reaction time needed to transport their passengers safely.
Other drivers: Motorists in other cars can also act irresponsibly. Failing to yield to a bus is usually disastrous for the other vehicle’s occupant, but their recklessness could spiral into a much larger, deadlier accident for those on the bus.
Poor bus maintenance: A tire blowout, brake failure, or issues with the ignition could cause a bus to suddenly stop, causing a terrible accident.
Road and weather conditions: Inclement weather, such as snow or rain, can cause buses to slide when approaching a curb for pickup. Additionally, road conditions such as potholes can lead to blown tires, which could cause a bus to crash.
California Bus Accident Laws
What is a “Common Carrier” under California law?
Public and private bus transportation providers are considered common carriers under California law.
Are created to transport passengers or goods from one place to another.
Are open to the public.
Charge a fee to transport their goods.
Because bus transport is a paid service, bus drivers are held to a higher standard of care than individual motorists. Bus transportation providers are expected to provide:
Safe passage for bus riders to enter and exit the bus,
Safe transport of bus passengers,
Protection of bus riders against harm, including harm from other passengers,
Proper screening and training of its employees, and
Maintenance of the buses for safety.
Bus companies that fail to protect their passengers in this manner can be held liable for the damages to passengers caused by their negligence. Hiring a bus accident lawyer can help victims hold negligent transportation companies accountable.
Are Seatbelts Required on Buses in California?
Since 2018, California law requires that all new commercial buses be equipped with seatbelts. California Senate Bill 20 (passed in 2017) requires all passengers over the age of 8 on a commercial bus to wear a seatbelt. Failing to do so is punishable by a $20 ticket.
For all buses that have seatbelts, bus companies are required to keep the seatbelts in good working order, and bus drivers are required to tell passengers before each trip that they are required to use their seatbelts.
PARRIS Law Firm applauds these statutes, as wearing a seatbelt in any motor vehicle is crucial for minimizing the likelihood of injury or death in an accident.
Who Is Liable in a Bus Accident Lawsuit?
Bus accident lawsuits can be very complex. This is because buses are often owned by large corporations, transportation authorities, or governments. In some cases, private parties rent buses for specific events, such as tourism or school trips.
When a bus driver or company causes an accident, a host of entities may be responsible for compensating victims for their injuries. These parties may include:
The bus driver
The company that employs the bus driver
The company that owns or leases the bus
The company responsible for maintaining the bus
The government responsible for maintaining the roads where the accident occurred
Because powerful corporations or governments often back bus drivers, there may be an experienced legal team on the other side working against you to limit your recovery.
This is precisely why it’s so important to have an equally experienced, relentless bus accident lawyer on your side to fight for the compensation you’re owed.
At PARRIS Law Firm, our Los Angeles bus accident lawyers regularly square off against powerful insurance companies and government agencies and secure exceptional results for our clients.
What are my recovery options with a Los Angeles bus accident lawyer?
California law permits victims with personal injuries to collect compensation from the at-fault party if they acted with negligence. A bus driver could be considered negligent if they fail to uphold their duty to passengers (i.e., the duty to drive safely), which causes physical injury to passengers.
If you’re injured in a bus accident lawsuit that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to financial compensation for claims related to:
Impairment of earning capacity
Pain and suffering
Loss of consortium (the loss of companionship from an injured spouse)
When you hire PARRIS Law Firm, your legal team works tirelessly to ensure you receive the maximum recovery possible for your case.
How long do I have to file a bus accident lawsuit in Los Angeles?
California law requires that any lawsuit dealing with a bus or school bus accident be filed within a certain time period known as the statute of limitations.
For most bus accidents, the statute of limitations is two years after the date of the accident. However, if the bus is owned by a public entity (i.e., a school, local government, or transportation authority), the statute of limitations may be reduced to 6 months from the date of the accident.
You must contact PARRIS Law Firm as soon as possible after your accident. The sooner you speak to a bus accident lawyer, the quicker we can begin to work towards the recovery you deserve.
Do I really need a Los Angeles bus accident lawyer?
If you were involved in a bus accident in Los Angeles County, chances are that an insurance company representing the bus company or the at-fault driver has offered you an initial settlement.
We understand that it might be tempting to accept this offer. After all, it may seem easier to put the whole ordeal behind you. But oftentimes, this initial settlement offer is insufficient to cover all of your damages.
It’s important to remember that insurance companies have one priority in mind: settling cases for as little money as possible. They may not be working in your favor.
A bus accident lawyer, on the other hand, fights on your side. Your attorney will investigate your crash and ensure justice is served.