San Diego Bus Accident Lawyer Explains What to Do After a Bus Crash
The law defines buses and any other business or individual who offers to transport people for a fee as “common carriers”. Attorney Frederick M. Dudek understands that common carrier negligence is a serious issue. Passengers on trolleys, taxis, school buses and city buses expect these vehicles to transport them safely to their destinations. However, when something goes wrong and those riding the bus get hurt, it is difficult to determine who or what exactly is at fault for the accident. Many times, the bus company, driver or part manufacturer could all possibly be responsible for the bus crash.
Frederick has assisted hundreds of victims with personal injury cases throughout California and numerous courts located across the United States. This includes the United States Supreme Court. He has witnessed how companies will often try to settle with injured passengers to avoid going to court. After an accident with a common carrier, seek the opinion of an experienced lawyer before accepting this settlement. This makes sure you are getting the full recovery amount to which you are entitled.
What to Do Following a Bus Accident
After a bus accident, the first step is to seek medical attention immediately. Your initial symptoms may not appear serious. However, some conditions do not fully show themselves until long after the accident. Typical injuries with symptoms that may not appear until days or weeks later include traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury.
Next, document the details of the bus accident. If possible, take note of the following after the accident:
- The bus driver’s name, badge number and a short description of the driver
- The bus route number, location, date and time of the accident
- Any witnesses who can testify about the accident
- Any other information you consider important
If your injuries required urgent care, or if you are reading this advice after an accident or on behalf of a family member, then schedule a free consultation with our attorney. He can help you piece together the information needed to determine if seeking legal remedies is then in your best interest.
What is Duty of Care?
Both state and federal laws hold common carriers to a strict legal obligation known as “duty of care”. This means they must maintain the highest standards of safety to ensure safe rides for all passengers.
Common carriers must act with the necessary diligence needed to provide safe transportation to the public. This means that bus companies and buses must:
- Undergo frequent maintenance, inspections and service
- Employ trained and competent drivers
If passengers on common carrier vehicles suffer injuries due to a defect in a vehicle caused by lack of service, or if the company knew about a defect or should have known, then the common carrier may be liable for passenger injuries. Beyond vehicle failures, common carriers may assume responsibility for the actions of their drivers. If the driver received inadequate training, used excessive speeds or was fatigued at the time of the accident, then passengers may have the right to hold the carrier liable for their damages.
The Differences Between Common and Private Carriers
What distinguishes common carriers from private carriers is that they do not offer service to the public. They can also refuse to offer their services without reason. Examples of private carriers include some trucking companies and cargo ships.
The law holds private carriers to a standard of “reasonable care”. Reasonable care typically refers to the amount of care that an ordinary person would exercise in similar circumstances.
Although the law holds public and private carriers to different standards, buses of all kinds may operate negligently and cause accidents. Failing to meet the necessary duty of care means that an individual or company failed to use the proper amount of caution. Consequently, you may be entitled to hold them liable in the court of law following a serious accident.
Call an Attorney for San Diego Bus Injuries
Do not let the bus companies decide the appropriate compensation for injuries sustained by you, your child or one of your family members. It may be in your best interest not to accept the settlement offered by the carrier company without legal counsel. Thus, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine a fair amount of compensation for injuries. He will take into account your current and future medical bills, any income you lost by not being able to work and other significant damages.
Frederick has the experience needed to go up against companies of all sizes on behalf of his clients. If you were in a bus accident, then he can give your case the personal attention it requires. He will utilize his legal knowledge to hold the negligent parties accountable in a bus accident lawsuit. Please call him today at (858) 530-4800 for a free, no obligation consultation.