broken down public bus with damage from accident to the front passenger side and door

Who is At-Fault in Bus Accidents?

Liability in Bus Accidents

When involved in any kind of accident that results in injury, insurance companies and law enforcement will need to determine fault to decide who will have to pay for any damages. If there is a bus involved, it may be more difficult to decide which party assumes liability.

While it's easy to place all fault on the bus driver, sometimes these accidents are not so simple and can involve other vehicles or circumstances outside of the driver's control. Along with this, liability may vary depending on which kind of bus was involved in the accident.

School Buses

It is estimated that over 26 million children in the United States ride a school bus each year, accounting for over 480,000 buses in use each day school is in session. At present, this remains to be the primary source of transportation for k-12 students across the country.

However, just because they are significantly used does not mean that parents don't still have concerns. Despite the overall design of a school bus made to be a safer mode of transportation, many continue to question the validity of not having seat belts present. Likewise, it wasn't until recently that the California Supreme Court recertified that background checks are required for these drivers.

This brings about the question of who in this instance would be held responsible should a child be injured in a school bus accident. Ultimately, there could be multiple parties at fault, including:

  • Driver
  • School district
  • Individual motorist, should the accident have been caused by another driver
  • Contracting agency, if the driver was hired through a third party

In some areas, the school district will automatically assume fault for any accident involving their bus drivers.

Tour Buses

Well-known for its use in filming the early 2000s tv show, The OC, and beautiful surf spots, Huntington Beach sees thousands of tour buses and groups each year. Likewise, with its proximity to Anaheim's notable tourist spots, the possibility of getting into a tour bus accident might increase in these densely populated areas.

Considering that several fatal and injury tour bus accidents have happened over the last five years in California, it's no surprise that many want to know who would be liable in this situation. Some of the parties that have received lawsuits in the past for a tour bus accident include:

  • Tour Company
  • Bus Company who is leasing to the tour
  • Driver
  • Another motor vehicle operator

There are also some instances where more than one person could be held responsible for any tour bus accident resulting in injury.

Public Transit

With its accessibility, low fuel consumption, and economic returns, public transportation has been a staple around the world for centuries. According to the American Public Transportation Association, it is even considered 10 times safer per mile than using a privately owned vehicle.

Even with the reduced risk of being involved in a public bus accident, there is still a possibility that it can happen. Huntington Beach has notably had several bus accidents over the years, resulting in injuries and thousands of dollars in damages.

Should you be injured in a public bus accident, there could be a few different parties that assume liability:

  • The specific transit agency
  • State government - requires a claim to be filed before a lawsuit under the California Tort Claims Act
  • Bus Driver
  • Individual motorists, if it is determined an accident was caused by another vehicle

Bus Accident? Call our California Personal Injury Attorneys

Lara Law Firm has been committed to protecting passengers from negligence for decades. As a respected member of the community, our attorney is known for his compassionate approach to each case and will work tirelessly to secure your rights.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident, call (626) 790-5758 or visit our website to schedule an appointment. Free consultations are available in English, Chinese, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

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