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In 2019 there have been multiple bus crashes as well as crashes involving travel vans throughout Southern California. When a bus accident occurs and injury victims seek justice and compensation, the legal process for them can be extremely complex. Attorneys with experience in these cases can significantly reduce the anxiety of victims and their families. A main source of anxiety for those victims in need of compensation may be the defendants and the massive resources they often allocate to fighting such lawsuits.
Large insurers may have a vested interest in fighting these cases. They may offer a settlement to keep from going to trial but, often, the settlements, if they are offered at all, will fall short of fair. Attorneys with resources and experience in such cases are crucial because the bus manufacturer, bus component manufacturers, maintenance companies, the bus operating company and a municipal, county, state or the federal government may all have some liability after a bus accident. Some or all of them will have insurers that want to settle for as little as possible or fight the case in court. Some of these entities have millions of dollars to dedicate to legal defense. Attorneys for the plaintiffs must have the strength to stand up against them.
In addition to having multiple responsible parties, bus accidents may also involve multiple injuries, wrongful deaths and damage to property and to other vehicles on the road. Bus crashes are rarely minor and victims often need long-term medical attention. To obtain a fair settlement or judgment, performing a thorough independent investigation may be necessary and collecting mountains of evidence may also be required. If a governmental agency operated the bus, the bureaucracy can become even more challenging. But even if the bus was operated by a private company, a governmental body may have some responsibility for the accident if road conditions were not maintained to an acceptable standard. Obtaining compensation for a bus accident victim may require compensation from more than one source. Recent examples indicate the complexity of such lawsuits.
Bus crashes in Lancaster, Fresno, Los Alamos and Bakersfield shed light on just how many accidents there have been already in 2019. These accidents are nothing new. On January 18, 2019, an Amtrak bus carrying 24 passengers went out of control and crashed overturning on its side. 7 people were taken to the hospital and many others were injured on the scene. The driver was later arrested for driving under the influence of a controlled substance. In Bakersfield, CA, a school bus carrying approximately 50 students crashed on March 13, 2019. The bus had no seatbelts for its passengers. A few days later, on March 24, 2019 in Fresno, a Greyhound bus crashed with 35 passengers and many were transported to the hospital. Again, the driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI. On April 6, 2019, a chartered travel van carrying multiple people rolled over and 2 people were air lifted to a hospital and 10 others were taken to the hospital.
In many of the bus and travel van crashes, some questions that need to be asked are: was the driver exhausted from working too much? Did the bus company research the driver’s background effectively? Was the organization monitoring its employees adequately? Were sub-contractors equipped for the tasks they were assigned? Was the driver under the influence of a alcohol or a controlled substance? Answers to these types of questions often require a substantial investigation. And these are only a short list of the many possible causes of the crash. There may have been mechanical failure, the road conditions and street lights may have been unsafe or a driver on the freeway may have contributed to the accident.
All of the recent crashes indicate the complexity of such litigation. For instance, there have been incidents were a crash involved a California-based bus that was manufactured in another state and operated by a company in yet another state and insured by a company based, likely, in yet another state. The driver of the bus may be liable but a bus operation company is obligated to make sure their equipment is safe and their employees are of the highest quality. The multiple sources of liability will all have their own legal defenses ready to go. The victims need the right law firm with resources and experience.
Bus accidents in the southland are likely to continue to occur. When these accidents happen, the victims need lawyers who know how to deliver substantial results.