Commercial buses are much heavier, larger, and more difficult to control than passenger vehicles, leading to severe injuries during a crash. Buses are prone to rollover accidents, causing victims to suffer burns, suffocation, broken bones, and even death. Whether a school bus, city transit, or private coach, if you have been hurt in this type of wreck, you need professional legal help.
Moody Law offers the skills and experience to manage your case with the guidance of a qualified California bus accident lawyer. We listen to your story during a free initial consultation, answer your questions, and develop a customized strategy to maximize your compensation. We focus on helping you recover financially, physically, and emotionally. Contact us to learn more about how we can help your case.
Why Choose Moody Law for Your California Bus Accident Claim
When you have been hurt in a bus crash, you need to focus on getting better and putting your life back together. Instead of spending time filing paperwork for an insurance claim and fighting for a fair settlement, you can turn these frustrations over to a powerful legal advocate. Moody Law will guide you through the steps required to complete your case.
Rely on the team at Moody Law to:
- Investigate the accident and determine who bears liability
- Collect, analyze, and present relevant evidence for your claim
- Demonstrate proof of negligence against the at-fault parties
- Identify all potential avenues for financial relief
- Manage paperwork, conversations, and negotiations with insurance representatives
- Interview witnesses and experts for testimony on your behalf
- Estimate a fair and appropriate calculation of your damages
- Litigate aggressively for you in court
Our team has an extensive background as attorneys and in law enforcement, having spent many years working as a deputy and detective in California. Attorney Joshua Moody has logged countless hours presenting cases in the courtroom and researching many kinds of personal injury claims. He puts that knowledge to work for every client.
You Can Suffer Devastating Injuries in a Bus Accident
There are many ways to be hurt in a bus accident. You could be hit by a bus as a pedestrian, suffer a sideswipe or other collision with a bus, or be injured as a passenger. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), buses are involved in a large share of accidents. As much as 39 percent of all collisions over a 10-year period were bus accidents. With few safety features, extreme size, and heavyweight, buses are much more likely to cause devastating injuries to victims.
Head-on, t-bone, rear-end, and rollover crashes can leave motorists and passengers in other vehicles with broken bones, burns, internal bleeding, and traumatic brain injuries. Passengers on buses can be thrown around the cabin, face blunt force trauma, or suffer puncture wounds from flying objects such as bags or cell phones. When a pedestrian is hit by a bus, there is a high chance of paralysis, amputation, and death.
When a school bus crashes, the children involved could suffer an uncertain future that involves multiple surgeries and complicated recoveries. Regardless of the injuries to you or your loved ones, you deserve representation from a top-quality bus accident firm. Josh Moody will work to achieve the best possible outcome in your situation.
Our California Bus Accident Attorneys Work on a Contingency Fee Basis
When you are facing high medical bills and trying to heal, you may not want to think about how you are going to pay an attorney to advise you. With Josh Moody, you can rest easy because our California bus accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This payment system lets you get the representation you need to secure the best settlement for your losses without putting up a retainer first.
We consult with you for free and give you our recommendations on how to proceed. When we take on your case, we are confident we can present a compelling argument to both insurance representatives and a jury.
Our fee is paid to us as a percentage of your settlement or jury award after your case is completed. Since you can include your attorney’s fees as part of your damages, the amount that high-quality legal representation costs you is a fraction of the benefit of having experienced advice throughout your claim.
What Causes a Bus Accident?
A crash involving a bus can result from many different factors:
- Blind spots
- Cars, bikes, or pedestrians in a bus lane
- Defects in the vehicle or its components
- Distracted, sleepy, or inexperienced bus driver
- Driver errors or mishandling
- Drug or alcohol influence
- Faulty repair work or parts
- Lack of protective equipment for passengers (seatbelts)
- Other motorists driving poorly
- Road conditions were unsafe
- Unbalanced loads on the bus
- Weather conditions such as ice, snow, or heavy rain that affect traction
No matter who or what caused a bus accident, nearly every incident can be traced to human error. Following the evidence and demonstrating the liability of those responsible is one of the most critical tasks your bus accident attorney has for your case.
Options for Filing a Bus Accident Claim
There are two main ways to recover the damages you have suffered after a bus crash: an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. When and how you file each of these can vary greatly depending on the type of bus involved and what contributed to the crash. For example, municipal buses are run by government agencies, and the laws for pursuing a claim in that situation are very different from filing against a private coach company.
As a general rule, if a bus is privately operated (rented coaches, airport shuttles, tour buses) and the driver caused the accident, you will file a claim against the owner’s insurance provider and potentially file a lawsuit. If the private bus malfunctioned from a faulty component or substandard repairs, you could include those responsible for the problems in your claim.
Filing a Claim When the Bus is Owned by the Government
When the bus is owned and managed by a government entity such as a school district, city, or county, you must file a notice of a claim under the California Tort Claims Act (CTCA) with the responsible agency within six months of the accident. The agency will respond to either accept or reject your claim. If they accept it, you can proceed with an insurance claim, but if they reject it, you can file a lawsuit.
Acceptable reasons to file a claim under the CTCA include:
- Damages caused by the agency’s failure to adhere to a public policy (negligence)
- Negligent acts by employees such as the driver, mechanics, or inspectors
- Negligent acts by independent contractors employed by the agency
- Premises liability if you were injured due to a dangerous condition on the bus (which is government property)
Comparative Fault in California Bus Accidents
California operates under a pure comparative fault rule, as outlined in California Civil Code Section 1714. Many parties can be held responsible in a crash, and in bus accidents, it is common for many individuals to play a role. Working out who is truly liable for your injuries can be extremely complicated unless you have an experienced attorney.
Even when the fault seems to be clear, anyone you pursue will undoubtedly try to say you are also to blame. Your lawyer will work to minimize your appearance of liability while emphasizing that of the other parties involved. With pure comparative fault, even if you are found liable, you can still recover damages, although your settlement may be reduced by the same percentage you are at fault.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Bus Accident in California?
It is difficult to state an average settlement number for a bus accident because each claim is completely unique and must be judged on its own merits. Differing insurance coverages, circumstances leading to the crash, and the extent of your damages will all influence how much you can seek.
Your bus accident attorney will help you calculate your compensatory losses, which include both economic and non-economic losses. Any damages with a specific price are considered economic, while your pain and suffering fall under non-economic damages. It is critical that your lawyer consider all your past, present, and future expenses so you are not left with unpaid medical bills if your condition worsens unexpectedly.
Our clients often seek financial relief for the following kinds of damages:
Lost Financial Benefits
You may spend a few days or several weeks recovering from your injuries. Even if you work from home or freelance, you are still missing out on valuable income to support yourself and your family while you heal. In addition to your actual wages, you deserve compensation for the other financial losses you are suffering, such as:
- Loss of time invested in holiday, vacation pay, and sick time
- Lost earning capacity if you are severely injured or disabled permanently
- Reduction in payments for employer-provided health insurance
- Reduction in retirement savings contributions from your employer
- Stock investiture
- Time accrued toward promotions, raises, and other career enhancements
Medical and Healthcare Expenses
The largest portion of most bus accident claims are for your medical and other healthcare costs. If you are in the ER and ICU or need surgery, your expenses will often be in the tens of thousands before you even begin your recovery process. According to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, Americans face as much as $88 million a year in medical debt, and many turn to bankruptcy when they cannot pay.
Moody Law can connect you with a network of medical experts who help us develop a projected cost for your future treatment so you are not faced with this burden. Our team will build your compensation demands to include items such as:
- Diagnostic tests
- Emergency transport fees
- Future medical expenses
- ICU and ER expenses
- In-home private nursing care
- Mental health counseling
- Physical or occupational therapy
- Prescription and over-the-counter medicines
- Travel expenses for follow-up appointments and special treatment
If you were in your vehicle during the bus accident, you may need to repair or completely replace it. If your income depends on using your car, truck, or van, this can affect your livelihood. You also can claim losses such as damaged computers, luggage, gifts, clothing, cell phones, or work equipment.
These cover the non-economic damages you experience that reimburse you for less tangible things such as physical pain, disfigurement, skin scarring, loss of limb, or amputation. Other examples include:
- Anxiety and depression
- Damage to your personal and professional reputations
- Diminished quality of life
- Emotional distress
- Indignity, shame, shock, fear, and embarrassment
- Loss of consortium between you and your spouse or partner
- Loss of enjoyment of hobbies or activities
- Permanent disability
Punitive damages can be awarded in certain cases, as described in Civil Code Section 3294. When the evidence shows that the liable parties behaved with gross negligence or egregiously, perhaps even with malice or intent, you can request punitive damages. These are usually left to the discretion of the judge and jury.
Be Cautious of These Common Insurance Company Tactics
Insurance companies are known for using questionable techniques to reduce what they are forced to pay when someone files a claim against them. They know the laws and how to use them against you and will argue their client is not to blame. A skilled and tenacious bus accident lawyer will push back hard to get you the settlement you deserve.
Watch out for these common tactics:
- Delaying their response letter
- Making insufficiently low settlement offers
- Misleading you regarding the policy terms or limits
- Offering you a small amount right away to trick you into closing the claim fast
- Taking months to approve or deny your claim
- Using your statements against you
You should be careful when speaking with insurance representatives and providing information. They will use anything they can to deny or reduce your settlement, including claiming your injuries are not real. With our team by your side, you can focus on getting better while we tackle these conversations for you.
How Our Bus Accident Lawyers Help You
We treat each client with care and understanding, listening to their stories and developing a targeted, customized strategy for their claims. We aggressively push back when insurance adjusters try to offer you less than you deserve, and we are not afraid to go to trial against powerful corporations.
We build a solid case to challenge the arguments of insurance companies and defense attorneys. This starts with these essential services we provide:
We Collect and Analyze the Evidence
We research to locate all available documentation, photos, videos, reports, and other evidence that is relevant to your claim. Our team can determine how it supports your claims of negligence and your demands in accordance with the law. We maintain a network of medical and accident professionals who advise us on your case, including estimates for treatment and auto repair.
We put together a strong story to illustrate how the accident happened and why you deserve justice. We hire accident reconstruction and private investigation experts to ensure we leave no stone unturned.
We Handle Difficult Insurance Negotiations
From the moment you contact the insurance companies for your claim, they are working against you. They will record your statements and find every way they can to minimize your settlement. We handle all these communications for you, reviewing each offer they send until we think it is fair for your needs.
When they do not meet our demands, we advise you on how to take them to court to plead your case to a judge and jury. We often work out last-minute settlements when they see we have strong evidence and a commitment to stand our ground for you.
We Fight for You in Court
Insurance trials and personal injury lawsuits can be overwhelming for you as a client, but we do everything we can to let you relax and trust that we are fighting hard for you. We are highly prepared for every case, interpreting the law for your best outcome and refusing to let the opposing side take advantage of you when you are hurt and vulnerable.
We manage all the legal motions and paperwork for you, filing everything within the statute of limitations so you maintain your chance to seek compensation. The statute of limitations allows only two years for most personal injury cases in California, but we work diligently to ensure you meet this deadline.
Schedule a Meeting With a California Bus Accident Lawyer Today
A bus accident can be terrifying and cause lasting pain. You do not need to untangle the process of filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit on your own when you can rely on a compassionate and competent California bus accident lawyer.
Moody Law can relieve your worries and fears about how to seek justice and the compensation you deserve. We believe in creating strong attorney-client relationships as we protect your right to financial relief.
Contact us to schedule a no-risk, free consultation today.