December 16, 2021 Posted In Car Accidents
Figuring out who you can sue after a collision involving a bus is often much more complicated than a typical accident in San Bernardino. Besides the bus driver, there are multiple parties that may be liable for your injuries and other losses.
The most obvious party that you may be able to sue is the bus driver. If they broke a traffic law or caused the accident in some other manner, you may have grounds for a claim. However, if the bus driver was working at the time, their employer will likely be liable. Under California’s respondent superior law, employers are responsible for the negligent actions of their employees while they are performing job-related duties.
Common carrier companies that provide transportation services to the public are held to a higher standard of care to keep passengers safe. If the company fails to exercise the level of care expected of them under the law resulting in an accident, they can be sued for any direct losses you suffered. For example, if a bus company fails to ensure its vehicles receive proper maintenance and are safe for use or does not properly train and supervise its drivers.
Some bus companies hire third parties or independent contractors to maintain their vehicles. If a bus mechanical failure was what caused the accident, the company responsible for maintaining the bus might be liable.
A claim may be brought against a government entity for your damages if the accident involved a government-owned bus or if a government employee was at fault. Likewise, if poor road conditions caused the accident, a government entity may be liable.
A flaw in the bus itself can sometimes be the cause of an accident if there is a manufacturing defect or design flaw. If a defective auto part or the vehicle itself caused your crash, you might have grounds to sue the manufacturer, designer, or distributor.
If a school bus driver was responsible for your collision, you may have the option to hold both the at-fault bus driver and the school district that hired them accountable. School districts are responsible for hiring, training, and monitoring their bus drivers. If they fail to do so, they can be liable for any resulting injuries.
If another driver was at fault for your accident, you can bring a claim against their auto insurance company.
Since one or multiple parties can potentially be liable, it is in your best interests to speak to an attorney who has experience with these complex cases. They will know how to determine which parties can be sued and advise you on whether your claim must be filed with an insurance company or whether a local government agency or school district must be notified. Call (951) 419-3199 or contact our bus accident attorneys in Riverside, Hanson & Mouri, online to schedule your free consultation today.