If you should have the misfortune of being involved in a bus accident, you need to know that the legal process is not the same as that for a car accident. Not all Attorneys in California handling car accidents are experienced in this area of law.
This blog will focus on bus accidents involving privately-owned buses such as chartered coaches, and buses owned by a government agency for public and school transportation. A school district is considered a government agency.
When Another Vehicle is at Fault
There is one instance where an injury resulting a bus accident will follow a similar procedure to that involvingan automobile. If an injury was sustained as a passenger in the bus involved in an accident with a private vehicle, and the other vehicle is at fault, then a claim would be filed with the other driver’s insurance company.
All contact and insurance information on the other driver must be obtained. However, there is an additional step: similar information must also be collected from the bus driver, the employer of the bus driver and the owner of the bus.
It is best for your Attorney to have complete information on both drivers as early in the investigation as possible. It is very likely that, as a bus passenger, you did not witness the accident. Therefore, it is important to involve your Attorney in the early stages of the investigation to learn of the facts and the assessment of fault. Your rights will not be fully protected or properly represented if your Los Angeles bus accident Attorney is brought in too late and without complete information.
Bus Driver at Fault
If your injuries resulted from an accident where the bus driver is at fault, then the process becomes multi-layered and technical. An experienced personal injury lawyer specializing in bus accident cases is imperative.
In situations involving a privately-owned bus, the owning company is required to carry specific insurance policies with mandatory coverage limits. In addition to a claim against the driver and the owning entity of the bus, there may be a claim against the manufacturer of the bus and/or the party responsible for its maintenance if an equipment failure contributed to the accident.
In situations when the bus is owned by a government agency, the responsibility may be the same as that of a private owner, but the process is different. This process is discussed below.
California Torts Claim Act
This Act requires that the government agency must receive notice of an injury claim within six months of the accident. Although similar to a demand letter, the claim notice must contain specific information as to the claimant, the injury and requisite language regarding the amount sought.
If the claim notice does not contain all essential information, the claim will be rejected and your right to file a claim could be lost.
There are exceptions to the six-month rule if a claim is filed late. Again, the exceptions are technical and need to be handled by an experienced Los Angeles bus accident Attorney against a government agency.
When a valid notice of claim is filed, the government entity must respond within forty-five days of its receipt.
If the government’s response to your claim is rejected, then you have six months to petition the court before a civil lawsuit can be brought. If the court accepts your petition, then a lawsuit must be filed within thirty days.
If the notice of claim was rejected due to a non-response, then the time period within which to file a lawsuit extends to two years.
As explained in this blog, the process for filing a personal injury claim resulting from a bus accident is technical and multi-layered than that involving a private vehicle. For your rights to be fully protected and for your position to be appropriately represented, you need to retain a Los Angeles bus accident Attorney.
Are you Ready to Take Action?
If you were involved in a bus accident, take action, and contact The Law Offices of Ramtin Sadighim today. Our legal team is ready and able to help guide you through the claim process and work on your behalf to ensure maximum financial compensation for your harm and losses. Our experienced team of solutions-focused professionals understand the hardships a bus accident can cause, and we are here to help. For further information or to schedule a consultation, please contact The Law Offices of Ramtin Sadighim at 888.999.8744, or visit www.CaliAccidentAttorney.com to learn more.