Hakim Injury Law: Bus-Injuries

Understanding Three Different Types of Bus Injuries in California!

March 22, 2024

Since coronavirus pandemic lockdowns ended, bus transportation has increased by double-digit percentages every year and is now up to more than three million people monthly. Profit-driven transportation companies always sell as many bus tickets as possible. At the same time, they spend as little as possible on passenger safety measures.

Unsafe and crowded buses aren’t the only problem. Many bus terminals are also overcrowded and unsafe. Additionally, many bus terminals are located in older parts of town where crime is a problem. However, most transportation companies do not account for these additional dangers as they manage these facilities.

Many bus companies don’t take passenger safety issues seriously. But a Los Angeles bus accident attorney takes these matters very seriously. Unfortunately, no one can go back in time and alter the chain of events that lead to an injury. But an attorney can do the next best thing: obtain the compensation these families need to restore their lives.  This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.


From a medical and legal standpoint, bus crash injuries might be the most complex injuries a Los Angeles personal injury attorney must deal with.

Most buses have no passenger restraint systems. So, during multi-vehicle collisions or single-vehicle crashes, victims are usually tossed around and thrown out of the bus. Operator error, often driver fatigue, usually causes such incidents.

Bus drivers are often behind the wheel early in the morning or late at night. Most people are naturally drowsy at these times, even if they had a whole night’s rest. 

Excessive fatigue could also result from a medical condition such as sleep apnea. Professional drivers who sit most of the day frequently develop this condition. Since their primary airways close when they sleep, they don’t get enough deep, restorative sleep. Instead, they basically nap all night. So, they wake up fatigued, regardless of the amount of sleep they have.

Drowsy driving and drunk driving are very similar in many ways. Fatigue and alcohol intoxication both impair judgment and motor skills.

In most cases, at least, transportation and shipping companies are legally responsible for collision damages. Typically, the respondeat superior rule applies in these situations. Legally, employers are responsible for any injuries their employees negligently cause during their employment.


Bus companies are also responsible for fall injury damages, whether the fall occurs on a bus or at a terminal. 

Bus drivers wear multiple hats. In addition to safely operating vehicles, they must ensure the walkway is safe. Furthermore, in California, owners are directly responsible for on-premises health and safety matters. The extent of this responsibility varies according to several factors, such as:

  • Property location,
  • Reason for the victim’s visit (i.e., commercial or social),
  • Probability of a visit,
  • Likelihood of serious injury, and
  • Owner’s knowledge of the injury-causing hazard.

Evidence of knowledge could be direct or circumstantial. Safety surveys and prior incidents provide direct evidence of actual knowledge. The time-notice rule applies to circumstantial evidence. More than likely, an owner should have known about a long-lasting hazard and should have addressed the danger.

The burden of proof in a bus accident or fall claim is a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not).

We should pause and point out that bus accident claims are different if an injury occurred on a municipal bus or municipal bus stop. A Catastrophic Accident Attorney must file a notice of claim before taking the case to court. The notice allows a government agency to settle a matter quietly before it becomes public.


Basically, the same principles apply to fights on a bus or at a bus terminal. The company must also provide adequate security for its guests.

In addition to duty and knowledge, victims must prove the foreseeability of injury. Evidence on this point includes prior similar incidents in the area, the neighborhood’s crime rate, and the type of business. All these factors work in the victim’s favor, especially the second two. As mentioned, many bus terminals are in older parts of town. Furthermore, passengers freely come and go on buses and at bus terminals.

Consult our Experienced Bus Accident Lawyers in Los Angeles, CA

Individuals are individually responsible for assaults and other personal crimes. However, property owners are financially responsible for damages. Negligent property owners set up these crimes like stage hands set up successful stage productions. Bus passengers are at risk for several kinds of serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles, contact the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim. We handle cases all over California.


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