Slip and Fall Accidents on Buses – Attorney Discusses Liability
According to recent estimated more than 5,000 passenger suffer serious injuries resulting from slip and fall as well as trip and fall accidents while on board buses and other public transportation vehicles. Our law firm is proud to represent individuals who have suffered injuries due to the negligent and or wrongful conduct of others including bus and public transportation operators. Slip and fall and trip and fall accidents can take place on board buses due to many factors including, loose carpeting, wet and slippery floors due to the failure to clean up, debris on the floor, and loose and hanging guardrails. Below is important regarding liability and lawsuits involving passengers injured due to debris, wet, or slippery floors on buses and public transportation vehicles including subways and trains.
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Common Carrier Status of Bus Operators: According to California personal injury laws common carriers owe their passengers the highest duty of care. The heightened level of care is not only restricted to proper driving of the motor vehicle but suitable accommodations onboard the bus including the maintenance of the bus and cleanup of any debris and liquids which may pose a significant harm to passengers. For more on common carrier laws see here.
Common Injuries Resulting from Slip and Fall Accidents: There are many injuries which can take place due to a lip and fall accident. Some of the most common injuries due to slip trip and fall accidents are as follows.
- Traumatic brain injury
- Slipped disc – herniation of disc
- Severe neck injuries
- Shoulder injuries including rotator cuff tears
- Facial injuries and lacerations
- Broken nose dental injuries including tooth loss
- Twisted ankle
These are just some of the many injuries that unsuspecting parties can sustain if they experience a slip and fall accident on a bus. Some injuries could return in severe harm, which could sometimes be permanent and be disabling. Regardless of the harm that you suffered, you should explore the legal options available to you.
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What Should I Do – Steps to Take After an Fall Accident Onboard a Bus
- Seek medical treatment – contact your local paramedics
- File a report with the bus operator and your local police department regarding the accidents
- Never make an comments – any words you say to insurance adjusters and bus line – public transportation officials regarding your accident
- Keep detailed records of the accident – including location of the bus, the location of the debris or wet surface on the bus, take picture if possible.
- Contact a personal injury attorney
Specific Types of Bus Accidents
As explained above, there are a number of things that you should do after being injured in a bus accident slip and fall. However, based on the specific type of bus accident, the steps that you should follow might be a little different.
Let’s consider a few different scenarios:
- Slip and fall accidents on public bus lines like Metro – public bus lines, like the MTA, are city entities. Therefore, when any injury occurs on their buses, affected parties have to file their claims directly with the entity before filing a normal personal injury accident. So, a victim of a Metro bus slip and fall would need to file an administrative claim directly with the MTA (these claims are typically subject to a 6-month statute of limitations).
- Slip and fall accidents on Private Bus Companies (like Greyhound buses, private tour buses, and bus lines) – an accident on these buses could be handled like a regular claim. Since these are private companies, then affected victims could directly file their bus accident claims against the company.
- Slip and fall accidents on party buses – party buses are very common. These buses are very different from any city buses, but they are similar to private buses. Like all other buses, they are common carriers and have the duty to keep their passengers safe. If injured on a party bus, affected parties could file a personal injury lawsuit.
- Slip and fall accidents on school buses – school buses, whether they are strictly the property of the school district or they are chartered to be used by the school district, are supposed to be completely safe for students to ride on. Schools and school districts are usually government entities (with the exceptions of private schools). Therefore, any incident occurring on a school bus could warrant a government claim against the school and eventually a personal injury accident claim.
The Statute of Limitations
All claims are subject to a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations determines the total length of time that claimants have to file their claims; failing to file on time could quickly result in losing the right to sue. For slip and falls, in general, claimants have a total of 2-years to file their injury claims. However, if a government claim needs to be pursued, then the initial deadline will be much stricter. Government claims are subject to a 6-month statute of limitations. If the government claim is denied within the allowed 45-day period, the claimant will have 6-months to file the personal injury lawsuit; however, if there is no response to the government claim, then the claimant will have to file within the normal 2-year deadline. For more information about the total length of time that you have to file your bus accident slip and fall claim, do not hesitate to contact our experts as soon as possible. Our lawyers are ready to guide you every step of the way.