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Private v. Public Bus Accidents and Everything in Between

Updated: Jun 2

Bus accidents can result in catastrophic injury and even death.

The bus drivers out on California’s roads, as well as the government agencies and the companies that employ these drivers, are ultimately responsible for not only the fleet but for the safety of bus passengers and the other drivers with whom they share the road.

According to the US Department of Transportation, more than 180 bus accidents occur daily nationwide. In 2022, according to a study conducted by, there were more than 850 bus accidents reported.

In this post, the bus accident attorneys from Brand Law Group will outline the five most common t bus accidents that occur around the state.

1. School Bus Accidents

Although bus accidents involving school buses are rare, they tend to cause significant injury and damage when they do occur.

School bus accidents often result in several parties being held liable.

Liable parties may include:

· The bus driver: A bus diver’s top priority is to protect their student passengers. When a driver's negligence causes or contributes to an accident, a school bus accident injury lawyer can fight to hold them liable.

· The school district: Sometimes, a school bus accident occurs because of the school district’s actions or inaction. In such cases, the district may be liable for damages, injuries, and losses.

· The bus company: Sometimes, districts contract with private bus companies for student transportation. It is the bus company’s responsibility to hire capable bus drivers as well as to properly maintain the fleet. A failure to do so can result in a bus accident injury law firm taking action against the company on behalf of accident victims.

2. Public Bus Accidents

Many Southern California residents use public transit buses as their primary mode of transportation. Public carriers owe a duty of care to their passengers, pedestrians, and others on the road.

Victims of public transit accidents can hold multiple parties accountable for damages, including the transportation authority and the bus driver. Since such accidents often involve dealing with a government agency, it is best to seek counsel from a bus accident injury attorney with experience in handling public transit cases.  

3. Freight Bus Accidents

Buses don’t just transport passengers; they can also move cargo. Freight buses operating in California have strict weight limitations.

When freight buses exceed maximum limits, control of the bus can become difficult. Even when they meet weight requirements, passenger vehicles or pedestrians who are been struck by a freight bus can suffer dire consequences.

4. Shuttle Bus Accidents

Colleges, hotels, livery companies, and various event organizers often use a shuttle bus for group transportation purposes.

If a shuttle bus driver operates these vehicles negligently in a reckless manner, whether fatigued, distracted, or impaired, passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians injured as a result can hold both the driver and their employer liable.

5. Commercial, Charter, and Private Bus Accidents

In California, many bus accidents involve commercial, charter, or private buses.

Like public buses, these carriers owe a duty of care. If driver negligence causes an accident, the driver and the private bus company may also be liable, especially if insufficient vehicle maintenance played a role.

Who Can Be Sued in a California Bus Crash?

While the facts and circumstances surrounding the bus accident will ultimately determine liability, there may be several parties who might be sued following a bus accident, including the following individuals and entities:

·  driver

·  driver's employer

·  bus maintenance company

· bus manufacturer

·  government agency in charge of road maintenance

Contact a Bus Accident Injury Lawyer

For anyone injured in a California bus crash, contacting an experienced bus accident injury law firm is a crucial first step in ensuring proper compensation for your injury or losses.

Contact Brand Law Group today for a free consultation.



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