Public Transportation Accidents Attorneys
Murrieta Public Transportation Accidents Lawyer
Public transportation in Murrieta, CA is something many people depend on to get them to work, to school, back home, and to other important destinations. Public transportation passengers don’t typically expect an accident to occur when riding in these types of vehicles, such as a city bus or other forms of public transportation, but accidents involving public transportation vehicles do occur more often than you may think. In many cases, the passengers are injured when these accidents occur. It is important to understand what to do if you have been in an accident on a public transport vehicle.
If you have been involved in an accident involving a public transportation vehicle, one of the first things you want to do is contact an experienced public transportation accident attorney to help you understand your eligibility for compensation for your injuries caused by the accident. You should not be responsible for the costs incurred by someone else’s mistake, and insurance companies should award you with what you deserve. In the event you end up having to fight the insurance company for your losses, a good attorney can help you prove a breach of duty occurred if necessary.
Kampf, Schiavone & Associates is an experienced Murrieta public transportation accident law firm with 40 years of experience serving the greater Murrieta and surrounding areas. Our experienced and knowledgeable legal team has helped collect more than $250 million in personal injury settlements, including commercial vehicle accident claims. Our knowledge of the inner workings of the insurance industry is incomparable to that of our competition. In fact, we have a former insurance adjuster on our legal team who leverages his former career in his commitment to getting the fairest personal injury compensation settlement for clients of the firm. Whether the need is for filing, negotiation, litigation, or another legal service, our firm is equipped and motivated to meet the needs of our clients.
Who Is at Fault for Public Transportation Accidents?
When transportation vehicles, such as Metrolink trains or buses like Omnitrans buses, Foothill Transit buses, Mountain Transit buses, or Morongo Basin buses, are involved in accidents, if the driver of the bus caused the accident, then they are at fault. If another vehicle was responsible for causing the accident, then that driver is at fault for the accident. Because California applies comparative negligence to accidents, more than one person can be held at fault for a crash and is assigned a certain percentage of responsibility they carry for the accident.
In some cases, an investigation of the vehicle itself is conducted to determine if there was a malfunction of the equipment. If this is found to be the case, either the manufacturer is held responsible, or if there was a failure to exercise safety protocols by the bus operator or a supervisor in charge of inspection or maintenance of the vehicle, they may be held liable for the accident.
Proving Fault for Public Transportation Accidents
There are a number of documents that are typically used to prove fault in a commercial vehicle accident. In some cases, all are used; in others, certain evidence is no longer available. This is one reason why by filing a claim immediately, victims have a better chance of optimizing their settlement because there is usually more information available, and the incident is fresh on the minds of witnesses and other passengers, whose testimony is oftentimes a big influence in determining if a claim is legitimate and can even affect settlement amounts, especially in public transportation accidents because there are typically multiple parties (passengers) involved. It’s not unusual for there to be many personal injury claimants in a bus accident. It is to your advantage to be an early filer in these cases than to arrive late to the party, so to say. The various types of evidence follow.
- Police Report – This is one of the most influential pieces of evidence in personal injury cases because it provides the most objective and factual account of the accident, and it was usually written right after the accident while everything was fresh on the minds of the involved parties. It’s also a valid confirmation of the time, date, and location of the accident, as well as a good indicator of external factors such as weather conditions and traffic levels. One of the most telling pieces of information included in a police report is preliminary assessments of who’s at fault by the officers, as well as statements from the victims, bus operators, other drivers, and any other witnesses who made an effort to approach the police officer to make a statement at the time of the accident.
- Eyewitness Statements – As mentioned above, eyewitness testimonies and statements from individuals who personally observed the accident can provide a unique and insightful perspective into what actually happened when the accident occurred. These statements may provide details of the driver’s actions or other relevant details surrounding the events leading up to the accident, as well as how the accident played out. Personal injury attorneys often go to great lengths to contact eyewitnesses who were on the scene when the accident occurred and who provided their contact information to retrieve statements that can strengthen their client’s cases.
- Photographic Images and Video Footage – Visual Evidence in the form of video footage or photographs can be very influential in establishing fault in a public transportation accident. Following an accident, anyone involved should take extensive pictures or video of the accident scene, the damages to the vehicles, traffic conditions, weather conditions, skid marks on the road, car parts that flew off on the side of the road, and anything else that can be documented related to the accident. Video footage from dash cams of those involved in the accident, security cams from nearby stores, and even traffic cameras can tell another side of the story that can’t be argued or disproved.
- Accident Reconstruction – In very complicated accidents, which large commercial vehicle accidents often are, a reconstruction of the accident is carried out exactly how it took place. An accident reconstruction specialist is called in to recreate the accident to provide a more detailed report of the sequence of events that led up to and caused the crash. The purpose of this is to establish fault when it cannot be otherwise established.
- Medical Records – Medical histories and medical records can provide the information needed to accurately validate the actual extent of a victim’s injuries and determine the amount of prospected medical expenses for the duration of the recovery time. Doctors or other medical professionals who focus on the type of injury the victim suffered from are sometimes called in to testify or give statements of their professional opinion regarding various causation scenarios of injuries to support and back up the victim’s claim for damages.
Murrieta Public Transportation Injuries
There are many types of serious injuries that passengers of public transportation can incur, some of which may result in high medical bills and long-term recovery. For example, if a passenger on a bus is involved in a bus accident and incurs a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury, they may not be able to return to work due to their injuries, all the while accruing medical bills and other everyday expenses. In these instances, it is essential to the livelihood of the injured passengers to receive compensation for the damages and losses they experienced as a result of the accident.
Filing a personal injury claim in these situations can be complicated. Going up against big insurance companies and their vetted legal team can be daunting. To make matters worse, they are in the business of denying claims, and most injured victims have little power when it comes to standing up to them. For those who don’t want to take the chance of losing their settlement representing themself in their case, they seek the aid of a well-established and qualified personal injury attorney with experience handling public transportation accident claims.
Why Hire a Public Transportation Accident Attorney?
The long-term physical and emotional consequences that victims of public transportation accidents endure can be burdensome alone. Most victims don’t have the ability to fight for their case, much less file the claim and tend to the excessive paperwork these cases require. Furthermore, the requests for information and evidence by the insurance company are enough to intimidate anyone, and many claimants who don’t seek the help of a good lawyer end up giving up before they ever get a chance to be approved or denied for a settlement from the insurance company. A lawyer who knows the drill and has navigated the legal system many times before can advance your case through the process much more quickly and without as many delays.
A seasoned personal injury attorney can calculate the damages and justify your claim. Attorneys who have experience with these cases can easily assess and predict potential medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses in order to compensate damages fully and fairly so you don’t get taken advantage of by the insurance company. Having exceptional negotiation skills is imperative when it comes to getting the insurance company to reward a fair settlement that actually covers the medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering endured as a result of the accident.
Many people don’t realize that when an insurance company extends a settlement amount, the first amount is the lowest offer they’re willing to pay. In many cases, the victim accepts the amount without contest, much to the delight of the insurance company. However, a good attorney can maximize a settlement award, find the highest award possible the adjustor can pay, and then assist their client in carrying out whatever legal services are required thereafter to secure the settlement and finalize the case.
In addition, if the need arises to prove fault or partial negligence of a third party, it can be very difficult for victims to physically carry out these requirements or even afford to. An attorney, on the other hand, knows who to call and how to get the proof the court requires quickly and without expensive trial-and-error efforts. A personal injury lawyer who has been to court a couple hundred times knows what the judge will want to see in order to approve a settlement that has progressed to litigation. Likewise, an attorney well-versed in California law also can’t be manipulated or intimidated by highly trained insurance adjusters who know where to look to find a loophole that will validate a denial of your claim.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
This is another great reason to hire a personal injury attorney—because it usually costs nothing upfront. Personal injury attorneys are paid on a contingency basis. This means their fees are contingent on their ability to win the case for their client. Once the settlement is approved and paid, the attorney will take a percentage of the final award amount as their fee. This will be an amount pre-agreed upon between the attorney and their client, so there are no surprises regarding attorney fees. In most cases, the final settlement after attorney fees can still be more than the amount of the final settlement, if any, an individual receives when they opt to carry out their claim without the services of a lawyer.
Hiring an Effective Public Transportation Accident Attorney
If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, there is no time to wait to initiate your claim for personal injury damages. While the statute of limitations for bus accident claims is two years, if you were involved in an accident with a public bus, you actually only have six months to file a claim for damages. Timeliness is crucial in these cases for a number of reasons. Get in touch with Kampf, Schiavone & Associates as soon as possible after your accident to learn more about filing a personal injury claim and get the ball rolling on your case. Kampf, Schiavone & Associates is ready to discuss your options and take on your case if you decide to make that move.