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Bus Accidents

Determining Liability in a Bus Accident: Is it the Bus Driver’s Fault?

By Kelly Balamuth on November 6, 2014

A 60-year-old woman was recently killed when she was struck by a tourist bus in San Francisco. The incident took place at a mid-block crosswalk that did not have a traffic signal, according to SFGate.com.

Being hit by a bus is a fate that most people consider unlikely, but when it does happen, it’s the type of accident that reminds everyone that life can change in a split second.  Bus drivers have a duty to avoid running over people who are in the street legally. However, sometimes, bus accidents can happen through no fault of the driver. Read the rest »

Posted in: Bus Accidents

Three Dead in United Cerebral Palsy Transport Bus Collision in Davis

By Kelly Balamuth on July 18, 2012

According to a report in The Sacramento Bee, a Ford pickup truck that drifted into oncoming traffic collided head-on with a transport bus in Davis on July 11. The bus, which was a transport bus for the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) organization, was transporting seven developmentally disabled adults back to their residences after a day program in Woodland. The bus was travelling northbound on County Road 102 when the Ford F-250, which was travelling southbound, crossed the center line and collided with the transport bus head-on.

The exact cause of this California traffic accident is still under investigation, but the California Highway Patrol notes that the “Ford was in close proximity to the bus, giving [the driver] no time to react.” The 35-year-old female driver of the transport bus is listed as unstable and in critical condition and is receiving treatment at the UC Davis Medical Center. She will be undergoing surgery for her injuries.

Two of the bus passengers died as a result of their injuries, including a 48-year-old Woodland resident who died two days following the crash and a 35-year-old Davis woman who sadly died at the scene of the accident. The Davis woman was a UCP employee who worked onboard to assist passengers. The driver of the pickup truck, a man in his 50’s according to the report, also died at the scene of the accident.

The other passengers in the UCP bus suffered a wide range of injuries in the accident. All of the passengers onboard the bus are Woodland residents, with three being in wheelchairs. UCP has clients who have a range of disabilities, including cerebral palsy and autism. The UCP operates 45 buses that travel a total of 4,500 miles daily in Sacramento and surrounding counties, and the chief operations officer for the group states nothing like this accident has occurred in the 32 years she has been with the organization.

The sudden loss of a loved one is devastating for the family and friends left behind, and it is also a confusing time that can leave loved ones asking what went wrong. The Sacramento wrongful death attorneys at Balamuth Law understand how difficult coping with the aftermath of a fatal accident can be and can help you determine what went wrong. If any party is found to be negligent, we will pursue compensation that can help a family recover and pay for the unexpected costs that may arise. To see how we can assist you and your family, call (888) 254-1234.

Northern California Tour Bus Crash on Interstate 80 Leaves 13 Injured

By Kelly Balamuth on May 27, 2011

A tour bus making its way to San Francisco crashed on Interstate 80 recently, leaving thirteen people injured, according to an article in The Vacaville Reporter. The bus had taken a group to Sacramento and was on its way back to San Francisco when the bus accident occurred.

The bus was traveling west on I-80 north of Fairfield at about 4:30 in the afternoon. It was traveling in the fast lane when suddenly it skidded, traveled across the right-hand lanes and the shoulder of the highway before going up the embankment, breaking through a fence, and coming to a stop on Lyons Road, which parallels the highway. The bus narrowly missed hitting a car as it screeched to a halt.

Rescue workers from the Fairfield police and fire departments and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) responded, taking 13 people with mild to moderate injuries to local hospitals. The CHP officers stayed at the scene to talk to the buses’ other passengers and to investigate the crash. The female bus driver indicated that the bus’s brakes may have malfunctioned since she had been having trouble with them before the bus crash.

While the majority of bus drivers take the safety of their passengers seriously and drive with safety in mind, even the most skilled bus driver cannot prevent every accident. Often, accidents and injuries occur when part of a buses’ systems fails because it was defectively designed, installed incorrectly, or not properly maintained. If you have been injured in a bus accident, the experienced Northern California personal injury lawyers at Balamuth Harrington may be able to help. For a free and confidential consultation, call Balamuth Harrington today at 1-888-254-1234.

School Bus Operated by Uncertified Driver Involved in Fatal Crash

By Kelly Balamuth on October 14, 2010

When we send our children off to school in the morning, we put our faith in the school district, assuming that the drivers it employs to transport our children safely are properly trained, have the required credentials, and are capable of safely operating a school bus. One school district in Carroll County, Georgia, recently acknowledged that it allowed a trainee who had not yet achieved full certification to operate a school bus with students on it. Unfortunately, the improperly certified bus driver was at the wheel during a fatal bus crash, and one Carroll County teenager lost his life, according to an AJC.com article.

Reportedly, a total of 13 students were injured during the rollover bus crash that took place on Highway 113. One 17-year-old football player lost his life during the school bus accident. According to a Carroll County schools spokeswoman, the driver was two days away from required testing to determine whether or not he would receive full certification to transport a school bus with students on it. Further investigation revealed the school district had a history of incomplete paperwork filed in regards to the school bus driving certification process.

All school districts nationwide need to run thorough background checks, provide complete and sufficient driver training, and ensure that all legal channels are properly followed; not only to be in compliance with state law, but to guarantee that students are placed in as safe a situation as possible while being transported on buses. If it is determined that a school district negligently places students in harm’s way, then they may be held liable for school bus accidents.

At Balamuth Harrington, LLP, our Northern California car accident attorneys represent victims who have been injured in a variety of vehicular accidents, including school bus accidents. For more information and a free evaluation of your case, please call our offices today at 888-254-1234 and allow an personal injury attorney to protect your rights.

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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