Bus Accident Attorney in Hollywood
Buses are some of the heaviest vehicles on our roads today. With unloaded weights currently ranging between 38,000 and 50,000 pounds, a bus with passengers can surpass 60,000 in gross vehicle weight when fully loaded.  With passenger vehicles weighing between 2,000 and 4,000 pounds, this weight disparity puts passenger vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists at a huge disadvantage when an accident happens.
In 2017, there were over 37,000 traffic-related deaths on our roads. Out of those deaths, more than 5,000 of those lives lost occurred in a bus accident, representing an 8% increase from the prior year. This represents 13% of overall traffic deaths in the United States.  School buses are some of the most common buses on the roads and caused 117 fatalities in 2018 alone. More than 70% of these deaths were occupants of other vehicles, 17% were pedestrians, and 2% were bicyclists. 
Schlacter Law has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. Our Hollywood bus injury lawyers understand how important compensation is to pay for medical bills, hospital costs, and the pain and suffering that occurs following an accident. Call our Hollywood bus attorneys today for a consultation so we can help fight for your best interests.
Causes of Bus Accidents in Hollywood
When a bus is involved in an accident, typically the results are quite severe. Their size and weight can contribute to these accidents, often making it more difficult for a bus operator to see other vehicles in their path, and often requiring more space to slow down and maneuver. Some of the most common causes of accidents include:
- Poor maintenance
- Bus driver negligence
- Bus company negligence
- Driver fatigue
- Bad weather
- Blind spots
- Left turns
- Other drivers on the road
Buses often cover far more miles than the average passenger vehicle. This puts additional wear and tear on important parts including brakes, tires, and engines. It is important for a bus company to properly maintain their vehicles to ensure that this extra wear does not interfere with the proper operation of its fleet. When a company fails to properly maintain their fleet a vehicle is more likely to cause an accident.
Negligence occurs when someone fails to take proper care when they owe someone a duty to do so. When a Hollywood bus driver takes on passengers and operates on public roads, they owe a duty to other drivers and pedestrians to take care and not take unnecessary risks. Not all drivers perform to this standard, with some cases of accidents being caused by inattention due to texting or cell phone use, or simply failing to drive in a reasonably prudent manner.
Even in cases where a driver acted negligently, the bus company is typically responsible for the actions of their drivers. Additionally, there are times when the company itself failed to take proper care. This might include ignoring federal and state regulations, failing to properly train its drivers, or failing to keep equipment properly maintained. All of these factors might contribute to an accident.
Weather is a key contributing factor in all types of vehicle crashes each year, playing a role in one-fifth of all traffic accidents.  Wet weather decreases a vehicle’s ability to stop quickly, fog can reduce visibility, and even sunny weather can contribute to glare and a reduction in a driver’s ability to see other vehicles on the road. Wet weather alone makes up 70% of all-weather related accidents, with rainfall accounting for 46% of wet weather accidents. 
Driver fatigue plays a role in accidents as well. Long-distance routes often require drivers to operate a vehicle for hours before resting, allowing drivers to become tired and inattentive. And even with federal regulations limiting the number of hours an operator can drive within a 24-hour period, the pressure to complete routes on time often results in drivers and the companies that hire them to ignore these regulations.
Buses are extremely large vehicles that require a large amount of space to maneuver. Most drivers are also placed far from the back of the vehicle, making it hard to identify obstacles and difficult to see out the back. Blind spots are far larger on buses than passenger vehicles, requiring additional time to anticipate traffic maneuvers such as lane changing. When a driver fails to take these factors into consideration accidents can occur. Additionally, other drivers need to be aware of the added space required for turns and lane changes and often inattentive drivers can easily place themselves in a bus’s blind spot without realizing they are putting themselves and the bus in danger.
Left turns are particularly dangerous for buses. With their added length and weight, it makes it difficult to make a left turn quickly to clear a path for oncoming vehicles. Even when given a green turning signal, often the time required to make the turn is longer than the amount of time a signal allows. And if a passenger vehicle attempts to turn early or refuse to stop when a light turns yellow it’s all too easy to plow into the side of a bus.
Other drivers on the road can easily put a bus in a dangerous position. One inattentive driver can create a chain reaction that forces a bus to change course or stop abruptly, and this can force other vehicles to crash. It’s important that all drivers give buses a wide berth to allow them to operate safely.
Buses have the potential to create seriously dangerous conditions. When an accident happens in Hollywood, it is important to determine who was at fault and the circumstances that led to the accident. To seek compensation for any injuries, a Hollywood bus accident lawyer can help sort through the facts and help determine who was at fault. Call Schlacter Law today so we can get the process started.
What Should you do Following an Accident?
Immediately following an accident with a bus there are several things an accident victim should do as soon as possible:
- Seek medical care if required – even if medical care is not immediately required it is important to visit a doctor as soon as possible to ensure that any injuries are not severe
- Call 911 – calling 911 will ensure that medical personnel and the police will arrive at the scene of an accident
- File a police report – filing a report with the police can prove helpful later in the process when negotiating an insurance settlement or filing a lawsuit
- Exchange information with the bus driver – this should include their name, address, license number, insurance carrier, policy number, employer’s name, and the employers address
- Document the damage – cellphone pictures are sufficient for proof of any damage done to your vehicle or bike, or any physical injuries that occurred
- Talk with a lawyer – a bus injury lawyer can help you through the process of negotiating with insurance companies and can help file a lawsuit in cases where a settlement can’t be reached
Common Accident Injuries
Often the types of injuries following a Hollywood bus accident are more serious than other types of accidents. With their added size, a bus can cause serious damage when it collides with another vehicle. And when a bus harms a pedestrian or bicyclist this added mass can cause seriously debilitating injuries. Some types of injuries include:
- Broken bones and sprains
- Cuts and lacerations
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain and skull injuries
Broken bones are some of the most common injuries following an accident, particularly when a bus collides with a pedestrian or bicyclist. Pedestrians and bicyclists can easily be thrown long distances causing bones to break, or often they can be caught under a bus and dragged. When colliding with another vehicle, the added mass can easily breach the passenger compartment and directly impact a passenger inside. Additionally, broken glass can cause cuts and lacerations that require immediate medical care.
Our spinal cords are extremely vulnerable to damage following an accident. When pedestrians or bicyclists are hit by a bus the spine can absorb a large amount of the impact, causing spinal fractures and nerve damage. And if these injuries are severe enough a spinal cord injury can cause partial or full paralysis.
Skull and brain injuries often require long-term medical care and rehabilitation. Any type of accident involving a bus can impact a victim’s head, causing bleeding, swelling, fractures, and brain damage. Similar to spinal cord injuries, these types of injuries often require long-term medical care that can cost thousands of dollars each year.
When an injury is severe enough it can cause enough damage to require an amputation. Cuts and lacerations can also develop serious infections requiring the removal of an arm or leg. And in serious accidents, the force of a bus ramming into a person or vehicle could completely sever a limb.
Bus accidents can cause serious injuries to vehicle passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. If you were injured by a bus the costs associated with medical care and pain and suffering can put you and your family in financial jeopardy. Our bus accident lawyers can help. Schlacter Law works with our clients to help determine how much an injury costs and will fight hard to get you the compensation you need to recover. Call us today for a consultation.
- http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/tcrp/docs/TCRPJ-11Task20-FR.pdf ↩
- https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/safety/data-and-statistics/473411/cmvtrafficsafetyfactsheet2018.pdf ↩
- https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/motor-vehicle/road-users/school-bus/ ↩
- https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/weather/q1_roadimpact.htm ↩
How We Handle Cases
- Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
- You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
- Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
- Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
- If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
- At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much compensation can I expect following a Hollywood bus accident?
It is important to talk with a Hollywood bus injury lawyer today to help determine the amount of compensation available following an accident. Compensation might include the known costs associated with the accident, including lost wages, medical bills, and hospital costs. Compensation might also include the costs associated with pain and suffering and mental distress. A dollar amount can only be determined after evaluating the circumstances of your case. Call us today for a consultation.
How much time do I have to file a claim?
Florida’s time limit for a personal injury negligence claim is four years. This statute of limitations is an important deadline and if a claim is not filed within this four-year window the claim might be dismissed. Contact a Hollywood bus injury lawyer today to make sure the statute of limitations is properly followed.
How can I afford a lawyer?
For negligence cases, a personal injury lawyer is typically paid through a contingency fee. Contingency fee arrangements would pay an attorney only if they successfully recover compensation on your behalf, and the attorney would receive between 33.33% and 40% of any money they recover. By working on a contingency fee basis a client can initiate a claim without having to pay any money upfront.