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Inactive U.S. Marine Lawyer - As an aside, we practice law statewide and in Texas.
Date Modified: September 8, 2023

I am tier-one, Los Angeles school bus accident lawyer Michael Ehline. Whether you or your loved one rides a large or short bus, this information is vital to protect your health and financial well-being.

Ultimate Guide to School Bus Accidents

  • World-famous bus accident attorney

  • Former “Interstate Common Carrier”

  • Bus accident causation expert

  • Specializing in bus passenger crashes

Below, I will cover suing Los Angeles public bus entities, school districts, drivers, and other responsible parties. A public transportation case and its insurance company (assuming they have standard insurance) will be hard to battle, even for experienced lawyers.

Toward the end, I will explain some bonus information to help families receive compensation as bus accident victims. Afterward, I will explain how to hire a top-notch bus accident attorney. For those of you anxious to file a bus accident claim in your individual case, we offer a free legal consultation for clients with injuries over the phone.

During your RISK-FREE free call, we can review the many regulations and how our legal representation may help you. Make your free call at (213) 596-9642.

Why Parents Seek The Counsel of Ehline Law Firm?

More than 40,000 people have died in traffic accidents since 1990. Dangerous product victims trust us to hold dangerous drivers and owners of hazardous buses accountable. My crack team of trial lawyers has recovered financial awards exceeding $150 million in verdicts and settlements.

We understand these unfortunate cases and how important compensation is to our bereaving clients. Victims want schools to be held liable. But teachers, bus drivers, and even the bus manufacturer often will blame your child, you, or other drivers.

Before you pursue legal action, you must understand how the Los Angeles, California legal system treats a personal injury lawsuit involving a child bus accident victim and their guardian ad litem against a government entity or a private bus company.

Face To Face Trust

Part of our free consultation includes a face-to-face tutorial explaining intercity buses, insurance companies, and accident claims. For victims of fatal crashes, we will work with your life insurance company and all parties involved.

When accidents occur, we know you’re bereaving. We offer survivors compassionate counsel, leadership, and convenience. Our law firm provides free consultations 24 hours daily, so you don’t lose out on fair compensation.

After forming an attorney-client relationship, we’ll handle all aspects of your personal injury claim as follows:

  • Our personal injury law firm is statewide (We are in Santa Monica, Playa del Rey, Culver City, and Marina del Rey, California. Our experienced advocates serve all Northern, Central, and Southern California cities).
  • Contingency fee contract (No recovery, no attorney’s fee promise)
  • CONFIDENTIAL, RISK-free consultation at NO CHARGE!
  • Witness interviews and accident scene investigations
  • Self-insured bus company settlement negotiations
  • Insurance company settlement negotiations
  • Government entity settlement negotiations
  • 24-hour, seven days per week concierge service
  • We’ll come to your home, hospital, or work
  • Millions recovered

We handle cases in the Orange County Courts, Los Angeles Courthouses, San Bernardino Courthouses, and other areas. Call us before it’s too late if you’ve been harmed in any way.

Please get in touch with us at (213) 596-9642 to schedule an appointment or ask us questions. We are glad to demonstrate how we may assist our customers in recovering from injuries we’ve seen.

Accolades, Experience, Authority, Trust

An inactive U.S. Marine runs the firm. We became famous for suing tour buses, tour bus companies, and bus operators.

With our experience, our reputation grew with awards and recognition, including:

  • Guest on NBC discussing limousine law practice areas.
  • Newsweek Premier Personal Injury Attorneys
  • Los Angeles Times – Personal Injury Litigator
  • Personal Injury Warriors International Award
  • Multiple Super Lawyers Rising Star Awards
  • Interviewed by CNN about cruise ship law
  • Interviewed by Nancy Grace on CBS
  • Best Attorneys of America
  • Litigator Awards.

Read on and discover why a plaintiff should retain Ehline Law Firm for your financial recovery in a California personal injury case. So this is part of what’s expected from our assistance and what makes us different.

We are hardcore advocates and legal investigators. Once we’re hired for legal services, the bus owner, manufacturer, and driver will discover our Los Angeles law firm takes no prisoners when you hire us to remedy their instances of abuse and snobbishness.

Purpose of A School Bus?

Buses that carry students and small children to schools provide a relatively secure means of transportation for youngsters and kids from toddlers through adulthood. When they fail, we pounce.

National School Bus Accident Statistics

School bus accident statistics in this country describe a school bus-related accident as one that occurs near a school bus. This rule applies whether transporting students to or from school business or other activities the subject District or county is aware of.

Most School Bus Accidents Occur Between 3:00 and 4:00 in the Afternoon

School bus accident statistics show that most school-aged pedestrians die from school bus accidents between three and four hours in the afternoon. Children are often school bus accident victims between seven and eight o’clock in the morning.

As a general rule, school buses are a reasonably safe destination transport method for school-aged children, as school bus accident statistics reveal.

In 2003, not a single school bus accident killed any kids of all ages in 45 all states. When riders are injured or killed in a school bus accident, the circumstances are severe and sometimes unavoidable.

School Bus Wrongful Death Action Numbers?

Wrongful death is an accidental or intentional killing for which the survivor may sue the wrongdoers. According to recent official school bus accident statistics, 1,450 people have been killed in school bus-related accidents since 1990.

Of these fatalities, 67% were the occupants of other vehicles involved in fatal school bus accidents, 25% were pedestrians or bicyclists, and 9% were passengers in school-type vehicles. Not all bus crashes are the fault of the school. So hiring a lawyer is essential to protect the victim’s rights; that’s what you deserve.

School Buses – Largest Form of Mass U.S. Transit U.S.

School buses constitute the most significant mass transit in the United States, providing almost nine million student trips every year. In comparison, this is twice as many passenger trips as transit buses supply nationwide.

Almost half a million school buses transport 24 million students to and from school, or school related activities, each school day. Since 1990, 407,000 fatal traffic accidents have occurred in the United States. School bus related accidents account for one third of one percent of these deaths.

One In Nine Traffic Deaths Involves Commercial Vehicles

School bus fatalities are all too common in California and the 50 states. Over the last two decades, over 2,800 students have died in these vehicle accidents linked to schools. One out of every nine traffic fatalities involves a heavier commercial vehicle.

But since 2002, large vehicles accounted for only 4% of all registered vehicles and 8% of total vehicle miles traveled. According to the NHTSA, intercity buses accounted for 13% of all bus fatalities between 2007 and 2017.

Experts estimate around 27 children die yearly in school bus accidents as passengers or as pedestrians. About half of the fatalities to youngsters involve school bus accidents. School buses make up one-third of all bus route deaths. Couple this with the below facts, and you have a dangerous risk to families.

Twenty-Seven Kids Die Each Year From School Bus Incidents

On average, yes, it’s true. These school bus accident statistics translate into 27 school-aged children dying yearly in school bus accidents. Seven minor school bus riders sustained injuries, and twenty pedestrians suffered fatalities.

Of these pedestrians, fourteen died from injuries sustained in the crash. Six others were killed in other vehicles.


  • 67% are passengers
  • 25% are pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Minors 5 to 7 are nearly half of all fatal pedestrian deaths.

*33 of the 43 U.S. states passed a “no child dies” law.

School Bus Passing Laws?

California drivers can easily run over children departing or boarding. Because of this, we have strict to passing while stopped laws. The bus driver and the driver who ran you over will likely be liable.

You might be entitled to compensation for negligent killing or personal injuries in bus accidents. The Ehline Law Firm will stand by your side.

Sometimes you just need cash to pay medical bills when you’ve suffered a loss. We can help. We will even attend criminal hearings in California courts or California federal courts seeking the victim’s restitution. Contact us to discuss your case before it’s too late.

Overview of California Public Transportation Rules

Parents in Los Angeles rely heavily on public transport to shuffle their little ones to and from schools. These public servants typically operate on a fixed schedule or route. Contracted carriers, such as tour buses or charter buses, are available on a passenger-need basis.

Types of Common Carriers?

Many carriers exist; truckers delivering goods only can be contract carriers or common carriers. A passenger carrier like a school bus can be privately contracted (Ex, a leased tour bus for the school sports team, etc.) or provided by the government.

The elements of School Common Carriers include:

  • The purpose of buses involved is to provide school transportation
  • The institution claims to function as a transportation agency
  • In exchange for a fee, the body transports people and items (here, property and other taxes)

The acceptance of passengers, duties, and business liability in a bus accident case remain restricted by several rules.

Responsibilities of School Bus Drivers

It remains infrequent that a school doesn’t create and implement safety procedures. The California Education Code requires that minors on school property, those taken from the school campus, and those participating in student-funded activities shall be owed a higher duty of care. School officials in or around the school board and districts must punish negligent behavior or a violation of the law.

It’s critical to understand common carrier laws if you’re preparing a personal injury claim. You must know who to sue. Liabilities in public utility disasters can differ significantly based on the owner, the irresponsible party, and the duty of care owed.

Are Seatbelts Required on School Buses?

Maybe. California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, and Texas have laws requiring school bus seat belts. In California, three-point seatbelts are needed in school buses with a capacity of more than 16 passengers manufactured on or after July 1, 2005. Short buses manufactured after 2004 are also mandated to have seatbelts.

If your child was injured in a group vehicle with no seatbelts, you could still argue that the regulations were intended as a floor, not a ceiling. In other words, the District may be held liable despite no legislative mandate to install a seat harness.

Causes and Types of School Bus Accidents

Drivers lack experience or are trained inadequately. Other common causes of school bus accidents include inadequate training or experience.

Most Common Causes of a School Bus Crash?

Drivers must take all necessary safety precautions and acquire the skills required to drive large buses, especially with loud distractions.

Weather conditions and even passenger-caused distractions can lead to fatalities, including:

  • Unsafe safety systems (seat belts, reflectors, lights, and other warning devices)
  • Lack of training on the part of the driver or when the driver fails to observe road rules
  • Driving in low visibility conditions (fog, snow, rain, or smoke)
  • Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol
  • Poor road and weather conditions
  • Driver fatigue (sleepy or tired)
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Too many hours without rest
  • Poorly maintained brakes
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Running off the road
  • Overloaded buses
  • Driving too long
  • Inexperience
  • Blind spots
  • Speeding.

Most Common Type of Los Angeles, CA School Bus Crash?

school bus crash
Los Angeles School Bus Accident Lawyer

The front-end impact: Almost one-half (45%) of all school bus accidents are front-end impacts. Other common crash types include right-side impact (due to its limited rear view), non-collisions, and left-side, rear, and maximum speed impact effects.

What About School Bus Stop Accidents?

When waiting for a ride, pedestrians, especially youngsters, are likelier to be harmed. Buses are big, heavy vehicles that frequently inflict multiple catastrophic injuries.

Districts and towns must maintain safe ways to prevent kids or cars from being struck near a bus stop. A negligent or reckless school bus driver causes many cases.

Families could file a case against the government agency that planned the dangerous bus stop. A stop located near people on campus, away from main streets, may be brought under common carrier negligence law for severe injuries.

Common Injuries From School Bus Accidents?

During a collision with another vehicle or fixed objects, a kid can quickly hit their head on a seat or window. Many school buses will flip over, crushing and trapping a person inside, creating chaos with others seeking medical attention.

A youngster can suffer significant internal harm when violently thrown around inside or struck by one. Don’t forget that another student may start a fight. A third party could kidnap or sexually assault a child exiting the conveyance crossing the street.

Vital organs, including the brain and heart, can be damaged or injured. Victims might experience internal bleeding.

Common injuries suffered from a serious bus accident range from:

Who can be held responsible for a violent school bus accident injury?

Responsibility for causing your assault or accident lies with the at-fault fault-party.

Identifying Who Must Pay?

An expert school bus accident lawyer will have the resources to investigate the evidence. This professional attorney can determine the identity of the parties to the accident.

Each party found liable may owe a share of the fault but must still pay for or subtract their percentage based on California’s pure comparative negligence law.

Liable parties might include:

  • Bus and parts manufacturer
  • A bus passenger
  • Another motorist
  • Third-party
  • Driver

To wit,

  1. The defendant owed you a higher duty of care as a standard or reasonable duty if they operated as a regular driver.
  2. The defendant breached their duty, which caused injuries, property damage, or death.

Often, the school board itself is liable for exposing the vulnerable to avoidable harm. If you’re trying to show that the driver was behind the wheel while intoxicated, you might submit proof of their attempts to break this traffic rule.

An experienced school bus accident attorney will thoroughly assess the evidence to determine the cause and identity of responsible persons, right down to the history of other cases on that particular street.

Our Los Angeles car accident attorney aims to recover damages of compensation for our clients, including pain and suffering future and existing medical expenses and rehabilitation and related costs, disability, and disfigurement.

  • Expert Witnesses?

Medical and occupational professionals may witness the nature, extent, and reasonable degree of scientific certainty over their boarding/riding injury claims.

For example, a biomechanic engineer can explain causation, and a life care planner can testify as to long-term disability and damages recoverable for law firms. Failing to employ the right experts can significantly reduce your receipt of compensation support in the LA Metro area in your best interests.

What Kinds of Compensation Can You Recover?

The chances are you will need money for hospital bills, lost wages, and loss of use of your vehicle. These are called special damages.

Special Damages

These are economic damages, including damages for:

  • Lost past, present, or future earning capacity, contracts, or wages
  • Property repair fees
  • Medical bills.

General Damages

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress.

Although punitive damages are uncommon, our Los Angeles bus accident lawyers can assist you in determining amounts you may lawfully pursue.

The circumstances of the incident determine the precise amount of these losses. Damages are compensated based on the plaintiff’s suffering, current income, and potential earnings loss.

The type and amount of injuries and the length of time for damages are all considered. Dependents and marital status are factors in the amounts recovered.

What should I do after a school bus accident?

  • Get Medical Care

Many people might lose their right to financial compensation if they do not seek medical care or treatment. To avoid jeopardizing a legal claim, see your doctor.

  • Select The Right Bus Accident Lawyer

Our top Los Angeles bus accident lawyer reviews the rules, regulations, and requirements for service providers. Our skilled and trustworthy legal team will spend the funds required to ensure success in your case.

Filing A School Bus Accident Claim?

When safety becomes unattainable, and a student or other person is injured, a complaint may be filed accusing the school principal or the driver of negligence under the Tort Claims Act.

Beware the Statute of Limitations

You or your novice attorney may assume you have two years to identify and present a damages claim on behalf of injured passengers. But no, don’t waive your right to sue by “sleeping on your rights!” But you typically will have six months to sue on behalf of your child or other adults unless an exception extends the period to sue.

How To Hire Los Angeles School Bus Accident Lawyers?

If you, or someone you love, have been killed or injured in a school bus accident, you may be eligible to file a claim for monetary damages. Feel free to speak to our lawyer and obtain a free case evaluation.

This expert will advise you of any negligent conduct like mechanical failure or driver error. Once you discover your legal rights and options in a school bus accident, you or your family can fire your current lawyer and hire us.

As a special bonus, we are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, to receive new clients and answer additional questions about bus accidents. The Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC, will be there to fight for your interests.

So if you’re hurt and reside or work in any NorthernCentral, or Southern California City, e-mail or call us immediately at (213) 596-9642. Se Habla Espanol.

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Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients.
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Michael Ehline

Top Injury lawyer, Michael Ehline, Esq.
We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.