Los Angeles Attorneys of the S & S Legal Group Comment on Recent California Bus Crashes and the Complex Lawsuits often Resulting from such Crashes

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Bus accidents involve extremely complex litigation and require highly-specialized resources for investigations, the attorneys say

Very often there are multiple injuries, multiple cars that have been damaged and the need to subpoena records from a wide variety of sources. The bus manufacturer, the bus operating company, sub-contractors, mechanics and others may all be liable

The late summer of 2013 has been an extremely dangerous time for people on busses in Southern California. Over the last several weeks on Southern California roadways, there have been multiple accidents involving busses. The Los Angeles attorneys of the S & S Legal Group are extremely experienced with the most complex personal injury litigation and know that these types of cases must be handled by attorneys who have the resources and the legal experience to find the truth when a bus accident occurs and injury victims seek justice and compensation.

Attorney Sean Salamati, one of the founders of the S & S Legal Group, says bus accident litigation may involve "massive insurance companies for the bus manufacturer, the bus operating company, the bus maintenance company, and other defendants. All of them may have a say in any settlement and may put up a fight if a trial is needed. These cases may also involve companies that are based in other states or even other countries. These are just a few of the complex issues involved with litigating these cases."

Personal Injury Lawyer Ramin Soofer, also a founder of the S & S Legal Group, adds "and very often there are multiple injuries, multiple cars that have been damaged and the need to subpoena records from a wide variety of sources. The bus manufacturer, the bus operating company, sub-contractors, mechanics and others may all have some liability in these cases." He goes on to say that "even municipal, county, state and federal authorities may be liable if road conditions contributed to an accident. When governmental agencies are involved, legal issues can become even more intricate."

The attorneys' reflect on the legal complexity of bus accidents because, in recent weeks, there have been numerous bus crashes in Southern California: from Duarte to Temecula to Alhambra, there have been at least three serious crashes. In Duarte, a chartered bus heading from Los Angles to a San Bernardino-area casino crashed, injuring at least 50 people, Doug Stanglin of USA Today reported hours after the crash on August 22 ("Dozens hurt in casino bus accident on L.A. freeway"). A little more than a week after that, on September 2, Tony Perry of the Los Angeles Times wrote "10 in hospital after tour bus crash on way to San Diego County casino" after a crash occurred in Temecula on the night of September 2. The bus was heading from Los Angeles to the Casino Pauma and had 18 passengers on board. In the last several days, there have been even more bus crashes in Southern California.

For instance, on Tuesday September 10, NBC News reported that eight people were injured when a bus crashed on the west bound side of the 10 freeway in Alhambra, a suburb eight miles from downtown Los Angeles ("8 Injured in Bus Crash on 10 Freeway"). The Los Angeles Times reports that the bus was a Foothills Transit vehicle for commuters in the area and was carrying 15 passengers at the time. The First Transit Inc. is an Ohio-based company that operates the 314 busses in the Foothill's fleet. In a story following the crash, "Alhambra crash: Company has recent driver violation, records show" published on September 11, LA Times reporter Laura J. Nelson writes that shortly before 9 PM on Tuesday September 10, the bus careened into a freeway dividing wall. Fortunately, control of the bus was regained before striking any other cars on the freeway. Most of the injuries were not severe.

"All of these crashes indicate the complexity of such litigation. For instance, the Alhambra crash involves a bus in California that is operated by a company in Ohio. The crash resulted in multiple injuries of varying degrees. Thankfully no one was killed or injured seriously but these types of injuries can be slow to develop so the injured passengers will need to be closely examined and monitored to see if their injuries do become more serious," Salamati says. "Though this situation is very complex and serious, it could have been a lot worse. If other cars had been struck, if anyone had been killed or suffered a catastrophic injury, the stakes would be even higher and the litigation process may be even more complex. Because we have handled such complex litigation before and because we have decades of experience as personal injury lawyers, we are prepared for such lawsuits. Experience is crucial when litigation involves mass transit vehicle crashes."

Soofer adds that "The truth can be found after a bus crash but the investigations require precise skill and diligence. The records related to the bus, especially local maintenance records kept by a sub-contractor, may have to be collected. The bus operating company's relevant files may also have to be seen and these may be in another state." Soofer also says "there will be a tremendous amount of evidence to sift through in all of these cases to identify the causes of the crash and who is liable. Multiple parties in each of these recent cases may have some responsibility for the accidents."

The attorneys say that these types of accidents are likely to continue to occur with disturbing frequency. As traffic increases on Southland streets and freeways and as more and more private bus companies try to provide a valuable service to commuters, many people will take advantage of the mass transit options. Most of them will be perfectly safe. But when catastrophe does occur, the attorneys of the S & S Legal Group will be prepared to seek maximum compensation for victims.

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