Many California residents were shocked by the news of a fatal bus crash near San Diego in February 2020. Three passengers died, and eighteen others were injured when the bus they boarded in Los Angeles slid down an embankment and overturned south of State Route 76. The death of a family member under these circumstances is devastating. It should not be financially overwhelming as well.
If this has happened to a member of your family, a Los Angeles bus accident attorney can help you recover damages to compensate for your losses through a wrongful death lawsuit or a survival action. At Salamati Law, we have more than twenty years of experience in wrongful death and survival actions.
Can You File Both a Wrongful Death Lawsuit and a Survival Action After a Fatal Bus Accident?
In California, the estate or the family members of the victim who died in a bus accident can file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages that they suffered due to the fatality. These would include funeral expenses, lost wages, and medical expenses relating to the accident. The victim’s surviving spouse or domestic partner, parents, children, and other individuals who relied on the victim for financial support might all have a right to initiate a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages that will compensate for their financial losses.
The designated representative of the accident victim’s estate can also file a survival action for damages that the victim could have recovered if they had lived. A survival action considers a victim’s losses, including medical expenses before they died and compensation for their pain and suffering. The family should always consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine the best way to proceed with either or both a wrongful death lawsuit and a survival action.
Can You Recover Punitive Damages After a Los Angeles Bus Accident Fatality?
A bus accident victim’s family can recover economic and non-economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, but not punitive damages. If the negligent party’s conduct was egregious or intentional, the only way to recover punitive damages is through a survival cause of action. Your Los Angeles personal injury attorney could analyze the specific facts and circumstances to determine what damages might be available.
Who is Responsible for Paying Damages on Account of a Wrongful Death or Survival Cause of Action?
The party responsible for paying wrongful death or survival damages after a Los Angeles bus accident is not always straightforward. If the accident involved a public bus operated by the county, the Los Angeles Metro Transportation Authority (MTA) might be liable. If it involved a school bus, then school systems and any private transportation companies that operated the bus might be responsible. A bus driver might also bear some responsibility if their negligence contributed to the accident.
A knowledgeable and experienced California accident and injury lawyer will consider all possibilities in determining who to sue after your loved one dies in a fatal Los Angeles bus accident. You have two years to file a lawsuit against a private party but substantially less time if the MTA or some other public entity is responsible. You should confer with a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident to retain your full right and opportunity to collect the damages you and your family deserve.
Contact our team of Los Angeles bus accident lawyers for a free consultation
At Salamati Law, we will review your case for free and will treat you and your family with the respect and sensitivity that you deserve. Please see our website or call our offices directly to schedule your complimentary consultation as soon as you can after an accident.