Closing The Door On Passengers And Other Situations In Which Bus Drivers Are Liable
Consult with our Chula Vista bus accident attorney from the Law Offices of Eugene G. Bruno, P.C., to seek compensation. Call at 619-209-6066 or fill out this contact form for a free case evaluation.
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Closing The Door On Passengers And Other Situations In Which Bus Drivers Are Liable

Posted By The Law Offices of Eugene G. Bruno, P.C. Posted in: Bus Accident.

03-August-2018

We have all been in that situation when you get hit by the doors on a bus or you felt as if you were nearly hit by the doors as you squeezed into a crowded bus. Or that awkward situation when you nearly fell when the bus driver started the bus before you were safely seated…

And while these situations might become the highlight of your gloomy morning and become an interesting topic for a water cooler conversation, they can actually be very dangerous and result in injuries.

Yes, it is not uncommon for bus passengers to sustain injuries when the bus driver closes the door on them, or get injured after the driver starts the bus before the passengers are safely seated. “Wait but does it mean that the bus driver can be held liable for pretty much any bad situation that can happen to you on a bus, no matter how accidental and unintentional it might seem?” you might think. Well, sort of.

“Whenever a passenger boards the bus, the bus driver automatically assumes the duty of utmost care to that passenger,” explains our Chula Vista bus accident attorney from the Law Offices of Eugene G. Bruno, P.C. But when does this utmost care begin, exactly?

The bus driver assumes the duty of utmost care when the person becomes a passenger, or, in other words, the passenger puts himself or herself under the bus driver and company’s control or merely manifests an intent to board. Also, the bus driver assumes the duty when he or she manifests acceptance of the person as a passenger.

When are bus drivers and bus companies liable to passengers?

Our experienced bus accident attorney in Chula Vista has outlined situations in which bus drivers and bus companies can be found liable to boarding or exiting passengers:

  • steps or entrances are not properly maintained;
  • the driver closes the door on a passenger;
  • the driver starts the bus before a boarding passenger is safely seated;
  • the driver starts the bus before a passenger is safely aboard;
  • the driver stops the vehicle in an unsafe place when a passenger is entering or exiting the bus.

But if the bus driver and bus company have that duty of utmost care to boarding and exiting passengers, when does this duty end? Our lawyers explain that a passenger exiting the bus does not automatically terminate the duty of utmost care unless (1) the passenger has safely reached a relatively safe place away from the traffic and (2) the passenger is no longer exposed to risks of the bus’s operation.

Maintenance of bus station as the responsibility of bus companies

What many people in California do not realize is that bus companies’ liability may also extend to maintenance of bus stations. While this rule differs from one case to another, under certain circumstances, maintaining bus stations is one of the responsibility of bus companies. That is because bus drivers and companies have a duty to stop the bus at a place that would be reasonably safe for passengers to board and exit the bus.

Unless a passenger is disabled, the bus company has no legal duty to assist passengers in boarding or exiting their bus. However, bus companies do have a duty to give each passenger a “reasonable degree of attention.” Regardless of the situation in which you were injured on a bus, consult with our Chula Vista bus accident attorney from the Law Offices of Eugene G. Bruno, P.C., to seek compensation. Call at 619-209-6066 or fill out this contact form for a free case evaluation.

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