Suing a Bus Company for a Loved One’s Wrongful Death
December 14, 2018
Our Orange County Personal Injury Lawyers dedicate themselves to one result: serving those who are injured or aggrieved due to legal conflicts in the Orange County region of California. Aitken * Aitken * Cohn benefit from a national reputation of high-quality experience and aggressive representation for our clients. Our firm has obtained substantial recoveries on behalf of our clients, and is committed to doing its part in working toward a just and safer world.
Contact us today or call (714) 434-1424 if you need assistance in a wrongful death case resulting from a bus company’s neglect.
Orange County Bus Accident Lawyers’ Results
Aitken * Aitken * Cohn recently recovered $2,296,000 for the family of a young entrepreneur pursuant to a wrongful death claim. When a three-year-old boy, who lost his mother in a vehicle accident, was represented by our law firm for his mother’s wrongful death, Our firm settled for $2,500,000. A prominent California physician’s family received $19,422,000 in restitution for his wrongful death. These results do not guarantee a similar outcome in every case, but our track record of success shows our firm will work aggressively for the best possible outcome.
Wrongful Death – Understanding the Legal Term
When a person dies because of an illegal or wrongful act by another person, the individual who dies has suffered a wrongful death. Improper acts that can lead to wrongful death include:
- Negligence (i.e., careless driving)
- Assault or battery
- Mortality associated with some crime
- Vehicular manslaughter
A lawsuit may take place on behalf of the deceased’s family, who lost the company and support of the loved one.
Bus Accidents and Wrongful Death
In 2015, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety, Orange County suffered 2,461 fatalities and injured persons due to vehicular accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported, in that same year, California eighteen-wheeler truck and bus fatality rates per 100 million total vehicle rates were 0.09.
Bus Accident Liability
Finding liability for a wrongful death case can be complicated. The fault can lie with any of these entities or errors:
- A lack of seat belts for passengers
- Intoxicated or drugged bus driver
- Another vehicle driver’s negligence
- Passenger distractions
- Faulty bus parts
- Lack of bus maintenance
- Wet or cluttered streets
- Bus companies cutting corners
- Poor county, state, or city regulation of road conditions
- Other regulatory agencies
- Bus manufacturers
- Sleep-deprived driver
- California respondent superior law that can make an employer vicariously liable for the negligence of his or her agent
- California negligent entrustment law which imposes liability, not the driver of the bus but on a bus owner or employer
- Negligent hiring, retention, and supervision
Damages Recovered for Wrongful Death
A wrongful death lawsuit can be significantly more stressful for a family than other types of personal injury cases. After all, the family has lost a loved one, but needs to enter into a legal battle to bring to light the negligence of the person or entity at fault. That is why it is essential to seek the advice of an attorney who has significant experience in the matter of wrongful deaths. You need a champion to fight for you and your family, so you receive just compensation.
Wrongful death damages can include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost earnings
- Lost consortium and companionship
- Lingering medical bills due to the incident
- Loss of potential inheritance
- Pain and suffering of family members and loved ones
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
In California, the statute of limitations regarding the filing of a wrongful death suit is two years after the date of death of the decedent. California allows relatives of the decedent to file a lawsuit as a result of a wrongful act causing death. The survivor statute gives the family financial and emotional support (CCP § 377.60)
Proceeding With a Wrongful Death Case
A wrongful death claim must include proof that someone else’s negligence caused the decedent’s death. And, those members of the deceased’s family who survived must establish that they experienced significant and measurable damages because of their loved one’s wrongful death. All states, at this time, allow the surviving spouses and children to file wrongful death suits. California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60 states that others may also file a lawsuit, such as:
- Domestic partners
- Stepchildren (if the decedent paid for at least 50 percent of their monetary support)
- Anyone entitled to the deceased’s property (California intestate succession laws)
Call Trial Lawyers Aitken * Aitken * Cohn if You Were Injured by a Bus
It is our honor to discuss your case and offer the legal advice you need. Our team works on a contingency basis, which means we pay all costs regarding trial preparation and procedures to achieve a successful prosecution of your case. We only accept payment after we have obtained a successful outcome for your situation. Once we take your case, Aitken * Aitken * Cohn will advance the costs of most activities leaving you with no upfront costs.
We can offer such services because our law offices are selective in the legal matters we choose to represent. We think our clients deserve the kind of personal attention we can provide based on our current staffing and our existing caseload. If we are to determine whether or not you have a viable case, we will need to ask many questions and listen carefully to the answers you provide. This conversation is crucial. We will want to know:
- What occurred
- What damages you suffered
- Who caused the damage
- What goals you have when we prosecute on your behalf
If you like, you can get our discussion started by filling out the form on our contact page at Aitken* Aitken * Cohn online or you can call us at (714) 434-1424. We have locations in Santa Ana, San Clemente, Riverside, and directions to each of our offices included on our contact page.
Pursuing a bus company for a loved one’s wrongful death can be a complex conflict, but it does not have to be. Call your Orange County Personal Injury Lawyers today and let us do the hard work for you and your family.