A 67-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene of a crash involving a Santa Barbara Metro Transit Department bus Wednesday, October 9, s2019, around 2 p.m. Witnesses say the bus was traveling north on Chapala Street and made a right hand turn on Figueroa Street but it’s wheels inexplicably stayed in the turn position, and the bus ran up on the sidewalk.

The bus then hit a woman sitting on a bus stop bench and a man thought to be standing next to her and continued until it came to rest after hitting four parked cars. The man was critically injured and was transported to the hospital.

It’s unknown how many people were on the bus, but at least two were taken to a local hospital with moderate to serious injuries, and several people had minor injuries but were treated at the scene and released. The crash is being investigated, and it’s unknown at this time if any charges will be filed.

Public Bus Crashes

Around 300 people die and about 24,000 are sent to emergency rooms each year in transit bus crashes, according to a report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association. Considering the number of miles driven and the amount of people transported, a bus is by far a safer way to travel then a typical passenger car.

Also, when an accident does happen, the passengers in the bus have a greater chance to avoid injury or to sustain a less serious injury than those in cars and trucks. This is because of the size and weight of the bus. Any impact between a car and a bus is going to favor the bus. It can absorb a significant amount of shock, and its steel and metal walls provide protection for those inside.

However, not all transit passenger avoid injury or death, and when this happens, the victims or their family are left to seek compensation from the government.

Sovereign Immunity

The government of California, including state, county and city departments, enjoys what’s called sovereign immunity. The phrase comes from an old British doctrine that says you can’t sue the king. However, like all states in the U.S., California has passed a law called the Torts Claims Act that allows some suits against the state and all layers of government.

Fortunately for those injured by a metro bus, claims for negligence by city employees is one area that is exempted from the sovereign immunity doctrine. The law that allows these suits also restricts the amount that can be paid, and it places additional notice and deadline requirements on those making the claim.

If one of these deadlines are missed or restrictions are not heeded, the result can be the dismissal of the claim making in impossible then to get compensation for the person’s injuries.

Contact an Accident Attorney Today

The best thing to do when injured in an automobile accident is to talk to an attorney. Even if you don’t hire one, you owe it to yourself to be advised of the law by an impartial professional. Then if you decide to get representation, then choose someone who is experienced and understands the law.

Call the Law Offices of Steers & Associates at 800 824 5416 or click here to contact us online. We have attorneys with years of experience dealing with every type of motor vehicle accident, and we get results against the insurance companies and their highly-paid lawyers. Call us now to even the playing field and get the compensation you deserve.