When you ride on a tour bus or in a limousine, you are trusting your safety to a stranger, and, in all likelihood, a corporation. Tour bus operators and limousines are subject to state and federal laws that require them to ensure passenger safety. They hire, train, and supervise their drivers, and should follow rigorous vehicle maintenance schedules, and comply with regulations on hours of service. But this does not always happen.
The vehicle code section of California law regulates the operation, ownership, and registration of vehicles in California. Recently, the code was modified to improve safety in limousines. This statutory structure was modified to address several limousines and party bus accidents that resulted in multiple fatalities. In so doing, the California Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) added regulations and enforcement to state and federal laws governing limousines and party buses, including:
- Drug and alcohol testing
- Maintaining maintenance records
- Training requirements
- Commercial driver’s license (CDL) standards
- Emergency exits, capacity, etc.
The Law Office of Scott Herndon helps people get fair compensation when they sustain severe injuries due to preventable accidents. We represent clients across California.
Dangers in riding a tour bus in California
While any vehicular accident can be catastrophic, tour bus accidents present unique hazards that may result in life-changing injuries. Some double-decker tour buses have narrow winding, steep staircases to the upper level. Riding on the uncovered upper level can also be hazardous if the bus passes tree branches and/or bad weather sets in. Seat belts are often an afterthought, and their use is rarely mandated or even suggested, to ensure safety.
People involved in tour bus accidents have sustained a vast range of injuries, including:
- Broken bones and severed limbs
- Muscle strains, bad sprains, and bruises
- Concussions, whiplash, and traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Injuries to internal organs
- Death, disability, and disfigurement
- Acute and chronic pain
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Other injuries
To avoid these injuries, tour buses are required to create a safe environment for their passengers by providing, among other things:
- Safe passenger entrances and exits
- Security protocols that protect the health and safety of passengers
- Screening, hiring, training, and monitoring of drivers
- Reporting mechanisms for repair and maintenance
- Comprehensive and systemic remediation of hazards
A skilled lawyer and a team of experts are often necessary to determine if a bus company and/or tour operator has violated regulations related to passenger safety. At the Law Office of Scott Herndon, our personal injury lawyers have extensive experience in helping people identify the responsible parties and hold them accountable.
Causes of Limousine and Tour Bus Accidents in San Francisco, California
The most common causes of injuries sustained in a tour bus accident include:
- Driver misbehavior such as:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Texting or distracted driving
- Violating the rules of the road (speeding or not obeying traffic signals or road signs, etc.)
- Fatigued or aggressive driving
- Bus company negligence such as:
- Failure to review driving records, health issues, etc.
- Lack of passenger safety rules and enforcement (requiring passengers to remain seated while the bus is in motion, wearing seatbelts, keeping hands inside the bus, etc.)
- Inadequate maintenance resulting in equipment failure
- Failure to have proper safety devices
- Overloading or overcrowding buses
- Unqualified drivers
- Tour operator failure to properly review
- Driver qualifications and fitness
- Safety and maintenance protocols
- Tour route and necessary permits
- Proper licensing and/or accreditation
After investigating the tour bus accident, your lawyer may find that multiple parties can be held responsible for your injuries.
How To Sue a Tour Bus Company in the San Francisco Bay Area
If you have been seriously injured in a tour bus accident, contact our office. We will investigate your accident and assign a skilled team to determine which parties may or may not be held responsible for your injuries. We take pride in comprehensive attention to detail and forensic analysis, including determining the cause of your accident, acquiring police reports and video evidence, speaking to witnesses and experts, researching driving records, a company’s history of accidents and maintenance, and more.
We take pride in using the legal process to protect the dignity of our clients.
We Represent Real People with Exceptional Attention to Detail
Based in Berkeley, California, The Law Office of Scott Herndon is a nationally-recognized law firm, which represents clients across California, from the San Francisco Bay Area to San Diego. Scott Herndon’s experience as a philosopher, writer, and Stanford teacher, makes him different from other personal injury lawyers. We are devoted to paying extraordinary attention to each of our clients as individuals.
If you or a family member has suffered a traumatic injury in a limousine or tour bus accident, call 415.360.5477 or contact us online for a free consultation.