Fourteen people suffered injuries in a Los Angeles County bus accident after a city bus and a van collided at the intersection of Whittier Boulevard and Concourse Avenue in Montebello on July 6, 2009. According to a news report in the Pasadena Star News, the bus was carrying about 40 passengers. Fourteen of those on the bus, including the bus driver, were taken to area hospitals for treatment of injuries. At least four of those injuries are said to be serious. The driver of the van suffered minor injuries.
It’s a relief that this bus accident did not cause life threatening injuries or fatalities. My heart goes out to everybody who was injured in this Los Angeles County bus accident. I wish all the injured victims the very best for a quick and complete recovery.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were six fatalities and 290 injuries involving car accidents in Montebello. In Los Angeles County as a whole, 712 fatalities and 56,475 injuries were reported in 2007 as a result of car accidents.
In this case, it appears as if someone may have run a red light. The fault here falls on the party that did not have the right-of-way at this Montebello intersection. Running a red light is a serious traffic violation. California Vehicle Code Section 21453 (a) states: “A driver facing a circular red signal shall stop at the limit line before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown.”
In this particular Los Angeles County bus-van accident, it will be critical to find out who was at fault for the collision. If the driver of the van ran the red light, then he or she could be held liable for the injuries caused to the bus passengers. If the bus driver ran the red light then he and his employer, the transit authority, could be held liable. Bus operators–whether they are public or private carriers – owe their passengers the highest “duty of care.” This means that they are responsible for transporting passengers safely to their destination.
The injured victims in this case would be well-advised to retain the services of an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, who will stay on top of the official investigation, identify the negligent parties and make sure the victims’ legal rights are protected here. In any accident, it is vital that injured victims don’t talk to insurance adjusters, sign any settlement agreements or discuss the issue/incident with other attorneys before they retain and talk to their own personal injury lawyer.