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Tragic California Bus Accident Leads to Death of Young Professional

It was a fun, responsible way to celebrate a birthday. A group of friends rented a party bus in the Los Angeles area so they could enjoy their evening without worrying about who would refrain from celebrating and serve as the designated driver. Unfortunately, due to a bus accident, the evening took a tragic turn.

It began when Christopher “C.J.” Saraceno, a 24 year-old brand-content manager with NCLUSIVE Inc., went to the front of the bus to change the music. While changing the music the bus swerved and the young professional was propelled into the doors. The doors of the bus opened and Mr. Saraceno fell onto Freeway 101 in Los Angeles shortly after midnight. He was struck by multiple vehicles and received injuries that ultimately lead to his death.

The accident is currently under investigation. The investigation will include a review of the bus company’s safety records and interviews of various witnesses to the accident. It is currently unknown if the bus in question received any safety violations or if the door was properly secured at the time of the accident. If the company was in violation of any state or federal laws, it will likely be held liable to the victim’s family for the accident.

California Bus Law

Buses, taxis, passenger trains, cruise ships, commercial airplanes and rides in amusement parks are all considered common carriers in California. The term “common carrier” is a legal one used to define vehicles that transport people in exchange for a fee.

Those who chose to operate in this business are at risk for liability in two primary forms:

  • Failure to exercise care and diligence. Businesses in this sector are held to a high standard of care. This means they must use safe driving practices, provide a safe vehicle and follow all state and federal laws that pertain to their operation.
  • Failure to warn. If the business or vehicle operator fails to warn passengers of dangers or fails to take required action to provide a safe environment for their users, they could be liable for any injuries that result. This factor requires a reasonable test; in order to qualify for liability a reasonably careful operator should have been aware of the danger.

Unlike speeding laws, strict liability does not apply to common carrier claims. This means the injured party must prove that the common carrier failed to exercise care and diligence or failed to warn of a known danger. Establishing these factors can be difficult. If you or a loved one were injured in a bus accident, contact an experienced California bus accident lawyer. This legal professional will review your claim and help to better ensure your rights and potential remedies are protected.

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