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Help After a Bus Collision in Downtown LA

This legal question related to personal injury law attorneys in Los AngelesCalifornia has been answered.


I had a collision with a Metro bus in Downtown LA; how do I seek damages?

Last Thursday, around 2:15 PM, I was driving my 2017 Honda Civic near 7th and Hill St. in Downtown Los Angeles. As I was approaching a green light, a Metro bus abruptly changed lanes and sideswiped my car. My passenger side was severely damaged. Given that this involves a city vehicle, I'm unsure about the process. Do I need to treat this like any other auto accident, or is there a special protocol for city vehicles? What kind of lawyer should I consult with? How can I ensure I'm not getting a subpar attorney, and what should I expect in terms of cost?

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Legal Solution

The response provided below is specific to personal injury law attorneys in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles. If the response is inadequate, please submit a detailed inquiry.

Collision with City-Owned Vehicles: A Primer

Dealing with accidents involving city vehicles requires a specific understanding and approach. These entities are protected by various laws and have particular processes for filing claims. Ensuring you're equipped with the right knowledge will significantly affect the outcome of your claim.

Relevant Statutes and Resources:

Navigating Your Claim

  1. Immediate Steps: Firstly, it's essential to report the incident to the police and gather evidence. This includes photos, witness details, and any relevant bus data (e.g., route number, driver information).

  2. City Claims Process: LA Metro has a specific claim process. Navigate to their official site and look for their claims section. Fill out the necessary forms within the stipulated time frame – for some city claims, this can be as short as six months.

  3. Seek Legal Counsel: Given the intricacies of dealing with city entities, having a skilled lawyer on your side is paramount. It's beneficial to find the right lawyer who specializes in auto accidents involving city-owned vehicles.

Costs Involved

Legal Expenses in Downtown LA:

Service Average Cost
Initial Consultation $150 - $300
Handling Claims Process $800 - $1500
Court Representation (if needed) $3,000 - $7,500
Expert Witnesses and Investigations $500 - $2,000

Note: Some attorneys work on a contingency basis for auto accidents, meaning you pay nothing unless you win. Always clarify payment structures during your initial consultation.

Clarification and Next Steps

Your situation is undoubtedly distressing, and seeking damages from a city entity adds an extra layer of complexity. Can you provide more details about any witnesses, the bus driver, and if there were any CCTV cameras nearby? It's crucial to act swiftly due to potential time constraints on city claims. We recommend starting the claims process and seeking legal counsel simultaneously.

Answer these questions to help clarify your case:

  • Were there any immediate injuries to you or anyone else?
  • Did you obtain a police report at the scene?
  • Have you had any contact with LA Metro or their representatives since the accident?

Relevant Questions & Answers:

Q1: How long do I have to file a claim after the accident?

In California, there is a strict time limit, often six months, to file a claim against a governmental entity. After this, you have a limited time to file a lawsuit. Always consult with an attorney immediately after the accident to ensure you meet all deadlines.

Q2: Can I negotiate with the city before filing a lawsuit?

Yes. After you file a claim, the city will review it. They may reject the claim, offer a settlement, or not respond. If they offer a settlement, you can negotiate. However, if you're not satisfied, you can then proceed with a lawsuit.

Q3: What if my claim is denied?

If your claim is denied, you typically have six months to file a lawsuit. It's crucial to speak with an attorney who can guide you on the next steps.

Q4: How do I find a reputable attorney?

You can compare lawyers in your area based on their expertise, reviews, and more.

Q5: Can I claim for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages?

Yes. When you file a claim or lawsuit, you can seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages relevant to your case.


This content is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It's always recommended to consult with a local attorney about your specific situation.

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