Last week, the Santa Monica City Attorney's Office settled a case involving the Big Blue Bus. Our personal injury law firm did not handle this case, but we have experience handling injury cases against the city of Santa Monica
This particular accident involved a City of Santa Monica bus and two other vehicles. It happened on Lincoln Blvd., near Washington Blvd. A vehicle in front of the bus stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the intersection. A second car then pulled out of a parking lot between the bus and the vehicle ahead of it. The Big Blue Bus rear-ended the second vehicle, knocking in into the first car.
A passenger on the bus was standing at the time of the accident. She was holding onto a pole. The impact caused her to lose her grip on the pole and she was thrown forward. The passenger struck her head near the fare box, on the front dash.
The passenger sustained injuries to her neck, shoulder and back, and suffered headaches. Her medical bills totaled $19,000. The bus passenger's personal injury case settled for $20,000.
After her attorney deducts attorney's fees and costs incurred in prosecuting the case, and pays the medical providers, the injured passenger will be lucky to end up with anything in her pocket. Why would the attorney settle the case for so little? Many factors probably affected the decision to settle instead of risking trial. They could have included:
- Lack of confidence in the likability of the plaintiff.
- In spite of $20,000 in medical bills, maybe the injuries were soft tissue in nature only. No doubt the City contested the seriousness of the injuries, or that the passenger was even injured at all.
- Perhaps the bus had a video showing that the standing passenger was not holding onto a pole at the moment of impact, which would support any contention by the City of Santa Monica that the passenger was comparatively negligent, i.e., partially at fault for her own injuries.
Call the personal injury lawyers at McGee, Lerer & Associates if you been injured in an accident involving the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus. We have experience handling cases against the city of Santa Monica. We know how to get top dollar for your injury claim.