Who Is Liable For School Bus Accidents?
Every morning and every afternoon, millions of children all over the country board school buses to get back and forth to school. For the most, school buses are safe vehicles that we entrust our most precious cargo to. But unfortunately, there are situations where school buses are involved in crashes. These accidents can cause injuries in children, resulting in medical expenses and other costs to the family. The question for many parents when this happens is who is liable for school bus accidents?
When a child is injured in a school bus accident, parents should consider contacting a personal injury attorney to discuss what legal options they may have. An attorney who has experience in school bus accidents will be able to evaluate the accident and determine who the liable party or parties are. There are multiple factors that the attorney can use to make that determination:
- When and where did the crash occur? If the school bus was traveling in an area where the bus driver was not familiar with, such as traveling for a field trip, when the crash occurred, then that could indicate some liability on the driver’s part. Road and weather conditions also can play a factor in a crash.
- Were there other vehicles involved in the crash? If the school bus crash was a single-vehicle crash, then issues with the bus operator’s driving could be involved. If there was another vehicle involved in the accident, then that could point to another driver causing the accident.
- Were any safety measures ignored? There are laws put in place that school bus companies and districts are required to follow. For example, there are passenger limits based on the size of the bus. If the bus was overloaded with too many students, that can cause a school bus to crash.
- Was there a mechanical failure that resulted in the accident? The school bus accident report taken by law enforcement who arrive at the scene will note any statements the bus driver may have made at the crash site. For instance, if the driver complained to police that the brakes on the bus failed, that could indicate a defect in the bus or failure of the bus company to properly inspect, maintain, and repair any mechanical issues.
There are several potential parties that could be liable for any losses caused by the child’s injuries. These potential parties are:
- The school district (i.e. bus driver’s negligent behavior)
- The bus company (i.e. if the bus driver is an employee of a bus company and not the school district)
- Drivers of other vehicles involved in the accident
- Bus manufacturers (i.e. part defect, design defect)
- Municipalities (i.e. bad road conditions)
If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, your family may be entitled to damages for the losses your family has suffered. Call a school bus accident attorney for more details and assistance for your situation. Contact the Saavedra Law Firm.