Buses have become a preferred mode of transport for large scale movement, for both adults and children. While a van would accommodate up to 8 people, a passenger service bus can hold up to 70 passengers at once. In the same manner, a bus driver is expected to be cautious while driving, as there are a large number of people on board. A careless mistake could be catastrophic. Like any other form of transportation, buses are prone to accidents when drivers are negligent. Sadly, the rate of fatalities in these types of accidents is higher compared to those marked in smaller vehicles.
School bus accidents are not as common as public service bus crashes. However, when they occur, the effect is felt not only by the parents, but also by the school management and local government agencies. The law regards people under the age of 18 as children, and therefore requires specialized care and attention compared to adults. In the case of a collision, the parties responsible for the safety of the children may be held liable for harm caused.
Given their unique status, the operations of school buses are governed by special laws designed to protect children. If your child was harmed while on the way to or from school, or you were struck by a large school vehicle, you should reach out to a Pearland school bus accident lawyer. A qualified accident attorney could work with you to file your claim.
Unlike other drivers, people entrusted with the responsibility of ferrying students and young children are specially trained. Given their age, these children may engage in activities that may pose a risk to their safety. Therefore, drivers need to be properly trained with skills on how to protect the children’s safety and react in times of a crash on the road.
That said, not all school bus accidents result from student’s mistakes. Normally, these crashes occur due to several reasons originating from:
Drivers are expected to be on the look-out for any safety hazards at all times. For example, they must always make informed decisions on how to drive through difficult weather conditions such as heavy fog and mist, to ensure that the safety of those onboard.
In such a case, they reserve the right to delay departure until it’s safe to continue with their journey. Your accident attorney may hold the school bus driver directly responsible for the crash if errors in judgment caused the collision.
Fault in a school bus accident case is slightly different from other types of car accidents. Legal liability in your child’s accident depends on the persons or parties involved. This means that there may be parties with immunity against any legal charges for a collision. For instance, if the accident involved a government-owned bus or school, you will have stricter legal measures to file your claim against a government entity.
Even if a rogue school bus driver caused the crash, you will have more difficulty in suing a government entity, unlike in other types of road accidents. In these cases, it’s more important to have a skilled lawyer to navigate the more stringent process of a school bus accident case. When a private citizen is negligent, you can hold that person liable for your child’s injuries. Ordinarily, the driver has no immunity, and if his or her acts of negligence contributed to the accident, he or she can be sued for damages. Other parties may include bus maintenance companies, auto manufacturers, or other drivers.
When a school bus maintenance company is found liable for the crash, your attorney may sue them for compensatory damages. These companies are expected to carry out proper maintenance and handling of the bus with no room for errors or improper repairs. For example, if a maintenance company failed to properly repair faulty brakes, and a crash occurs, the company may be held responsible for the accident, and you may hold them accountable for any injuries your child may suffer.
If a manufacturing defect or design caused the accident, your legal counsel may hold the bus manufacturer responsible for the wreck. This action may be taken to different parties, based on the chain of distribution for the production of the bus. You can take action against the manufacturer, distributor, broker, and any other party in between depending on the circumstances.
While a school bus driver may be properly trained, he or she may not be held responsible for the negligent actions taken by other road users and motorists. A careless driver or pedestrian can make the school bus driver veer off the road while trying to evade an accident. In such a case, the other driver may be at-fault for the subsequent injuries and damage.
If your child was injured in a school bus accident, you need to pursue the claims for the harm caused. Contact our Pearland school bus accident lawyer for qualified legal assistance.