Every year, the United States has at least 450,000 school buses traveling different routes as they transport students to and from school and other activities. By the end of the school’s calendar, they cumulatively cover around 5 billion miles. Despite being one of the safest and most regulated modes of transport, school buses can create serious danger like other vehicles, as our personal injury attorneys can explain.
At least 25,000 crashes involve school buses every year, leading to both deaths and injuries. Out of these crashes, 25% of the victims are drivers and other road users, while a staggering 75% are students onboard the bus. Sadly, receiving a call from your child’s school informing you that your kid has been involved in a school bus accident can be terrifying. As you ponder on how to get your child the best medical care, it is also important to speak to a Sugar Land school bus accident lawyer to safeguard your child’s rights to injury recovery.
School bus drivers are expected to adhere to strict safety rules that are put in place to safeguard the lives and safety of the children. They are specifically trained to make quick decisions if an accident were to occur. If these school bus handling procedures are not followed, the children may become vulnerable to harm.
Some of the most common causes of school bus accidents in the city include:
The most stressful part of riding a school bus is that kids can be playful. They may be playing away from the driver’s vicinity, which may increase their risk of harm should an accident occur. However, the most dangerous part is often seen when children get on and off the bus. This is commonly referred to as the “Danger Zone”. This may also be considered a “Blind Spot” for bus drivers.
In this zone, the driver cannot see anything that is beyond his 10-foot radius. As a result, any child, motorist, or pedestrian who gets in this zone becomes prone to harm. However, not all school bus accidents are caused by the bus driver. In some cases, the children may be victims of the negligence of another motorist. If this is the case, it is strongly encouraged that you seek the services of a local bus accident attorney to help determine fault.
Like in any other car accident, the driver of the vehicle involved should be the first person to watch out for. Though the school bus driver may be highly qualified, there are many instances where they act irresponsibly. They may be fatigued, intoxicated, or simply negligent in upholding the road safety measures.
However, not all drivers are 100% at fault for an accident. In many instances, liability may be shared with another party, such as another motorist or pedestrian. As such, you may require the services of a qualified school bus accident attorney in the area to help determine the proper liable parties. This point is essential in your quest for full justice.
The school bus owner (your child’s school management) may be held responsible for the accident together with the driver. Despite having not been behind the wheel during the accident, the bus owner may be responsible for the hiring of the driver and general maintenance of the vehicle. Your attorney may help you consider factors contributing to the school bus accident, such as poor bus maintenance, inadequate driver experience, and improper driver hiring and training.
Similarly, not all school buses are owned by your child’s school. In some cases, the school may lease or hire bus services from a third party. In such a scenario, the contractor may be held liable for the accident.
It is the mandate of all local road safety authorities to ensure that the roads and highways are safe for use. This is done by making visible markings such as pedestrian crossing, speed bumps, and road signage, as well as regular road maintenance. If the accident was caused by faulty traffic lights or unclear road markings, you may also consider including them in your injury lawsuit.
In Sugar Land, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim after a school bus accident is usually two years, although there are exceptions. However, this does not mean that you should relax. Some situations will demand that you notify the responsible party in 90 days, or file your claim sooner than the end of the statute of limitations.
Your case may seem clear-cut, but the serious task of filing and proper injury claim and maneuvering through the complex legal entities that govern the auto wreck may prove to be difficult. The defendant will have a team of legal experts to attempt to invalidate your claims. At Lone Star Injury Attorneys, we believe that our clients deserve full justice, not just what the other side thinks is fair.
If you or your child was injured in a wreck, call a Sugar Land school bus accident lawyer to schedule a free consultation with our attorneys. Protect your legal rights and ensure that your child receives full justice for his injuries caused by the negligence of others.