Every year, in the United States, approximately 450,000 school buses travel various routes to transport students to and from school and other activities. Over the course of a school year, these buses collectively cover approximately 5 billion miles. Despite being one of the safest and most regulated modes of transportation, school buses, like other vehicles, can pose serious dangers, as our personal injury attorneys can explain.
Sadly, school bus accidents occur, resulting in both fatalities and injuries. At least 25,000 crashes involve school buses annually, with 25% of the victims being drivers and other road users, and a staggering 75% being students on board the bus according to the National Safety Council. Receiving a call from your child’s school informing you that your child has been involved in a school bus accident can be a terrifying experience. As you contemplate how to provide the best medical care for your child, it is also important to consult with a Sugar Land school bus accident lawyer to protect your child’s rights to injury recovery.
School bus drivers are expected to strictly adhere to safety regulations designed to protect the lives and well-being of children. They undergo specific training to make prompt decisions in the event of an accident. Failure to follow these procedures can put children at risk of harm.
Some common causes of school bus accidents in the city include:
The most challenging aspect of riding a school bus is that children can be playful, engaging in activities away from the driver’s immediate vicinity, which increases the risk of harm in the event of an accident. However, the most dangerous situation often arises when children are boarding or disembarking from the bus. This area is commonly known as the “Danger Zone” and can be considered a blind spot for bus drivers.
Within this zone, which extends up to 10 feet, drivers have limited visibility. Consequently, any child, motorist, or pedestrian entering this zone is vulnerable to harm. It is important to note that not all school bus accidents are caused by bus drivers. In some cases, children may be victims of negligence on the part of another motorist. If this is the case, it is strongly advised to seek the assistance of a local bus accident attorney to determine liability.
As with any other car accident, the driver of the vehicle involved should be the first person to be considered. Although school bus drivers are highly qualified, there are instances where they may act irresponsibly, such as driving while fatigued, intoxicated, or neglecting road safety measures.
However, not all drivers are solely at fault for an accident. Liability may be shared with another party, such as another motorist or pedestrian. Therefore, it may be necessary to enlist the services of a qualified school bus accident attorney in the area to determine the proper liable parties. This is crucial in pursuing full justice for the incident.
The school bus owner, which includes your child’s school management, may also be held responsible for the accident along with the driver. Even if they were not driving during the accident, the bus owner bears responsibility for hiring the driver and ensuring proper vehicle maintenance. Your attorney can help assess factors that contributed to the school bus accident, such as inadequate bus maintenance, lack of driver experience, and improper driver hiring and training.
It is important to note that not all school buses are owned by your child’s school. In some cases, the school may lease or contract bus services from a third party. In such instances, the contractor may be held liable for the accident.
It is the responsibility of local road safety authorities to ensure the safety of roads and highways. They achieve this by implementing visible markings such as pedestrian crossings, speed bumps, and road signage, as well as conducting regular road maintenance. If the accident was caused by faulty traffic lights or unclear road markings, you may 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 typically two years, although there may be exceptions. However, it is important not to become complacent. Certain situations may require you to notify the responsible party within 90 days or file your claim before the expiration of the statute of limitations.
While your case may seem straightforward, the process of filing a proper injury claim and navigating the complexities of the legal system governing auto wrecks can be challenging. The defendant will likely have a team of legal experts working to invalidate your claims. At Lone Star Injury Attorneys, we believe that our clients deserve full justice, not just what the opposing side deems fair.
If you or your child has been injured in a school bus accident, contact a Sugar Land school bus accident lawyer to arrange a free consultation with our attorneys. Safeguard your legal rights and ensure that your child receives complete justice for their injuries resulting from the negligence of others.