Sending a child to school each day is a milestone that comes to most families. Riding the big yellow bus is often part of this process. As exciting and wonderful as it is, unfortunately, there can be accidents involving school buses with children aboard. If your child is injured or worse, you need to know what your legal options are to determine which actions to take after the crash.
Reasons for a Crash
WebMD reports approximately 24 million children ride buses each year, and they travel nearly 4 billion miles together. The scary reality is school buses have a crash rate of 0.2 deaths per 100 miles traveled.
Some of those bus crashes are fatal, and some are not, thankfully. Negligence of the bus driver, improper maintenance of the bus, a defective bus, and another driver's negligence are just a few causes of bus crashes that have been reported, and, on occasion, an intoxicated bus driver has also been a cause as well.
Who is at fault?
If you are considering a lawsuit, there are questions to ponder first. Did the authorities find the driver at fault? In order to win a lawsuit, absolute proof of negligence must be made evident. Following all driving rules and regulations should be well noted on the police report as well as a lack thereof. There can be no doubts in this instance. It must be absolute, or your case will have no leg to stand on otherwise.
School System Representation
Was the driver of the bus representing the school system at the time of the accident, or was it after school hours? This is an important question to answer because this can determine whether or not the law can also find the school system liable.
Was your child injured during the school bus crash? This is also a crucial factor to consider before opting for a lawsuit. It is imperative you find an attorney that specializes or has the knowledge of car accident liability cases especially a lawyer that understands how to prosecute personal injury.
If the bus is defective the manufacturer could be liable. Again, check the police report for the reason for the accident. This should be the first thing you do aside from contacting a personal injury attorney. If the police report indicates the bus mechanisms malfunctioned, then you can consider prosecuting the company that manufactured the bus.
The majority of school bus trips both to and from school are usually safe. School bus drivers are required to participate and complete rigorous training before being approved to transport children. Not only does this training occur before driving, but training is ongoing. Unfortunately crashes can and still do occur. If this happens, it is best to be informed in order to make an appropriate and educated decision if your child is injured or killed in a school bus crash.