Buses are generally safe modes of transportation. There are fewer traffic accidents involving buses than cars or motorcycles, but bus accidents do injure people each year. Bus accident injuries can run the gamut, from minor fender-bender injuries to more severe occurrences like fractures and concussions. In the worst cases, severe internal trauma or spinal cord injuries can result.
School buses are more likely to roll over than other vehicles on the road. They also do not have any form of safety restraints like seatbelts or airbags. So while it is less likely that you will be hurt in a bus accident than say, a car, the likelihood of sustaining a serious injury is higher if a bus accident does occur.
IS THE SCHOOL DISTRICT RESPONSIBLE FOR MY CHILD’S INJURIES?
If a school bus accident injures your child, you likely have many unanswered questions. Who is responsible? What recourse can I expect? How will I pay for my child’s medical bills when I have to miss work to care for them? These are all reasonable questions worth answering.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
Generally, the school district is responsible for its bus drivers’ actions. In other words, if a bus driver is negligent, the school district is too. For example, if a bus driver is in an accident because he or she was driving under the influence of alcohol, the school district may be found liable because it should have or could have known it was dangerous for children to be on a bus with that driver. If a bus driver is a school district employee, then the district is responsible for the driver’s actions. If an independent entity contracts with that driver, that organization is responsible.
WHAT RECOURSE CAN I EXPECT?
A school bus driver may face criminal charges, civil charges, or both, depending on the nature of the accident. Whether or not charges are filed, you still have a right to file a personal injury claim against the party responsible. Since the school system is a public entity, there are special considerations for filing a personal injury claim. For example, the statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims is much shorter for government or public entities—as short as 30 days in some municipalities. Get in touch with an experienced law firm as soon as you can after an accident.
I AM MISSING WORK TO CARE FOR MY CHILD. HOW WILL I PAY THEIR MEDICAL BILLS?
Luckily, a personal injury claim serves to protect your family’s financial interests in the aftermath of an accident. An attorney will help you decide on a settlement amount that’s fair, given the amount of your medical bills, lost wages, and emotional suffering the family has endured because of the experience.
MY CHILD WAS INJURED IN A BUS ACCIDENT. WHAT ARE MY NEXT STEPS?
When working with school bus accident cases, it is essential to retain legal help as soon as possible. Since government and public agencies (like school districts) are entitled to a shorter statute of limitations, expedience is your ally. Contact one of the experienced attorneys at the Nielsen Law Firm for a free case evaluation, even if you are not sure you have one. It is our job to sit down with you and advise you of your best course of action after we review the specifics of your case.
If we decide that someone has committed negligence, we will file a personal injury claim right away. We are not afraid to take a case to trial if it means getting a fair settlement commensurate with your family’s suffering. To schedule your initial consultation, contact us today.