You don’t need to Google “school bus crash” to know that the buses we trust to take our kids safely to school don’t always have the safest trips. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates there were 1,214 fatal crashes involving school transportation vehicles from 2004 to 2013, averaging 134 fatalities each year.
What do you need to know to keep your children safe on school buses? And what should you do if your child is injured in a school bus accident?
School Bus Safety
School buses are designed to be safer than passenger cars and the vast majority of school buses get kids to school and home again without incident. But accidents do happen, and there are ways to avoid danger on school buses.
You can increase your children’s school bus safety by:
- Instructing Your Children to Be Careful: Your kids should be aware of their surroundings at the bus stop, and keep distractions like playing with a cell phone, listening to loud music, and chatting with friends, to a minimum.
- Monitoring Your Children at the Bus Stop: If you have spare time in the mornings and afternoons, consider checking on the bus stop and help keep it clear of hazards.
- Teaching Your Children Proper Bus Safety: You kids should know how to recognize and respond to unsafe situations at the bus stop and on the bus itself.
School Bus Lawsuits
Despite our best attempts at safety, our children may be injured in a school bus accident. If so, there are several legal questions to consider:
- Fault: As with any motor vehicle accident, a major factor will be determining who was at fault for the crash — if the school bus driver was negligent, you may be able to sue for damages.
- Liability: If the school bus driver was at fault for the accident, he or she may not be the only party liable for damages — the school or school district can also be responsible for their employee’s actions, and if the bus malfunctioned you may have a claim against the manufacturer.
- Lawsuit: Finally, suing a school district is not simple — you may need to take into account notice requirements and the statute of limitations if you want to file a claim.
You may want to consult with an experienced injury attorney if your child has been injured in a school bus crash.
- Injured in a school bus accident? Get your claim reviewed by an attorney for free. (Consumer Injury)
- First Steps in Personal Injury Claim (FindLaw)
- Injured on a Bus? 5 Legal Points to Consider (FindLaw’s Injured)
- Injured in a Bus Crash? How Much Is Your Case Worth? (FindLaw’s Injured)