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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), school buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road. They are designed with an array of special safety features such as flashing red lights, a stop-sign arm, extra mirrors, and cushioned seat backs. Additionally, there are a number of laws specifically dedicated to protecting students boarding and exiting buses.
But there’s no safety feature or regulation that can completely prevent school bus accidents, which can result in tragic fatalities and catastrophic injuries. In fact, from 2007 to 2016, there were an average of 128 school transportation-related fatalities per year. A total of 281 fatalities in the same time period were school-age children. While 9 percent of those victims were occupants of the school transportation vehicle at the time of the accident, non-occupants and other vehicle occupants accounted for 90 percent of the fatalities.
School bus accidents can leave victims with monumental medical bills, physical and emotional distress, and uncertainty about how to obtain the compensation that will allow them to recover and move on with their lives.
If you are the victim of a school bus accident, you may have grounds to bring a claim against the school district, the driver, or the bus manufacturer, depending on the cause of the accident. The damages may cover all or part of your medical costs, lost wages due to time off work, ongoing disability care, quality of life damages, and other expenses.
If it’s determined that the best course of action in your case is to bring a negligence claim against the school district due to bus driver error, it’s important to know that suing a state agency can be more complicated than suing a private party.
Here are factors that may play into your ability to bring a claim and/or receive damages:
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to give a cut-and-dried answer to this question. Your case’s timeline will depend on a number of factors. And because the legal process for school bus accidents is often more complex, it can extend the length of your child’s case. The following are some areas that may impact the time until the case is resolved.
An experienced commercial vehicle accident lawyer will understand these complex factors and take them into consideration when evaluating how to proceed with your case. Settlement amounts vary from case to case and cannot be accurately estimated without a case evaluation. However, a commercial vehicle accident lawyer is there to advocate on your behalf and seek the compensation you deserve.
It is our mission to offer support and guidance to victims of vehicle accidents. That is why we offer a free, no-pressure evaluation that will allow you to gain an in-depth understanding of your options and feel confident in whatever path you choose moving forward. Our team is thorough, experienced, and dedicated to securing the best outcome for you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and discuss the necessary steps to pursue a school bus accident settlement.
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