Millions of families rely on school buses to safely transport their children from home to school and back again. Although school districts, school bus drivers, and school bus transportation teams do all they can to prevent school bus accidents, the unfortunate truth is that crashes involving school buses do happen.
According to The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), four to six school-age children die every year from school transportation accidents. As a concerned parent or guardian, what do you need to know about school bus accidents? How can you ensure your child is not hit by a school bus or involved in a devastating school bus accident while on their way to or from school?
Here, we’ll discuss school bus accidents, what types of accidents are common, how to keep your child safe, and what kind of legal support is available.
Avoid Accidents By Practicing School Bus Safety
Despite reported accidents, according to the NHTSA, students are quite safe when taking the school bus. The organization states children are 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a bus compared to a car. However, accidents do happen, and due to the sheer weight and size of school buses, the effects of accidents when they occur can be devastating. The NHTSA states that some of the most common accidents involving school buses include school-age pedestrian incidents, such as a child hit by a school bus, or school-age passenger incidents, such as a child occupying a vehicle that is struck by a school bus.
The main way to avoid school bus accidents is to practice school bus safety. Parents should teach their children to be extremely cautious around school buses by
- Being aware of surroundings at bus stops
- Minimizing distractions such as phones, music, books, and discussions with friends at bus stops
- Recognizing unsafe situations at the bus stop and while riding the bus
- Practicing safe street crossing methods around buses
In addition, being a safe driver around school buses is an essential aspect of school bus safety. Parents should take caution when driving around school buses by
- Monitoring children at bus stops and crossings while driving
- Leaving proper spacing when stopping near buses
- Following all stop and no-passing laws when driving near buses
When these steps are taken, children and the community at large can help lower the number of school bus crashes and the injuries associated with them. Some of the most common injuries that occur from school bus accidents include minor injuries like broken bones, lacerations, bruising, strains, and sprains or more severe injuries such as internal bleeding, head trauma, spinal cord injuries, and even death.
School Bus Lawsuits
Despite all of the attempts that school officials, school bus drivers, students, and parents take to eliminate accidents and promote safety, it is always a possibility that school-age children can be injured in a school bus accident. If the unthinkable should occur, parents understandably may consider filing a lawsuit. However, the aftermath of a school bus accident can be stressful and frustrating, so knowing the steps involved, whether you’re considering a lawsuit or not, can help streamline the process.
As with any automobile accident, the most important factor that insurers and legal teams will consider is fault, or who is responsible for the crash. In school bus accidents, there are many possible parties who can be at fault, including the school bus driver, the company or school that backs the school bus, the manufacturer of the bus, another driver on the road, or others. If you are pursuing insurance claims or a lawsuit in relation to a school bus accident, identifying fault and proving liability is a must for optimizing your settlement.
This process can be complicated, especially in cases that involve the school district directly. Moreover, caps on damages that apply to governmental entities in Texas, including school districts, can have a serious impact on your legal rights. That’s why many parents and guardians consider consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney if their child has been hit by a school bus or involved in a school bus accident.
FVF Help Can Help
At FVF, we aim to help all of our clients understand their options and utilize all the resources available to protect their interests. We are selective in the cases we take on, meaning that all of our clients receive personalized attention. Regardless of whether or not we end up representing you, our free, no-pressure consultation can help educate you on your options and equip you with critical information that you can use to make the best decision for your needs.
At FVF, we want victims of school bus accidents and their families to feel confident and empowered as they navigate insurance claims or legal cases. We add value to our client’s cases with years of experience and a wide range of resources. Contact us today to see how FVF can assist in your school bus accident case.