School Bus Accidents
School Bus Accident Attorneys
You may currently have children enrolled in school who rely on the bus for transportation. Though school buses have long been thought of as a safe way to travel, it’s interesting to learn that most don’t even offer seat belts. As a result, annually, many children are needlessly killed, and millions more are injured due to school bus accidents.
If you or your child has been involved in a bus-related accident, contact Fried Goldberg at (877) 591-1801 for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. A damages award from a lawsuit can help provide compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses.
With decades of combined experience, our school bus accident attorneys have the skills and knowledge to help you move forward. From phone calls to medical records, we will handle all aspects of your case.
Due to the statute of limitations on school bus claims, it’s imperative that you get in touch with a school bus attorney as soon as possible to assist you in better understanding your legal options.
School Bus Driver Conduct
As mentioned above, many school bus accidents can be prevented. Both the driver and children riding the bus need to be prepared and know how to react in certain situations.
For example, it’s important for drivers to maintain a firm level of professionalism, while morale is simultaneously preserved. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, poor vehicle operation more often reflects a driver’s attitude than driving skills or knowledge.
It’s equally important for drivers to be aware of sounds and volume control. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), there have been examples where a driver couldn’t hear an approaching train due to noises on the bus. Therefore, it’s vital to maintain a reasonably quiet bus in order to avoid accidents.
Drivers should also be cautious about only following practices that are accepted, and should never let their guard down.
Common Causes of School Bus Accidents
Just like any other type of wreck, a school bus accident is preventable. However, bus crashes are still common and often occur due to negligence of a third party, or even the bus driver. Specifically, common causes include:
- Improper training of drivers
- Faulty maintenance
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Poor road conditions
- Weather conditions
- Driver’s mindset
Again, many school bus accidents are the result of the driver’s attitude and choices. For instance, if they fail to properly stop and check at a railroad crossing and it leads to an accident, they might be held liable for resulting injuries.
School Bus Safety Standards
Federal regulations are very clear that the driver is responsible for safely operating the vehicle. Furthermore, commercial drivers are to cease operating the vehicle if there are extremely hazardous driving conditions.
For instance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) clearly state that “extreme caution in the operation of a commercial motor vehicle shall be exercised when hazardous conditions” exist. Article § 392.14 of the FMCSR also states that extreme caution must be used in any situation where “snow, ice, sleet, fog, mist, rain, dust or smoke adversely affect visibility or traction.”
However, just because this is the law, doesn’t mean that it is always followed. So who or what is to blame for a school bus crash? Ultimately, there are limitless factors that may have contributed to the accident besides weather, including road and driver conditions.
While determining liability may seem obvious in certain situations, each case is truly unique. Liability is determined by the courts after a thorough investigation. Establishing negligence is vitally important for your case. The assistance of a qualified school bus accident lawyer may be needed to help sort out liability.
Safety Measures for Children
In order to help prevent a school bus accident from taking place, parents need to ensure that children are doing their part, too. The following safety measures can help increase the overall safety of the school bus ride:
- Enter and exit the bus in an orderly manner.
- Do not enter the bus unless it is at a full and complete stop.
- Wait for the bus in a safe location away from traffic.
- Always use the handrail when entering the bus.
- Stay seated throughout the duration of the trip.
- Keep all objects (and body parts) inside the bus at all times.
- Keep the aisles free and clear throughout the ride.
- Do not distract the bus driver.
- All passengers should walk at least 10 feet from the front of the bus before crossing the street.
- The driver should give a signal before anyone crosses the street.
- Do not cross from behind the bus.
Bus drivers sometimes have a duty to ensure there is order on the bus among the students. If they fail to address a safety issue or potential distraction, courts may also factor this in when reviewing liability in a lawsuit.
What to Do in a School Bus Accident
If your child has been involved in a school bus accident, we offer our deepest sympathies. While kids are often the victims of these types of wrecks, pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers of other vehicles have also been known to be harmed.
After a school bus accident, the following steps should be taken:
- Obtain Medical Attention: Seeking immediate medical attention is important, even if it seems that only minor injuries have been suffered. It may take a day or two for some accident injuries to surface, such as traumatic brain injuries.
- Document the Injuries: Following the accident, take photographs or videos of every single mark or injury.
- Keep Records: Keep and maintain all paperwork you receive from the hospital, doctors and reporting police officers.
- Gather Information: Depending on the severity of the crash, obtain phone numbers and addresses from other victims, drivers and witnesses if you can.
- Contact an Experienced Lawyer: Contact an experienced school bus accident lawyer as soon as possible. Doing so will allow your only focus to be on healing or helping your child heal.
At Fried Goldberg, we understand how traumatizing a school bus accident can be for the victim and even their parents and family. Get in touch with us promptly, as we will be able to assist with the steps above if you are unable to address them for the time being.
Who Is Responsible After a School Bus Accident?
Following an injury that takes place at school, during a school activity or while on school property, it will be imperative to determine who is responsible. This can often be a daunting task. Even if the school or a school employee isn’t directly responsible for the injury that takes place, the school district may still be legally liable for the damage.
If you believe the school district might be responsible for your child’s injury, then you should speak with a professional attorney to assess your case. Due to the circumstances, seeking the help of school bus accident attorneys might be necessary to help you determine your next step.
Speak to Our Experienced School Bus Accident Attorneys
School bus accidents are devastating, often leaving victims scared, injured, or even worse. Those who are unfamiliar with the legal process around bus-related accidents may be left feeling confused or overwhelmed.
You need someone with experience on your side, a team who has the knowledge and skills to stand up and fight for your family.
If you or a loved one is attempting to move on with your life following a bus accident, Fried Goldberg can help. Contact us today at (877) 591-1801 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We will help ensure that your case is thoroughly prepared to obtain the maximum recovery amount.
We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you in taking this next step. Let us be your advocates – call us today.
School Bus Accident Lawyers: FAQs
How many school bus accidents are there per year?
Over the past 11 years, school buses have averaged around 26,000 crashes, resulting in 10 deaths, according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Frontal crashes are responsible for around two passenger deaths per year.
The NHTSA is considering updating federal safety regulations to help improve school bus safety. Proposed changes include increasing seat back height, as well as a potential redesign to include lap and shoulder belts for passengers.
Can you sue a school bus driver?
In certain situations, yes. As mentioned above, various parties may be held responsible for injuries resulting from a school bus accident. This can include the school district, the bus company, and the driver as well.
It may be necessary to sue a school bus driver directly. This is usually the case when the driver was seriously negligent or was acting directly against their employer’s policies. Examples include when they engaged in distracted driving or driving under the influence.
How do I sue a school bus company?
In other situations, it may be necessary to school the school bus company. This can happen if certain issues are at play, including:
- Negligent hiring
- Poor company-wide safety policies
- Failure to keep the bus fleet properly maintained
Suing a commercial company can involve complex matters, and will require the assistance of a school bus attorney with experience in handling such cases. Multiple parties will usually be involved as well.
How can school bus accident attorneys help with my case?
A school bus accident lawyer may be needed to help ensure your case is properly handled. Bus accident lawsuits can involve many parties and complex theories of law. School bus accident attorneys can:
- Review the facts about what happened
- Compile evidence needed to support your case
- Examine the laws to determine your rights
- Build an effective case strategy
- Argue for the highest compensation
If you or a loved one of yours have been involved in a school bus accident, contact Fried Goldberg today at (877) 591-1801. Our school bus accident attorneys have decades of experience dealing with accidents involving large vehicles, including school buses and other similar forms of transportation. Reaching out to us is the first step in getting the justice you and your family deserve.
Bus Accident Verdicts and Settlements
$23.7 Million — School Bus Accident Case
Our firm recovered $23.7 million on behalf of two children involved in a rollover school bus accident in Tennessee. One suffered brain injuries and the other died due to the crash.
$4.8 Million — Wrongful Death Case
We recovered $4.8 million in a case where a bus driver died after a tractor-trailer attempted to merge in front of him, resulting in a fatal collision.
“Michael Goldberg and his team worked hard and diligently on my case. I would recommend Fried Goldberg to anyone who is in need of knowledgeable and caring attorneys. I can’t thank them enough. I’m very satisfied with the outcome of my case. Thanks again!”
“I just want to thank Fried Goldberg for the outstanding job they did with my case. I was always able to speak with anyone in the office when I called. They were very responsive in the beginning, so I knew I picked the right team. Not one second during my case was I worried that they wouldn’t get the job done, and like I predicted, I received a verdict that I didn’t even expect. Thank you so much, and Mr. Parker, you are the man, thanks buddy. You really became a friend to me and I wish you guys the best 👍🏾.”
The Truck Accident Attorneys
The Truck Accident Attorneys at Fried Goldberg LLC devote at least 75% of their caseload to representing the victims of accidents involving tractor trailers and other commercial vehicles. Our extensive experience with the laws governing the trucking industry is the reason we are routinely successful at taking on trucking companies when someone is seriously injured.
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The Truck Accident Attorneys
The Truck Accident Attorneys at Fried Goldberg LLC devote at least 95% of their caseload to representing the victims of accidents involving tractor trailers and other commercial vehicles. Our extensive experience with the laws governing the trucking industry is the reason we are routinely successful at taking on trucking companies when someone is seriously injured.
Table of Contents
Negligent Hiring, Entrustment, or Retention
Actions Against Insurers for Negligent Hiring
Negligent Inspection, Maintenance, or Repair
Violations of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
Commercial Driver’s License (“CDL”) Manual
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Our experienced attorneys have represented individuals who have been seriously injured. We are proud of the outstanding reputation we have within our industry and our track record of success, which sets us apart. In particular, we have recovered nearly $1 billion for our clients throughout the country.