When a School Bus Accident Occurs, Who is Liable?

                By on August 11th, 2018 in Blog

Two-Vehicle Collision in Adams County
Hamilton Township, PA – Two-Vehicle Collision in Adams County
August 11, 2018
Fatal Truck Accident in Salem Township
Salem Township, PA – Fatal Truck Accident Kills One Man
August 12, 2018

At Edelstein Martin & Nelson, we handle a variety of personal injury cases to help you get results when you are seeking compensation for injuries. Nobody expects to become involved in a school bus accident, but every year this becomes a reality. We entrust school big drivers with the lives of our children to take them safely to and from school as well as many other functions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration oversees a variety of standards that keep buses safe on our roads. They stand by the fact that school buses are the safest vehicle on the roads in the U.S., further recommending school buses over passenger vehicles.

The reason school buses are kept so safe is because of their design and the fact that they are protected by law. School buses are designed keeping safety and visibility in mind, featuring things like flashing red lights, cross-view mirrors, and stop-sign arms. They have protective seating for cases where they may become involved in an accident, as well as protections when there is a rollover. They are also protected by law, with drivers being unable to legally pass a school bus when a school bus is dropping off your child. However, that does not mean that every accident is preventable because they can happen quite quickly.

School Bus Accident LawyerThe NHTSA has updated information regarding just how many bus accidents have happened over the years to put it into perspective and show how rare they are. Since 2003, there were a total of 348,253 total motor vehicle accidents ending in fatalities. Of those, only 1,222 were school-transportation-related. This means, amongst buses, there are approximately 135 fatalities every year, which is considerably low.

Bringing a Case Against a School Bus Driver or Company

When a school bus accident occurs, one of the most important questions you may ask is: Who was at fault for the accident? You will have to show that somebody was acting negligently, ultimately leading to the accident. Sometimes, the driver is the at-fault party, especially in cases where evidence shows that a driver clearly violated the right of way, was driving distracted, or many other reasons. A large variety of these accidents are left-turn collisions, but there are many other types as well.

You also want to consider the employer’s liability or those who contract the bus drivers to do their duties each day. If the bus driver was acting as an agent of the school, the school could be held vicariously liable for the accident, because the driver was just acting within their scope of employment. Schools have a duty to protect students at all times, so you and your attorney will ensure that you are bringing your case against the correct party.

Though bus accidents are quite rare, especially those occurring in personal injuries and fatality, they do happen each year to some extent. When your child has been injured in a personal injury accident involving a bus driver, you may wonder how you can bring a claim. The best place to start is with us, Edelstein Martin & Nelson. Call us today to find out how we can help, at 888-208-1810.