Every day, millions of children around the country ride school buses to school. In many cases, riding the bus is the safest way for children to travel to school, but that doesn’t mean that school buses are immune to accidents. There are many causes of school bus accidents, which can make yours or your child’s injury case quite complex. Our Toledo personal injury attorneys are here to explain what you should know about these accidents.
What Are Some of the Causes of School Bus Accidents?
Like any traffic accident, there are many factors that can cause a school bus accident. Road hazards, driver distraction, mechanical failure, and other issues can lead to a serious accident and cause injuries, not only for the occupants of the bus, but for others on the road as well. There can also be external factors that lead to injuries, such as poorly designed bus stops, negligent bus drivers, and unsafe road design. Even a minor accident can be made more severe due to the design of many school buses and the lack of seatbelts. Mechanical failure and maintenance is another key factor in bus accidents. Bus manufacturers have a duty to ensure that all components of the bus will stand up to reasonable stresses, that the bus meets all design and safety standards, and that there is appropriate information provides for the safe use and maintenance of the bus. It is important for the operators of buses to properly follow all maintenance schedules prescribed by the manufacturer and make timely repairs to damaged buses. Failure to do so could result in a deadly accident.
Who May Be Liable for School Bus Accidents?
Depending on the cause of your school bus accident, there may be one or more parties liable for the accident. The circumstances of the accident are a critical part of understanding who may be responsible for an accident involving a school bus. Some of the possible liable parties may include:
- The school bus driver
- The school district
- The private company who is contracted to provide transportation
- The private school, church, or organization who owns and operates the bus
- The company responsible for the bus’s maintenance
- The school bus manufacturer
- The parts manufacturers
- The driver of another vehicle which caused the accident
- The government entity responsible for road design, construction, and maintenance
The causes of an accident can vary widely from accident to accident. Busses may overturn on a tight curve where the recommended speed is too high, or they may have a fire due to a design defect, or even simply be involved in a traffic accident caused by an inattentive driver. Your personal injury attorney will thoroughly investigate the cause of the accident and determine which parties may be the ones liable.
What Kind of Damages Can Be Recovered After a School Bus Accident?
If you or your child has been injured in a school bus accident, it is highly likely that you are entitled to compensation. Your damages may include a variety of economic and noneconomic damages, such as:
- Current and future medical expenses related to the accident
- Home healthcare services
- Rehabilitation and therapy costs
- Long-term care services
- Expenses related to disability accommodations
- Physical pain and suffering
- Lost earning capacity, lost wages, and lost future income
- Mental anguish
- Psychological treatment and medications
- Diminished quality of life and loss of enjoyment of life
The compensation available to you will depend on the unique nature of your accident and injuries. If you were severely injured, you should be able to recover a more significant amount of compensation than someone who was less seriously injured. If you lost your child or a loved one to a fatal school bus accident, you may also be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit and recover compensation for the loss of your loved one. If you or someone you love has been injured in a school bus accident, our Toledo transportation accident lawyers may be able to assist you. We have more than a century of collective experience in a variety of personal injury areas, including catastrophic injuries, products liability, and more. Don’t hesitate to schedule a free consultation to get the support you need.