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Who is Liable if My Child is Injured in a School Bus Accident?

Was Your Child Injured in a School Bus Accident? Call Us Today

The minute your kids board a school bus, the school inherits the responsibility to care for their health and safety. This responsibility doesn’t only take effect when the kids are in the classroom.

Children are likely to get to school safely when traveling on school buses compared to private vehicles. But why? The commonly used vehicle is responsible for the medical expenses incurred during the injury treatment process? This article will help you understand your legal options, courtesy of Grey Law’s Los Angeles personal injury attorneys.

Common causes of School Bus Accidents

Despite the strict regulations, such as ensuring that drivers meet certain qualifications to transport school kids, unexpected crashes may still occur. Most of these accidents occur as a result of human error. For instance:

  • Drowsy driving.
  • Overlooking traffic rules.
  • Reckless driving and speeding.
  • Drunk driving.
  • Distracted driving.
  • Poor maintenance and faulty components.
  • Terrible road conditions.
  • Bad weather conditions.
  • Insufficient training.

Other rare occasions include children sustaining injuries when alighting school buses or when crossing roads to get home. Your child’s case may be different from what you’ve heard on the TV. Let’s dig in.

Who is liable for school bus accidents?

School bus accidents normally will involve several liable parties apart from the driver. Law firms conduct comprehensive and thorough accident investigations to discover who is to blame for the collision. The liable party often pays up for damage and expenses incurred after the accident.

The following are probable parties who may be liable:

School district

School districts are required to prevent school bus accidents by stipulating various preventive measures. Unfortunately, failing to do so yields to accidents caused by negligence. Some examples of negligence include:

  • The management fails to train and vet the drivers sufficiently.
  • The management fails to run background checks on drivers.
  • Failing to inspect, maintain, and repair the bus.
  • If the management fails to discontinue a school bus driver found guilty of violating traffic rules or drug use.

Where the school district fails to meet these general standards, and an accident occurs, leading to a child’s injury, you are entitled to file for a compensation claim and sue the school. In some cases, where the services were outsourced and outlined in the contract, you may have a complex case that requires guidance and expert help from an experienced Los Angeles school bus accident lawyer.

Bus maintenance company

Who has been serving the school bus that got involved in an accident? This is an excellent place to begin investigations seeing that “human is to error.” On some occasions, the third-party mandated with maintaining and repairing the school buses may have conducted a shoddy job such as not changing the worn-out tires, replacing the brake pads, changing the suspensions, and so on, which eventually lead to the accident. The maintenance company will be held liable for the damages and injuries sustained from the accident.

School bus manufacturers

Federal bodies require school buses to be designed and manufactured in regard to particular guidelines that protect children. We understand that accidents are unexpected and sometimes due to unforeseen faults. Manufacturers are supposed to cut down these chances and make these vehicles as safe as possible.

After investigations, relevant bodies may find fault in the school bus that makes the manufacturer liable when your child gets hurt due to the negligence of someone else. Faults such as defective breaks, engines, speedometers, and seat belts are valid causes that bring forward manufacturers to become responsible for their manufacturing mistakes.

Governmental agencies

The government is responsible for making roads safe for use, especially for buses carrying children to and from school. For this reason, public entities must be held accountable for condoning dangerous conditions such as road defects, sharp intersections, lack of road signs, and absent crossroads that cause accidents. Investigations and findings revealed may build a case strong enough to sue relevant government agencies that contributed to the accident.

Other drivers on the road

Sometimes, an accident occurs due to another driver’s fault on the road who may have caused the crash. These types of cases are rather straightforward, especially if the other driver agrees to be at fault. Liability automatically falls on the driver who may have caused the crash. However, you will need to prepare your case with an experienced lawyer to help you navigate the case and increase your chances of being compensated.

Pharmaceutical companies

It’s possible for a school bus driver to have impaired judgment caused by prescription or medicinal drugs. This can result in a severe accident. In that case, who becomes liable for damages and injuries caused in the accident? The drug manufacturer may be liable for injuries sustained as an indirect party. Such cases require in-depth investigation and evidence to pin liability on the pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Final thoughts

The laws are different when suing liable parties for compensation after your child sustains injuries in a school bus accident. You might want to consult with an experienced lawyer on the steps to take to win compensation successfully. An excellent lawyer will prevent you from making mistakes that could be detrimental to your case. Hire the right legal counsel to protect your child’s legal rights and have the liable parties take responsibility for their actions.

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