School age children transported in school buses are usually safer than children transported in other types of motor vehicles. Large school buses provide protection because of their size and weight. Yet, tragedies too frequently happen with buses and other vehicles. In one case, three children were ejected when the passenger van transporting them collided with a transit bus in Sweetwater, Florida. Two people were fatally injured when the specialty bus transporting the students collided with a truck in Lenoir City, Tennessee. Another tragic example occurred when one child was ejected and fatally injured when the passenger van transporting them collided with a pickup truck in East Dublin, Georgia. Three children were also ejected and six children were fatally injured when the passenger van transporting them was struck by a tow truck. Moreover, the greatest risk to children is in approaching or leaving the bus.
There are many school bus safety programs committed to reducing school bus-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities through both behavioral programs and safer vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for example, works to educate school bus drivers, students, and other motorists about safe behavior that reduces the risk of being involved in a school bus-related crash. The NHTSA establishes and enforces Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards that make the school bus strong, and makes recommendations to better protect passengers. These standards include in part protection for occupants, head restraints to reduce neck injury, side impact protection, roof crush resistance, and emergency exits. Even so there is ongoing concern regarding the safety of school buses including, in part, the effectiveness are state rules and regulations, the dangers of nonconforming buses, and driver competency.
Legal claims involving school buses can involve complex legal and technical issues. The following are a few important legal, factual and evidentiary matters that should be considered when evaluating a claim.
- What were the circumstances of the accident?
- Who caused or contributed to the accident?
- Did other motorists properly observe school bus laws?
- What type of bus was involved?
- Did the bus conform to all applicable rules, laws and standards?
- What were the bus driver's qualifications?
- Was the bus driver observing all traffic laws?
- Did the bus driver and aids properly maintain supervision and control of students?
- When backing up, did the driver properly watch out for children?
- Did the bus driver properly use proper signals and equipment?
- Did the driver injured a child during loading or unloading?
- Was the driver properly instructed regarding danger zones?
- Did the driver properly observe proper loading and unloading procedures?
- Did the driver observe proper highway-rail or grade crossing safety?
- Did the school bus driver know how to cross a highway-rail intersection safely?
- Did the school bus driver must know what to do with hazards on their route?
- Were injuries due to bus defects?
It is important that an experienced legal team evaluate a school bus accident claim. Complex legal, factual, and evidentiary issues may be involved. If your child or loved one are hurt in a school, you should take immediate steps to protect their interest. Do not compromise your rights by making statements to the press, insurance investigators, potential defendants, their representatives, and do not sign anything. Consider the suggestions in our accident guide, and call us immediately. We are here to help.
At Larry King, P.C., we recognize the unique issues pertaining to your claim. You can call us at (757) 595-8100 seven days a week, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. You can now contact us now on this web site by using the following Personal Injury
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