Many people rely on school buses for transportation to and from school. Parents also rely on school buses to get their children to and from school safely. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), from 2007 to 2016, there was an average of 128 school transportation-related fatalities. If you or your family member was injured or killed due to a school bus accident, you can sue for a school bus accident.
You Might Be Able to Sue Multiple Parties for a School Bus Accident
While you can sue for damages if you were in a school bus accident, it can sometimes be difficult to determine who to sue. Finding out who was responsible for the school bus accident may not be easy. Proving who was responsible for the school bus accident is even more difficult.
In cases involving a school bus, you might be able to sue:
The Bus Driver
The bus driver has a duty to protect students throughout the bus ride. If the bus driver’s negligence caused the bus accident, you can sue the bus driver for damages you sustained.
The School District
If the school district’s negligence contributed to the accident, you might be able to sue the school district. For example, if school should have been canceled due to poor weather, and poor weather caused the accident, the school district may be held responsible.
The Bus Manufacturer
If the school bus accident was caused by a faulty vehicle, the bus manufacturer may be held responsible for the damages done as a result.
The School Bus Company
The company that owns the school buses has a duty to maintain the school buses. If an accident is caused by a lack of maintenance to the school bus, the company may be responsible for the bus accident.
The Other Driver
Other drivers are on the road when the school buses take students to and from their destination. If another driver caused an accident with a school bus, they may be held responsible for the accident’s damages.
These Common Causes of Bus Accidents May Entitle Lawsuits
Like any other car accident, school bus accidents can be caused by a variety of factors. The cause of the school bus accident can determine who you can sue for a school bus accident.
Common causes of bus accidents include:
A Distracted Driver
Distracted driving is the cause of many vehicle accidents. Distracted driving can include making phone calls, texting while driving, or eating while driving. When a driver takes their eyes off the road, they might miss a child crossing the street, a vehicle pulling out in front of them, or a light turning red. An accident can happen in a matter of seconds.
School bus drivers are often carrying many young children. Young children can often be noisy and uncooperative. The bus driver is usually the only adult watching these children, but their main duties are to drive the bus safely. If the children get too noisy or disruptive, it can pose a distraction to the driver.
Similar to loading a large semi-truck, a school bus must have a fairly even weight distribution. Evenly distributing the weight on a school bus is difficult because students may get up and move around. If there is more weight on one side of the bus, it can pull the bus when driving around a turn or corner.
Hazardous road conditions can be especially dangerous for school buses. When there is bad weather, school is often canceled or delayed due to the school buses. Any large vehicle is at a greater risk of an accident in hazardous weather due to its size and weight. If the road has rain, snow, or ice, a large vehicle can easily lose control.
Equipment defects can cause school bus accidents if a part on the school bus is defective, outdated, or misused. Just like any other vehicle, a school bus might have faulty brakes or a failing engine. A defective part in a school bus can cause the driver to lose control, causing an accident.
You Might Be Entitled to Receive Compensation for a School Bus Accident
As stated in the New York Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP) §214, you generally have three years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit. If you were in a school bus-related accident in the last three years, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries and damages.
You may be able to recover compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering
Let Morelli Law Firm Handle Your School Bus Accident Case
A lawyer can help you determine who you can sue for a school bus accident. Once you determine who you can sue, a lawyer can fight for the compensation you need to recover from your damages.
A bus accident can be a traumatic experience for everyone involved. Our team at Morelli Law Firm can help you gather evidence to build a strong case. Call us at (212) 751-9800 for a free case evaluation.