When children are injured in school bus accidents, parents should consider employing an experienced school bus accident lawyer to legally represent them and manage their injury claim. Cases involving school buses can be difficult to handle and prove guilt because the liable parties will most likely have strong legal representation on their side, whether it is the school district, bus driver, bus company, or bus manufacturer. Attorneys that have experience with school bus accidents can help families recover financial compensation that helps pay for medical bills, lost wages, future lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
How School Bus Accidents Happen
School transportation-related crashes are accidents that involve a school bus or school-owned vehicle transporting children to or from school. When fatal school bus accidents occur, it generally happens when on the way to school or coming home. When the bus is stopped to unload children, motorists may pass by and hit a child.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that over 450,000 public school buses transport about 23 million children to and from school and school-related activities. Each year, an average of 20 children die from school bus accidents or incidents. Of these 20, five are injured inside the bus, another five are hit by vehicles, and 10 are hit by the school bus itself.
There are numerous potential causes of a school bus collision. A few are listed below:
- Bus driver not paying attention to surroundings
- Improperly trained bus driver
- School bus malfunction
- Routine maintenance not performed
- Tires not changed
School Bus Accident Statistics
Here are some school bus accident statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- More school-age pedestrians have been killed between the hours of 3 pm and 4 pm than any other time of day.
- Since 2000, over 370,000 have died in fatal motor vehicle accidents. Of these fatal crashes, about 1,250 deaths were school-transportation related.
- Since 2000, over 1,300 people have been killed in school-bus related accidents.
- An average of 139 school-transportation accident deaths have occurred each year since 2000.
Investigating the School Bus Accident
Immediately after the crash, while the memory and details are fresh in your mind, a school bus accident investigation should begin. When a lawyer performs an investigation to determine who is at fault, he or she will assess whether or not safety regulations, policies, and procedures were followed correctly. A thorough investigation also helps prevent accidents similar in nature from occurring again. Accident investigations will generally show safety issues that weren’t apparent before.
Some of the most carefully examined motor vehicle accidents involve school buses. Because of this, other groups may perform their investigations. Some of these groups include:
- Local police department
- The school district
- Bussing contractor
- A private investigator hired by an attorney
- Insurance company
Seat Belts Are Seldom Required
In certain types of school buses, seat belts are required. Unfortunately, the majority of buses in the US do not have seat belts and most states do not require them.
The Department of Transportation and many states have determined that students on school buses are safe with four-inch foam seats and seat frames that bend to absorb crash forces. This protection system is not equipped to manage rollover crashes, however. The argument in favor of mandating seat belts on school buses is to add protection in the event of a rollover.
Get a Free Case Evaluation From Our Philadelphia Law Firm
Gary Heslin and The Heslin Law Firm provide top-quality legal representation for victims of school bus accidents in Philadelphia. When you hire a school-transportation crash attorney, a full investigation will be performed to determine who is liable for the collision. Once liability is determined, we can begin to assess sustained injuries and demand fair financial compensation that pays for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our Philadelphia law firm operates on a contingency fee basis. This means if you do not get paid for your accident injuries, we don’t get paid.
We have over 30 years of experience practicing accident and personal injury law in the State of Pennsylvania. Contact our office for a free consultation.