School Bus Accident | Injury Lawyer Sarasota Florida
School buses are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in avoiding crashes and preventing injury. Today’s school buses are tougher and more diligently maintained than ever before. These powerful vehicles—just like other cars and large trucks—are susceptible to damage resulting from violations of traffic laws.
School Bus Transportation is Generally Safe
School bus drivers receive special training in safety, security and medical procedures; undergo regular drug and alcohol testing; and receive regular driving record checks. In Florida, school bus traffic laws designed to protect students are strictly enforced.
Although school buses provide one of the safest modes of transportation, there are still school bus-related injuries (and unfortunately some fatalities) every year. Southwest Florida has not been spared from such incidents.
Some of these tragedies are caused by crashes with other vehicles; some are due to the school bus striking a pedestrian, bicyclist, or a passenger. The responsibility borne by school bus drivers and their employers is considerable.
School Bus Related Crashes
A school-transportation-related crash is a vehicle collision that involves, either directly or indirectly, a school bus body vehicle, or a non-school bus functioning as a school bus, transporting children to or from school or school-related activities. There can be many causes, from negligence by bus drivers to careless driving by operators of other vehicles, among other contributing factors.
School-transportation-related crashes have resulted in thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths. The majority of these injuries involve persons who have been struck by school buses, whereas the substantial plurality are injured by other vehicles—passenger cars, light trucks and vans, large trucks, and motorcycles—involved in the crashes.
The majority of school-age pedestrians injured or killed are between 5 and 13 years old. Most of these children have sustained personal injury or death by school transportation vehicles—school buses and non-school-bus vehicles used as school buses—each year. Other vehicles involved in school-bus-related crashes cause the substantial remaining number of injured child pedestrians. Sadly, more school-age pedestrians have been killed from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. than any other times of day.
For injuries which occur on the bus, more than half of those crashes involved at least one other vehicle. Among the occupants killed or injured in school transportation vehicles, nearly half were drivers and the remainder were passengers.
Injuries to Children and Passengers on School Buses
Crashes involving school buses are the same as those accidents which occur in other motor vehicles. Poor driver performance—negligence—is the leading cause of traffic collisions. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that 92% of all crashes are caused by driver error.
In the context of school bus accidents, this faulty driving is often caused by drivers of other motor vehicles which rear-end, t-bone, or otherwise collide with the bus. Bus drivers are often at fault for loading and offloading of child passengers, failure to clear the bus stop before driving, or failing to drive safely when encountering route hazards.
Children and other passengers on board the bus are injured by being tossed in the violent collision. Head injuries and broken bones are common, and while more rare, every death is too many.
Civil Justice Remedies for School Bus Accident Injuries
Whether you or your child are eligible for compensation depends on the circumstances of the school bus crash. The nature and extent of the injuries, harms, and losses, are key factors in determining the full measure of money damages which would represent full and fair compensation.
Similarly, critically important in assessing damages compensation is the availability of insurance and other financial resources of the at fault driver and other responsible parties. Who is liable for causing or contributing the school bus accident is part of the overall investigation and evaluation.
Representing the seriously injured in all types of auto accidents and vehicle crashes throughout Southwest Florida, experienced Sarasota attorney David Harris is driven and determined to pursue justice for you. The consultation is free, personal, and confidential. There is no fee unless we win, and clients are respected and provided with personal attention and service from beginning to end.