Who Is Liable For My Child’s Injuries In A School Bus Accident?
When a child gets an injury in a school bus accident, more than one party may share the liability. The responsibility for causing the accident is a consideration. Determining liability is a process of assigning blame and figuring out who is “at fault” for the school bus accident.
Here are some of the parties that may have some responsibility for causing the accident.
The Bus Driver
The driver of the bus may be held responsible.
Examples of circumstances where a school bus driver may be liable are if the driver was negligent, driving dangerously, speeding, violating traffic laws, distracted by texting or talking on a mobile phone, or impaired by drugs or alcohol.
The Bus Driver’s Employer
If the driver is at-fault, then the driver’s employer is also usually at-fault and has some responsibility through indirect liability.
The employer of a school bus driver may be a governmental agency or a private contractor. The difference between having to sue the government and a private company is significant. The filing time requirements and the statutes of limitations are different. There may be limitations on government liability that do not exist for private companies.
The Other Driver(s)
Perhaps another driver(s) caused the accident. In that type of case, the insurance companies of the other driver(s) will be the parties that are liable for the damages.
The Bus Manufacturer
A defect in the manufacturing process, which causes a school bus accident, may cause liability for the bus manufacturer.
A Third Party
Suppose a street maintenance crew removed a sewer drain cover in the middle of the street and then did not replace it or put up any warning signs, leaving the hole open and not marked. If the bus drove into this hole because the driver could not see it, the road maintenance crew and the company or the government agency they work for may be liable.
The Children on the Bus
Unruly children on the bus might have been the cause of the accident.
There are cases where the injured child caused the accident, or the child did something, like jump out a window, that caused the child’s injuries.
Everybody is Partially At-Fault
Accidents with school buses are usually complicated. Establishing the fault for causing the accident is not easy to accomplish. There usually are many factors to consider that require in-depth analysis of the accident to understand what happened. Everyone involved may share liability to some degree. This common scenario causes all the parties to fight about who is the one to blame for causing the accident.
If your child were injured, you would want to be represented by competent legal counsel to protect your rights. You do not want to face this fight alone against perhaps many attorneys for the opposition. It would be best if you did everything possible to protect your child. We will help.