Have you ever wondered who is held liable when a school bus accident occurs? It really depends on the outcome of an investigation and local laws.
Keep in mind, if a negligent bus driver causes an accident and someone is injured or killed, you could potentially hold the school district and the employee liable. Driver errors can occur for a number of reasons including distracted, fatigued or reckless driving.
Additionally, if another driver on the road causes an accident, you could potentially hold him or her liable.
It should also be noted that mechanical failures could contribute to a school bus crash. Again, in this instance, liability would depend on the outcome of an investigation into the crash and local laws.
Are Bus Accidents Common?
Sadly, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, more than 11,000 bus accident injuries were reported in 2010. This number includes school buses, charter buses, public transportation and church buses.
These injuries included broken bones, spinal cord injuries and head injuries.
In a recent example, a school bus accident occurred in Baltimore County injuring 10 elementary school students. According to WNEW-TV, the bus was headed to Elmwood Elementary School on January 21 when the crash occurred on Kenwood Avenue and North Lane in Baltimore.
The accident remains under investigation—it is unclear if another vehicle was involved.
Speaking to an Attorney About a School Bus Accident
Public transit providers and school districts have a duty to protect passengers. When they fail to do this, they should be held accountable.
Make sure you have any bus accident investigated by an attorney, as you may be entitled to damages, which can help pay for injury care, as well as pain and suffering. These accidents can be incredibly traumatic for children—those responsible must be held liable.
Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.