Parents place a lot of trust in their child’s school bus driver. This individual is responsible for taking their child to and from school safely, transporting them to school and sport events, etc. While most children make it to their destination without any incidence, there are times when things can go wrong. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, there was an estimated 1,214 fatal crashes involving school transport between 2004 and 2013, which averages about 134 fatalities each year.
If your child is injured on a school bus, it is important to know your options and what you should do if your child is hurt.
Tips for Keeping Your Child Safe
First, you should always teach your child the basics of safe riding on a school bus. This includes safely entering and exiting the bus. Some things you should teach your child include:
- Making sure they are aware of moving traffic around the bus – not all drivers stop like they are supposed to.
- Leave your child plenty of time to get to the bus stop so that they do not have to run.
- Teach your child to pay attention to their surroundings – that means not playing on their cellphone or listening to music while waiting for the bus or walking to/from the bus.
- Have your child wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before approaching it and always staying 10 giant steps away from the outside of the bus so that the driver can see them.
- Your child should always be courteous and respectful to their bus driver and they should always ask them for help if need be.
- Your child should remain in their seat at all times while the bus is moving and not get up from their seat until the bus comes to a complete stop and the driver says it is okay to move.
When Your Child Is Injured
Even with all of the precautions in place, your child could still be injured – especially if their bus is involved in a car accident. If your child is injured, there are several legal questions you will need to answer in order to determine who is liable for their injuries:
- Determining Fault – First you will need to determine who was at fault for the accident with the bus. This could be the other driver or the bus driver if they were acting negligently. If the driver was negligent, you may be able to sue them for damages.
- Who Is Liable – Fault and liability do not always go hand in hand. For example, if the bus driver was at fault for the accident, but they were working for the school district, the school may be considered the responsible party for the negligent actions of their bus driver – which means you would file a suit against the school.
- Filing a Lawsuit – If you are filing a suit against a school district, you will need to speak with an attorney. These types of lawsuits are highly complex and you are limited to strict timelines and regulations. Your attorney will need to ensure you comply with these requirements – otherwise your claim could automatically be denied.
Was Your Child Injured? Contact Malman Law
If your child was injured by a negligent bus driver, the attorneys at Malman Law can help. Contact us online to schedule a consultation or call us at 888-625-6265 now.