Is the School Liable for a School Bus Accident?

As a parent, you expect that your child will be driven safely to and from school. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has named the school bus the safest vehicle on the road, accidents that involve school buses are common, and they may have severe consequences. 

When someone is injured in an accident that involves the school bus, most parents are unsure who to sue for compensation. After an accident, personal injury compensation can cover medical expenses and lost wages. School bus accident cases are often very complicated. In some accidents, multiple parties may be at fault, which makes seeking compensation a complicated affair. 


Who Is Responsible for a School Bus Accident?

The cause of a car accident will determine the at-fault party, and school bus accidents are no different. The party at fault is liable for all the damages and injuries caused by the accident. 

If the accident were caused by the other driver’s neglect and carelessness, they would be liable for the damages. However, if the school bus driver was at fault, the school district and other third party entities might be responsible for the damages

 If the school district did not put the right steps to ensure that an accident doesn’t happen, they could be liable for the damages. Examples of school district negligence may include: 


  • The school district employs a driver without adequate training and experience
  • The district fails to do repair and regular maintenance checks on the school bus
  • The district fails to conduct a satisfactory background check on the driver
  • The school district allows an impaired bus driver to keep driving the school bus even after being notified of alcohol and drug use or other serious traffic rules violations 
school bus accident
Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

After a school bus accident, multiple parties may be liable for the damages. An in-depth investigation into the accident’s cause must be done immediately to identify the party at fault. Filing claims against a government body such as the school district involves a complicated process. 

In most cases, the injured party has less than 180 days to file for a claim notice to protect their rights to file a legal case. Depending on your situation and your state laws, the deadline can vary. Contact an experienced school bus accident lawyer to evaluate and substantiate the limitations that apply to your specific case. 


What to Do After a School Bus Accident

Parents of children involved in a school bus accident are often in shock. As a parent, it is your job to ensure that your child is safe. After the accident, take the child for a medical check-up immediately, even if they don’t look injured. Some internal injuries may not be noticeable immediately, and the symptoms may present themselves after a few days. 

Make sure you keep an eye on your child for any injury symptoms after the accident. Some injuries, such as concussions, back injuries, and whiplash often present symptoms several days after the accident. 

Takedown notes of any relevant information provided by the school district and any other sources present at the accident scene. Keep all documents given to you related to the accident safe. You’ll also want to keep them organized in a single place so it’ll be easy to find the documentation when you need to give it to the lawyer.

Ensure you contact an attorney as soon as possible. The attorney will know the right steps to take to protect you and your kid’s legal rights. They can also conduct independent investigations and notify the at-fault parties of an impending injury claim. 


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