Who Is Liable for Florida School Bus Accidents?

According to the National Safety Council, more than 13,000 people are injured in school bus accidents annually. Many of these injuries are incurred by the passengers. So, who is liable for school bus accidents? Let's take a closer look and find out.

When Will the School District Be Liable?

There are some circumstances in which the school district can be found liable for a school bus accident.

Actions of a Passenger

What kind of protocol is in place when it comes to bullying and fighting among passengers on the bus? When an investigation occurs, they will look into how the bus driver handled the situation and if the district adequately trained them on handling these kinds of situations.

They will also consider if the driver knew that a passenger might have posed a risk for another. Witness testimony and previous complaints will be looked at regarding the at-fault passenger.

Overloaded Bus

Some accidents also happen due to the bus being overloaded and overcrowded. In these cases, your attorney will look into the driver and see if he was properly trained on the procedures for loading and unloading the bus and if they know to keep the aisles free from clutter and other hazards.

Improper Maintenance

Another common cause of bus accidents is improper maintenance. If the bus is not equipped with the proper safety equipment, including fire extinguishers, the school district may be held liable for the bus accident.

Who Else May Be Liable?

So, who else besides the school district may prove liable for school bus accidents? You need to establish who is at fault for the accidents to file your lawsuit against the appropriate party. In some cases, the driver of the bus may be the only one liable. In other cases, it may be a third-party contracting agency hired by the school district or even the insurance company.

Each school district handles its transportation services differently, so you need to investigate all policies that are in place when determining liability in your case. Your personal injury attorney can investigate the accident and help you determine who may be liable.

Negligence and Personal Injury

Many steps must be taken during the investigative process to determine negligence. You have to see if there was any kind of mechanical issue with the bus, was the driver distracted in any way? Several questions need to be answered, and it requires an extensive review of local, state, and federal standards.

Analyzing the accident reports can also help determine what standards were and were not met at the time of the accidents and if the accident can be proven as the result of negligence.

How Common Are School Bus Accidents?

Fatal crashes are rare, but they can still happen. Pedestrians, cyclists, and other individuals have accounted for more than 20% of school bus-related accidents. However, motor vehicle accidents aren't the only common causes of school bus injuries. There are also slip and falls inside the bus, sudden turns and stops, and passengers messing around while on the bus.

Many school bus injuries result in hospitalization and treatment for less serious injuries such as cuts, scrapes, and even possibly broken bones.

Steps to Take

If your child has been injured on the bus, you do have options. You may be able to file a compensation claim to help cover your child's medical bills and other related expenses. To see if you have a case, it is recommended that you contact an experienced Florida personal injury attorney. They can review your case and see what steps you need to take to proceed..