While we all like to think our children are safe and sound when they get on the school bus each morning, these large buses can be involved in severe accidents. Whether the injured person was a passenger on a school bus or a pedestrian struck by a school bus, these accidents can have catastrophic consequences.
According to a 2019 study by the New York State Education Department, there have been 114 school bus student fatalities in New York State since 1960. Five additional students have also lost their lives from school trips on charter busses. This demonstrates that while schools buses are safe in general, accidents do occur.
A typical school bus is a very large motor vehicle with a length of up to 40 feet and a weight of greater than 40,000 lbs. A large school bus can carry up to 80 passengers, making it extremely dangerous if an accident occurs. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident it is important you seek the counsel of an experienced New York City school bus accident lawyer to go over your claim and help guide you through the legal process. To learn more or get started, call and schedule a consultation with one of our bus accident attorneys in NYC today.
How Are School Bus Accidents Caused?
Bus drivers own an increased duty of care to their passengers and students on board, as well as to other vehicles on the road. When a bus driver in New York City breaches this duty of care, and an accident occurs, that driver may be responsible for any of the subsequent damages.
Causes of school bus accidents may include:
Drivers or school bus monitors who were improperly or insufficiently trained
Drivers who have little experience driving a school bus
Tired or fatigued drivers
School buses that were not properly maintained or repaired
Dangerous road conditions such as rain, snow, or sleet coupled with excessive speed
Drivers having to navigate complex routes
Stopping the bus often to pick up children
Failing to see due to blind spots or a failure to keep a proper lookout
The driver may be distracted by children on a crowded bus
Who is Liable for Damages in a School Bus Accident Lawsuit in New York?
The majority of school bus accident lawsuits in New York City concentrate on the notion of negligence, which is the failure to act with reasonable care in circumstances that may injure another. Bus drivers are held to a higher standard of care than other drivers on the road, which often makes the bus driver a liable party.
Liability usually applies while children are present on the school bus, but may be extended in certain circumstances in which the school bus driver still has an obligation to guarantee the children’s safety. School bus drivers, owners, and school entities may be held responsible for injuries a student suffers if the bus driver fails to:
Drive the bus with care
Confirm that traffic has stopped before allowing a child to exit the bus
Monitor children’s safety while crossing the road
Activate safety measures, including flashing red lights with a stop sign while students board and depart from the bus
If you were injured in a school bus accident, your attorney must prove that you were a victim of negligence by collecting evidence to confirm that the bus driver or another party acted irresponsibly and negligently. Your attorney must also use the collected evidence to prove in a lawsuit that no actions of your own caused your injuries.
Potential Liable Parties
The potentially liable parties for damages in a school bus accident in New York City include:
The bus driver
The owner of the bus, including the State of New York or other government entities or private companies
Manufacturer of the school bus or any part of the bus
The company overseeing maintenance of the bus
The New York City municipality in which the accident took place
A negligent third party
What Are Common Injuries That Result from School Bus Accidents in New York City?
Because school buses lack safety equipment for students and passengers on board, accidents can result in severe injuries or sometimes death.
Injuries that may result from a school bus accident include:
Spinal cord injuries
If you or a loved one suffered any injuries in a school bus accident, you might have legal recourse. The school bus lawyers at Frekhtman & Associates may be able to help you secure compensation to cover medical expenses for these injuries, pain and suffering, property damage, and more.
Importance of a New York City School Bus Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving a school bus, contact a New York City school bus accident lawyer at Frekhtman & Associates for a free consultation to learn your rights. We have experience litigating cases against all types of school buses public and private, large and small, and we don’t ever stop fighting until justice is served.