The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has devised comprehensive regulations pertaining to school bus safety to ensure a safe and secure journey for children attending school. NHTSA believes that students are 70 times safer when traveling in a school bus rather than a car. Their safe design coupled with stop-arm laws in every state makes school buses an extremely reliable option to commute. However, there are other vehicles and pedestrians on the road who may become a victim of an accident if a school bus driver is negligent or careless while driving. In this case, a victim is entitled to legally pursue a rightful compensation for their loss and sufferings.
How to Establish Liability in a School Bus Accident?
If you become a victim of a school bus accident, there are certain steps that you must take. Firstly, you should seek medical assistance by calling emergency responders. After receiving adequate treatment, you may assess the situation and determine which party was at fault. In some instances, bus drivers break a traffic law or drive recklessly while in other cases, a `driver of another vehicle or pedestrian are negligent and their inattention may lead to an accident.
In an event where a bus driver is at fault, you must assess whether the bus driver works for the school or is an independent employee of a contracted company. If a bus driver works for a school, then there is a possibility that school district may also be held vicariously liable for the accident. Hence, you may be able to file a claim against the school bus driver as well as the school district. However, if a bus driver is working as an employee for an independent company, then you would be able to sue the bus driver for negligence and hold contracted company vicariously liable for the accident.
Negligence can be demonstrated by showing that the driver has a duty to act as a reasonable person and obligation to follow traffic laws. Moreover, a school bus driver may at all times assume a higher level of duty of care to keep children on board safe and protected throughout the journey. It can be highly beneficial for your case to hire an experienced auto accident lawyer to seek rightful compensation. Your attorney will protect your rights and help you to establish grounds for negligence. Furthermore, a skillful auto accident lawyer may also be able to determine which party is at fault and establish a solid case against multiple parties if another driver or pedestrian was also responsible for the accident.
If you wish to find out more about this topic or schedule a free consultation, contact the offices of Robert Edens at (847) 395-2200 to speak with an experienced auto accident lawyer.