Annually, the country’s 450,000 public school buses travel 4.3 billion miles to transport 23 million children to and from school and school-related activities.
School bus transportation, while one of the safest forms of transportation in this country, still comes with its dangers. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), school buses average about 26,000 crashes every year, resulting in 10 deaths over the last 11 years. Among the victims, 25 percent were drivers and 75 percent were passengers, with frontal crashes accounting for two passenger deaths each year.
Getting the call that your child has been injured in a school business accident can be terrifying. Getting them the medical help they need is of paramount importance, followed by a call to an experienced school bus accidents attorney at Kuzyk Law. Get your free consultation now by calling 661-945-6969.
Here are some factors to consider when hiring a qualified school bus accident attorney.
Look at whether the driver of the school bus was at fault for the accident. Many things can cause these accidents, such as driver fatigue, carelessness and intoxication. Sometimes the school bus driver is 100 percent at fault, while other times liability is shared with the driver of another vehicle or even a pedestrian who could have caused the driver to brake fast as they stepped out into the roadway. Properly identifying all liable parties is integral to deciding whether or not to file a bus injury lawsuit.
The owner of the bus company may also be held liable for the accident, in addition to the driver. There are many considerations to look at, such as unsafe hiring practices, inadequate driver training or poor vehicle maintenance. Basically, if the bus company’s responsibility is questioned, you should consider naming them in your personal injury lawsuit. Just remember that often times, the school itself is not the owner of the bus because they may use third-party contractors for their bus services. The contractors of the bus are typically the ones targeted in a lawsuit.
You could also target a school district in addition to the operator of the bus system as a defendant. For instance, when there is sufficient evidence that the school district was negligent in contracting with a provider with serious driver and vehicle safety issues marring their record, you may be able to prove that this negligence contributed to the accident. Some people decide to involve the school in their case. However, going this route may bring undue complications to the case and increase its difficulty to settle or win.
Statute of Limitations
In California, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is two years. But some situations demand that you act more quickly. For instance, if you are filing a claim that involves a large public entity such as the Los Angeles Unified School District, you only have between six and 12 months to file the claim.
Bus accidents often times involve corporate insurance company attorneys who will do their best to ensure you settle for much less than you deserve. That’s why you need to do your research to ensure your attorney has experience going toe to toe with these ruthless insurance companies. Research the portfolios of various lawyers, making sure you only consider experienced and reputable bus accident lawyers who have dealt with your type of case in the past.
School bus accident laws tend to change periodically as new procedures are implemented and new cases decided. Look for an attorney who regularly represents bus accident victims, as you know they will be more up-to-date on current laws.
Contact Kuzyk Law
The personal injury lawyers at Kuzyk Law have experience in representing school bus accident victims. To learn more about your rights in these situations, contact us at 661-945-6969 for your free initial consultation. We answer the phone 24 hours a day!