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School Bus Accidents

School Bus Accident Attorney

Washington, DC School Bus Accident Lawyer

Many parents believe that a school bus is the safest mode of transportation to get their child to school. However, thousands of children are injured and about 26 die each year in school bus accidents.

School bus accident cases usually involve government entities, making them more complicated than regular auto accident lawsuits.

  • Loading and Unloading - Most school bus accident wrongful deaths do not occur in vehicle to vehicle collisions. About 80% of children killed in school bus accidents are struck when boarding or exiting the bus. Some are hit by passing cars, while others are struck by the school bus itself.
  • Fatal School Bus Crashes - In vehicle to vehicle collisions, the school bus nearly always has many more passengers than the other vehicle involved. However, due to the weight and size of school buses, about 70% of people killed are occupants of other vehicles.
  • No Seat Belts - The majority of school buses do not have seat belts. Some do, but in most areas there is no law requiring that the students actually wear them. This is slowly changing as groups of concerned citizens push for seat belt requirements in school buses.

Causes of School Bus Accidents

School buses run in all kinds of weather and often in disrepair. Many of the underlying causes of school bus accidents are economic. Due to the nature of public school funding, many schools are too hesitant to close in dangerous weather. Maintenance and upgrades can be very costly. The grim reality is that, rather than putting your child's safety first, many schools weigh the cost of the upgrade against the potential cost of a lawsuit, should there be an accident, and choose the cheapest option.

When schools are held financially responsible for these accidents, it actually changes the way that they and other schools calculate financial risk and encourages schools to use safer practices.

Factors that commonly contribute to school bus accidents include:

  • Hazardous weather conditions
  • Faulty vehicles
  • Driver negligence
  • Intoxicated drivers
  • Defective roadways

School Bus Accident Liability

School bus accident cases are complicated because they often involve multiple responsible parties and usually involve government entities.

Responsible parties can include:

  • School districts
  • School bus drivers
  • Government agencies responsible for maintaining roads
  • Other drivers

If you or your child has been injured in a school bus accident in the DC area, please contact Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. before you settle with an insurance company.