School buses have many safety features and are safer for children than cars. Even so, school buses do crash and cause injuries. People who can be injured in a school bus accident include children on their way to or from school, school bus drivers, people driving or riding in other vehicles, and/or pedestrians. Some of these crashes cause fatalities.
School buses can run head-on into other vehicles, roll over onto their sides, get sideswiped by trucks, run into poles, get rear-ended, or be involved in multi-vehicle crashes. Sometimes the school bus driver is at fault, and sometimes drivers of other vehicles involved in the crash are to blame.
Injuries from school bus accidents can be devastating. Serious injuries are life-changing and may require years of expensive medical treatments and rehabilitation. Accident injuries can cause financial stress, ongoing pain, and emotional difficulties.
For more than 50 years, the dedicated lawyers at Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer have secured significant financial compensation for people injured in accidents, including multi-million-dollar trial verdicts and settlements. We believe that when drivers are negligent and cause other people harm, they should be held accountable for their actions. If you or your child were injured in an accident involving a school bus, contact a bus accident attorney at Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer to get the legal help you need.
National and Pennsylvania School Bus Accident Statistics
In Pennsylvania, in 2019, there were 301 crashes involving school buses, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Traffic. In just over half of those crashes, people were injured. People were killed in four of the crashes, but they were all in other vehicles or pedestrians, not people on the school bus.
In a recent five-year period in Pennsylvania, 900 school bus passengers, 166 school bus drivers, 17 school-age pedestrians, 25 other pedestrians, 609 drivers or passengers in other vehicles, and 61 other people were injured in crashes involving school buses, for a total of 1,778 injuries. Over the same five-year period, one school bus driver, one school-age pedestrian, three other pedestrians, and 15 drivers or passengers in other vehicles were killed, for a total of 20 fatalities in crashes involving school buses in the state.
National statistics paint a similar picture. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that children are 70 times more likely to get to school safely riding on a school bus than in a car. Across the country, about four to six children die each year in school bus accidents, which is less than 1% of the total fatalities from crashes. If you’re a parent, you can rest assured that school buses are safe by design, with many safety features that help prevent fatalities in school bus accidents.
Unfortunately, no safety feature can prevent all injuries, and injuries are far more common than fatalities in school bus crashes. Each year, about 17,000 children nationwide have to go to hospital emergency departments to be treated for injuries they sustained in school bus accidents.
Liability for School Bus Accidents
If you’re a parent, you expect school bus drivers and drivers in other vehicles that are near school buses to take the greatest care possible to protect the bus’s precious passengers. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Drivers of school buses and other vehicles may be driving recklessly, distracted, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, not driving safely for the weather or road conditions, drowsy, speeding, or ignoring other traffic laws. Drivers of the other vehicles involved in a crash may have also neglected to take the special precautions that are required when driving near a school bus.
In addition to negligent drivers, other parties may be negligent and liable for damages for your or your child’s injuries. These parties may include:
- Manufacturers of the bus or of bus parts if defects caused or contributed to the accident.
- The owner of the bus, which may be a private bus company or the school district.
The experienced Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer bus accident lawyers will aggressively pursue the evidence needed to prove that a driver, manufacturer, owner, or other party was negligent and should be held accountable for the accident and your injuries.
Compensation for School Bus Accident Injuries
If your child was injured while riding a school bus, or if you or a loved one were hurt while a driver or passenger in a vehicle that collided with a school bus, the law gives you the right to seek financial compensation for your or your child’s injuries. The compensation may include medical expenses, lost income (if it was an adult who was injured), as well as compensation for “non-economic” damages, such as physical pain, anxiety, and lessened enjoyment of life. Damages that may be compensated include current expenses and losses from the time of the accident as well as expected future expenses and losses for as long as you are expected to require treatment for your injuries or be negatively affected by them.
The amount of compensation you may receive will depend on the facts about the accident and the severity of the injuries. Our bus accident attorneys would be glad to talk with you and give you an honest evaluation of your case. If you become a Raynes client, we will review the records from the accident and your medical records, and we will consult with experts to get the necessary proof to establish negligence and show the full extent of your expenses and losses that deserve to be compensated.
Find a Bus Accident Attorney Near Me
At Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer, we understand how horrifying it is when school buses get into accidents, and children or adults are injured. We are committed to holding negligent defendants accountable for the harm they have caused. Contact us today to set up a free consultation with an experienced bus accident attorney. Call us toll-free at (800) 535-1797, or fill out our contact form. We will provide a free evaluation of your case to help you understand your rights and make an informed decision about what to do next.
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