School Bus Accidents: When Our Children Are Injured

In the morning and afternoon, orange and yellow are the most popular colors on the road. School buses are generally a very safe mode of transportation. They have to be — they carry the most precious cargo: our children.

Yet, during the school year, car accident lawyers hear far too many stories of bus accidents and accidents at bus stops. Recently, the news has been buzzing with fatal school bus accidents across the country. In Michigan, a school bus overturned near Ann Arbor earlier this year, causing early morning panic for the high schoolers riding it. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured.

School Bus Accident Statistics

According to 2008 traffic safety facts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 1,409 fatal school bus accidents between 1998 and 2008 and many more injury-causing accidents. Most of the fatalities were other motorists (72 percent), pedestrians and bicyclists (20 percent). The report states that "an average of 19 school-age children die in school transportation-related traffic crashes each year — 5 occupants of school transportation vehicles and 14 pedestrians."

These numbers do not include the number of school age children killed when they are struck by a car while crossing the road or waiting for their bus. In fact, "more school-age pedestrians have been killed between the hours of 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. than any other time of day."

If Your Child Is Injured in a Bus Accident

What if your child is injured while riding the school bus, crossing the street or standing at the bus stop? Who is responsible?

School bus accidents and bus stop accidents are often the result of other drivers failing to use caution when driving around buses and bus stops. They can also be caused by overloaded buses, insufficient driver training, poorly maintained buses, faulty warning signs, inadequate supervision, drunk driving, speeding, failing to yield the right of way and many other factors.

Determining who may be liable for the school bus crash requires careful investigation. In many cases, the at-fault driver is the driver of another vehicle involved in the accident. In others, the school bus driver and his or her company may be responsible. Even the school district could be held accountable.

If your child has been injured, this is a difficult time for you, a time that should be spent focusing on your family, not on a lawsuit. Let an experienced personal injury lawyer take the legal burden off your shoulders.