As a parent, there is nothing more important than the safety of your child. Fortunately, children spend most of the day in school, which is generally a very safe place. While most parents assume that their children will not only be safe in school, but also while getting to and from school, school bus accidents do happen. While less common than other types of motor vehicle crashes, if your child is involved in a school bus accident in Massachusetts, it’s important that you understand your rights. To learn more, reach out to our experienced attorney today online or by phone.
How School Bus Accidents Happen
School bus accidents are almost always preventable, and would not happen but for negligence or/and a breach of safety protocols. Some ways in which school bus accidents happen include:
- School bus driver negligence—For example, speeding, taking turns at an unsafe speed, texting while driving, driving while distracted or impaired, driving aggressively, or violating a traffic law.
- Bus vehicle failure—In some cases, a school bus accident could be the cause of a failure of the bus or a part of the bus itself. For example, defective brakes may cause a crash.
- Other driver negligence—A large number of bus accidents are the fault of other drivers on the road. A driver who fails to stop when a bus is loading or unloading, for example, can cause an accident.
- Other factors—Some school bus accidents are caused by factors other than negligent drivers or vehicle failures, such as unsafe pedestrian zones, fall hazards, rowdy children, and poor driving or road conditions.
Who’s Liable for a School Bus Accident?
If your child has been harmed, you are undoubtedly searching for a way to make your child and your family whole again. The first step in identifying the party who should be held liable for damages is to identify causation and negligence. How did the bus accident happen and who was at fault?
For example, if a third-party driver caused the accident, then the third-party driver should be held liable for damages—typically via their liability insurance coverage. If the school bus driver caused the accident, the school district could be held liable as the employer of the negligent employee.
Do I Have the Right to Sue?
Typically, bus accident claims are filed out of court and lawsuits are not necessary. If you cannot reach a fair settlement agreement, you may have the right to sue.
Filing a lawsuit against a school district can be complicated. School districts enjoy the protection of sovereign immunity, and there are special rules for bringing forth an action for damages.
Learn More from an Experienced School Bus Accident Attorney Today
At the office of Tetzel Law, our Massachusetts school bus accident attorney is passionate about getting justice when children are harmed. If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, we want to help. To learn more, reach out to us online for your free consultation, or call us directly at (617) 742-1700 today.