Anyone who has ever ridden on a school bus knows that they are not always the safest vehicles. Without seatbelts and airbags, and with an interior made mostly of metal, these vehicles are not particularly safe in a crash. Instead, we rely on the bright yellow color and flashing lights to warn others to stay clear and keep the bus safe from accidents – but accidents happen.
If your child was injured in an accident on the school bus in Dallas or the surrounding areas, call The Queenan Law Firm today. Our attorneys may be able to take the school bus driver, the bus company, and any other negligent parties to court to seek compensation for your child’s injuries. If you were hit by a school bus, we can also fight to get you the compensation you need. For a free legal consultation on your case, call our Dallas school bus accident lawyers today at (817) 476-1797.
Determining Fault in a School Bus Accident
In any vehicle accident, you must look at the totality of the circumstances to determine who is at fault for the crash. In some cases, it is simple to determine who is at fault if someone ran a red light or was driving under the influence, but in other cases, things are more complex. The first step in holding someone accountable for the injuries your child faced in a school bus accident is to determine who was at fault and decide whom to file your injury case against.
In an accident where the bus driver loses control and crashes into a stationary object, it is simple enough to claim that the bus driver was responsible for the accident. Unless the driver was run off the road or involved in a “near-miss” accident with a dangerous driver, the bus driver will typically be at fault for these crashes and the resulting injury. In some cases, if the crash was caused by mechanical malfunctions or problems with the bus, the bus company may carry the blame.
In cases involving other vehicles, either the school bus driver or another driver is at fault. If either driver violated important traffic laws, the law may place the blame on them. For instance, distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving, running a red light, running a stop sign, or failing to yield could all be mistakes that make a driver accountable for the crash. This means that if you were hit by a school bus, but you did nothing wrong, you may be able to sue the school bus driver and the bus company for injuries. If the bus hit another car to cause the accident, the riders and other injured victims can sue the bus driver and the bus company as well.
In cases where it is difficult to determine fault, a jury typically decides who was at fault. They use the traffic laws and an objective standard of what actions behind the wheel would be “reasonable” in the given circumstances to decide who is at fault. In many cases, they may assign partial blame to each party, and it may be best to take the bus driver and any other drivers involved in the crash to court together.
Suing a School Bus Company for Bus Accidents
When a bus driver is at fault for the crash, you may be able to sue the driver personally for the accident, but you can also sue the bus company in many cases. Regardless of which party you sue, there should be insurance to cover the damages, but it may be important to your case to sue both the diver and their employer because both parties might share blame in causing the crash.
When you sue a bus company, you can do so in two ways. First, you can sue the bus company for their own mistakes and errors. This typically includes maintenance problems with the bus that contributed to the crash, such as underinflated tires or problems with the engine. It can also include suing them for negligent hiring or retention if they put a dangerous bus driver behind the wheel.
Alternatively, you can sue a bus company for vicarious liability to hold them accountable for their driver’s errors. If the accident occurred while the employee was working within the scope of their job duties, you can typically take their employer to court to answer for the employee’s negligence. In these cases, this means you should include the bus company as well as the actual driver.
When suing a bus company, you claim damages for any injuries you or your child faced in the crash. This means covering things like medical expenses resulting from the injury and pain and suffering damages. You can also sue for lost wages if you missed work because of the injuries. When suing for your child, who likely has no job, you may be able to sue for any impact the injury has on future earning capacity, especially if the accident caused permanent injuries or disabilities.
Always talk to an attorney when considering suing a school bus for an accident. There are many complicating factors, and it is difficult to know what your case is worth without help from an experienced auto accident lawyer.
Call Our Dallas School Bus Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation
To set up a free legal consultation on your school bus injury case, call the Queenan Law Firm today. Our Dallas school bus accident injury lawyers can discuss your case in a free, confidential consultation to help you understand your options and how your case may proceed. We can also help you understand your time limits for filing – which may be extended if the victim was under 18. Call our lawyers today to file your case on time and start fighting to receive financial compensation for your injuries. Call the Queenan Law Firm today at (817) 476-1797 to schedule your free consultation.