A school bus crash can have many causes. In some cases, the driver may be at fault. In other cases, the school district or bus company may be at fault. Determining who is responsible for a school bus crash can be complicated, but an experienced Phoenix bus accident lawyer can help you investigate the cause of the crash and determine who is liable.
The Driver’s Role in a School Bus Crash
The bus driver plays a very important role in causing or preventing a school bus crash. Drivers must be properly trained and licensed to operate a school bus. They must also follow all traffic laws and regulations. In some cases, a driver’s negligence can cause a school bus crash. For example, if a driver fails to yield the right of way or runs a red light, they may be liable for any resulting accident.
Driver of Another Vehicle
In some cases, another driver may be held partially liable for a school bus accident. This is most likely to occur if the other driver was speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or engaging in some other form of reckless driving.
The School District
School districts are responsible for ensuring that their buses are safe and well-maintained. They are also responsible for hiring qualified drivers and providing adequate training. If a district fails to do these things, it may be held liable for any resulting accident.
The Bus Company
In some cases, the company that owns the busses may be held liable for a school bus crash. The company is responsible for maintaining the buses and ensuring that they are safe for operation.
In some instances, the manufacturer of the school bus or of certain parts of the school bus can also be held liable for an accident. This is most likely to occur if there was some sort of defect with the bus that led to the accident.
For example, if brakes failed on a school bus and this resulted in an accident taking place, the manufacturer could potentially be held liable.
Determining Fault in a School Bus Crash
To determine who actually caused a school bus crash, investigators usually gather and analyze evidence from the scene of the accident. This includes physical evidence such as damage to the vehicles, skid marks, and other environmental factors; any statements given by potential witnesses; inspection of the vehicle and its components; and legal findings pertaining to traffic laws or violations.
Additionally, police and insurance adjusters may also look into driver background information and behavior in order to assess responsibility.
Potential Compensation After a School Bus Accident
School bus accidents can be complex, and there are many different types of compensation that may be available to the victim or their family. Some of the most common types of compensation that you could receive include:
Medical expenses: This can include reimbursement for medical treatments such as doctor’s visits, hospital bills, physical therapy, prescription medications, and any other costs associated with the injury.
Lost wages: If you are unable to work due to your injuries, you may be able to receive compensation for the wages you’ve lost. This includes past, current, and future earnings that have been taken away from you due to an injury suffered as a result of the school bus crash. Lost wages may also include other benefits such as bonuses and vacation pay.
Pain and suffering: Pain and suffering related to a school bus accident can include both physical and emotional distress. Physical pain refers to the aches and pains caused by injuries suffered due to the crash. Emotional distress may include fear, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health issues resulting from the trauma of the accident.
Determining who is liable for a school bus accident can be complicated. If you or your child was involved in such an accident, it’s important to speak with an experienced Phoenix personal injury attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.