Millions of students of all ages rely on school buses for transportation to and from school every day. While school buses are generally safe, accidents can still happen. If you or someone you love was the victim of a school bus accident, you could be able to take legal action. Depending on your case, you could potentially recover compensation for your losses.
Speaking with a Los Angeles school bus accident lawyer might help you understand your legal options. A team member of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is available to discuss your case in detail. Call (800) 794-0444 today to learn more about what you can do next.
School Bus Accidents
Although school buses are often safe, accidents involving all vehicles happen—and school buses are no exception. School bus accidents not only affect the passengers, usually school-aged children, but also pedestrians, drivers of other vehicles on the road, cyclists, and others who are also at risk.
Sometimes a bus driver may be at fault, and in other cases, a passenger vehicle or a third party could be to blame. It is also possible an injury or accident takes place at a bus stop or a school while children board or exit the bus. Regardless of who was at fault, if you or a loved one were the victim of an accident involving a school bus, you could be suffering physically, emotionally, and financially. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to discuss your case for free with a member of our team.
How Common Are School Bus Accidents?
School bus accidents may be less common than accidents involving other vehicles, but many still happen every year. The National Safety Council analyzed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and found that in 2018 alone, over 100 people lost their lives due to school bus-related accidents. These accidents also caused approximately 13,000 injuries during that same time frame. Because school buses carry young students, there are many regulations regarding school buses designed to keep passengers safe.
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School buses are designed in a way that prioritizes safety. One example is that school buses are painted yellow. You might not consider this a remarkable design characteristic, but being painted yellow increases their visibility on the road.
Another way in which school buses are unique is the number of mirrors they have, allowing bus drivers to see all angles and directions at a given time.
School buses also have stop signs that are deployed when the bus comes to a complete stop in order to let a student out. Like standard stop signs, other vehicles on the road must come to a complete stop when these signs are deployed in most circumstances, according to California Vehicle Code § 22454. This allows the departing students an opportunity to walk to their destination safely.
Another unique design characteristic of a standard school bus is the overall vehicle weight and weight distribution. School buses are designed to be very heavy and distribute forces differently than typical buses or other vehicles. While this can make buses safer for the students riding on them, the weight and force generated by a school bus can be a hazard for other vehicles that might collide with it during an accident.
These special safety measures are quite effective; in fact, the NHTSA found school buses to be approximately 70 times safer for students commuting to and from school than all other forms of transportation. Unfortunately, accidents involving school buses can still occur.
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Causes of School Bus Accidents
School bus accidents can happen for several reasons. While school buses are operated by drivers with special training, errors can still occur. Sometimes, drivers do not have adequate experience or were trained improperly. In addition to driver error and inadequate training or experience, some other frequent causes of school bus accidents are:
- Bad weather conditions
- Impaired driving (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs)
- Failure to obey traffic laws and signs
- Mechanical failure
- Distracted driving
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Injuries and Loss
If you or someone you love was in a school bus accident, you could be suffering in many ways. Injuries from school bus accidents can be quite severe. These large and heavy machines are capable of doing a lot of damage. Whether you were riding on a school bus, driving a nearby vehicle, riding a bicycle, or walking as a pedestrian, being involved in a school bus accident is serious. Your injuries might require ongoing care that could be expensive for you and your family, and you may miss time from work because of your injuries, costing you income.
You also may have lost your vehicle and means to get to and from work, and you may have incurred costs to repair or replace your mode of transportation. Finally, you could be suffering the emotional effects of your traumatic incident.
The repercussions of school bus accidents are serious. Thankfully, victims have options that a Los Angeles school bus accident lawyer might be able to help them explore.
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What You Can Do Next
During this difficult time, you could feel overwhelmed and at a loss for direction. Sometimes victims of school bus accidents caused by another party are able to recover compensation by filing a legal claim. This can include reimbursement for medical and legal expenses, lost property, and more. If you would like to know more about your legal options, you might want to contact a Los Angeles school bus accident lawyer to discuss your case.
Contact a Los Angeles School Bus Accident Lawyer
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you navigate the complex and sometimes intimidating legal system. If you or a loved one were the victim of a school bus accident, you deserve justice. Call us at (800) 794-0444 today. Our team members can discuss your case and answer your questions during a free no-obligation consultation.