Tragedy struck in late February when a 10-year old girl was hit and killed by a school bus in Brooklyn. The girl was crossing the street on the way to school when the bus made a right turn. The driver was arrested and faces charges of failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care.
When bus drivers are negligent or drive recklessly, they can cause serious injuries and even death to other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. In addition, if your child is the passenger on a school bus, they can also be at risk of injury. We trust school bus drivers to drive carefully and obey the rules of the road, but that isn’t always the case. When accidents occur, multiple parties may be held responsible for any injuries.
Common Factors in School Bus Accidents
Like any vehicle accident, there a number of different factors that can contribute to school bus accidents:
- Driver negligence
- Driver distracted by the children on the school bus
- Alcohol or drug use
- Weight distribution problems leading to instability
- Road conditions
- Insufficient driver training
- Failure of the school district or school bus company to properly screen drivers
- A failure to properly maintain the bus in a safe condition
- Negligence of other motorists on the road
- Defect in the bus
Liability in School Bus Accidents
Depending on the circumstances of an accident, multiple parties may be liable for injuries. If the driver is negligent, they can be held liable. However, if a school district or bus company fails to properly screen its drivers and a driver without the proper licensing and with a history of traffic violations is hired to drive a bus, the district or the company may be held liable. In addition, the school district and bus company are responsible for ensuring that all drivers receive the appropriate training they need to drive in a safe and attentive manner. Drivers should be equipped to drive without distraction from child passengers and should know how to appropriately maneuver a large vehicle. School districts and bus companies also have an obligation to maintain the bus in a safe condition, and any failure to properly inspect and maintain a bus can also lead to liability. Finally, if there is some type of defect in the bus or its component parts, there may be a claim against the manufacturer or designer of the bus.
Contact a New York Accident Attorney
If you or your child has been injured in a school bus accident, you should schedule a consultation with an experienced, trusted, and compassionate accident attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we’ve been helping accident victims for more than 50 years. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.