While safety on the road is always important to every driver, school bus drivers have an added pressure of keeping the children as safe as possible. However, accidents do occur, even to the most careful drivers, and must be handled accordingly.
Who is Liable in an Accident?
Depending on the negligence and liability laws, states may differ in terms of liability responsibility. Some commonly cited reasons for an accident may include:
- Defects in school buses themselves. When this is claimed, it means that a mechanical part of the vehicle will be held responsible for the accident. For example, if the brakes did not deploy in time even when the driver had braked to keep the recommended distance between the two vehicles.
- Defects in other vehicles: This is claiming that the other vehicle in the accident was at fault, as their car or bicycle was in error. One situation could be where the other driver’s windshield wipers broken during a downpour, and therefore the driver could not see in the rain.
- Negligence in regards of any of the drivers: This type of negligence is considered “user error.” This could range anywhere from failing to indicate to a violation of a traffic law.
Sometimes the liability will determine who will be charged with any criminal charges, fees, and how the case will proceed.
Accidents Due to Defects
If an accident was caused by a defective part in a bus or other motor vehicle, most states will hold the companies who produced the parts, designed them, assembled the parts together, or the retailers of the bus or vehicle themselves. This decision depends on where the defect is and where it occurs, whether it be in the manufacturing or designing phases. If an accident does occur, usually legal actions will be brought as strict liability claims, false or breach of warranty, or negligence.
Accidents Due to Driver Negligence
Usually, school bus accidents that are ruled to be caused by driver negligence, leaving the responsibility on the individual driver. In the case of private companies, both the driver, as well as the company itself, may be held liable for any damage, injury, or death that may occur. If the bus and driver was part of a public or government entity, many states release liability for buses that are owned by the particular school, and drivers that are employed may also be immune to liability. However, if the accident was caused by the bus driver’s negligence, that protection may not be applicable.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today
If your child has been killed or injured as a result of a defective bus or negligent driver, contact your local attorney, like a personal injury lawyer Salt Lake City UT trusts, to see how they can help you resolve matters and obtain entitled compensation. You deserve justice for what happened.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Rasmussen & Miner for their added insight.