School Bus Accidents
Wheaton and Schaumburg Lawyers Representing Motor Vehicle Collision Victims
Every day millions of children travel on school buses. When parents put their children on the bus, they trust that school bus drivers and bus companies will transport them to and from school in a safe manner. If your child has been hurt in a school bus accident, a diligent Wheaton and Schaumburg bus accident attorney can help you assert your rights. We will gather evidence in your case and establish the cause of the accident. We know there is nothing more stressful and upsetting than dealing with the pain of your child, which is why we are committed to resolving every case with the utmost compassion.
School Bus Accident Statistics
Due to the sheer size and weight of buses, there can be devastating consequences for everyone involved when these vehicles crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that about 134 people die in school vehicle crashes every year. Of those, 8 percent are riding in the buses, whereas pedestrians, bicyclists, and others outside of the bus account for 21 percent of school bus accident-related deaths. The greatest number of fatalities, however, are people in other vehicles.
Causes of School Bus Accidents
School bus accidents can have a variety of causes including driver negligence, inadequate driver training or supervision by the school bus company, adverse weather conditions, improper maintenance, or defective parts. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list and there may be other causes as well.
Liability in School Bus Accident Cases
Liability in school bus accident cases can be complex as there may be a number of liable parties. Under Illinois law, school buses are considered “common carriers,” which means that the school bus companies and their drivers are required to exercise the highest degree of care for the safety of their occupants. School bus drivers are required to take special training, and that training must be sufficient to meet the greater duty of care imposed on common carriers. School buses must also be regularly checked for safe operation and maintained on a regular basis.
Driver negligence is one of the most common causes of school bus accidents. Negligence takes place when a school bus driver fails to use the level of care that a reasonably prudent school bus driver would have used under the same or similar circumstances. In order to win a negligence case, the plaintiff must establish the following elements by a preponderance of the evidence: i) the school bus driver owed the plaintiff a duty of care; ii) the school bus driver breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff; and iii) the school bus driver’s breach was a direct cause of the accident and the victim’s resulting harm. A skilled accident lawyer can evaluate your case to determine whether your claim can meet these elements.
As a practical matter, when a school bus driver is at fault, you will typically sue the school district, which will have insurance to cover the cost of the accident caused by the negligent driver. It is important to note that recovering damages from a school district can be a complicated process, as school districts are government entities that are treated differently than private, non-governmental entities. Other liable parties in a school bus accident case may include the bus manufacturer, contractor for bus repair and maintenance, the driver of another vehicle, or a private organization.
Damages in School Bus Accident Cases
f you or your child has suffered a personal injury in a school bus accident caused by the negligence of others, you may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. Common examples of such damages include medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, and compensation for any other harm arising from the accident. Every case is different, and the specific dollar amount you will be entitled to will depend on the nature and extent of the harm suffered.
Seasoned School Bus Accident Attorneys Serving Wheaton and Schaumburg
There is perhaps nothing more worrying and distressing than an injury to your child. If your child was hurt in a bus-related accident, a seasoned bus accident lawyer may be able to help. At Therman Law Offices, we have significant experience with injury and wrongful death claims and can apply our knowledge to your case. We proudly take on clients from Schaumburg, Wheaton, Addison, Elmhurst, Lemont, West Chicago, Westmont, Terrace, Clarendon Hills, Oakbrook, Downers Grove and Lisle. Call us today for a free consultation at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.