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Accidents Involving School Buses: Who’s at Fault?

March 9, 2018 |

Every day, millions of children travel back and forth to school on a bus. Most parents think of school buses as a safe form of transportation, and although children are more likely to be hurt while riding in a passenger vehicle than on a school bus, serious bus accidents can and do happen.

If your child has been injured in one of these accidents, you may be wondering who is at fault.

Accidents involving school buses can be very different from accidents involving passenger vehicles. School buses travel at slower speeds than passenger vehicles and make frequent stops. Buses can be owned by a public school district or a private company.

All of these factors must be taken into consideration. As with other personal injury cases, who is at fault is determined by the circumstances of the accident, and multiple parties may be to blame.

Another Motorist is at Fault

When a bus is involved in a collision with another vehicle, the driver of the other vehicle may be responsible for causing the accident. A driver might not come to a complete stop behind the bus because they are distracted or because they are driving over the speed limit.

If this is the case, damages can be pursued against the individual who was behind the wheel. When a commercial driver causes an accident, both the driver and their employer can be held responsible.

The School District is to Blame

In some cases, the bus driver may be the party responsible for the accident. School bus drivers have a difficult job, and they normally go through extensive training to learn how to operate a bus safely.

If a driver has caused an accident because they didn’t receive the proper training from the school district, then the school district is ultimately at fault for the accident. Sometimes private schools use buses from privately owned companies, in which case the company may have been negligent.

School districts may also be to blame for accidents if they fail to have regular maintenance performed on their buses. An example of this would be if they allow drivers to go out on the road with bald tires. A separate company that is hired to handle maintenance could also be involved in this situation.

The Bus Manufacturer is at Fault

Sometimes bus accidents can be caused by defective parts or equipment. In this case, the manufacturer of the bus may be the negligent party. There may have been errors made in the design process or mistakes made in how the parts were manufactured. One example of this would be if an accident is caused by faulty brakes.

How an Attorney Can Help

When a child is injured in a school bus accident, it can be devastating for them and their family. Our Wisconsin bus accident lawyers can investigate the circumstances of the accident and determine which parties are at fault. They can help parents gain compensation for medical bills and emotional suffering.

If you’d like to review your case with a lawyer,contact Cannon & Dunphy today.

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