Wisconsin School Bus Accident Lawyer
Buses travel nearly 4 billion miles yearly with some of our most precious cargo aboard. Each school day in the United States, there are an estimated 450,000 school buses transporting more than 23.5 million students to and from school. Due to the involvement of young children, school bus accidents are among the most tragic of all motor vehicle accidents.
According to statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, one school bus rider is injured or killed every 45.6 hours. Over the last five years, there has been an average of 624 school bus crashes a year, resulting in an average of 180 school bus occupant injuries each year. ( Final Year Crash Statistics, Wisconsin Department of Transportation).
School bus accidents can occur not only when a bus physically crashes into another moving vehicle or a stationary object, but also when a rider is getting on or off the bus. Safety measures and awareness have helped decrease accidents, but they still can and do occur.
Under Wisconsin law, school buses are considered "common carriers," which means that they must exercise the highest degree of care for their safety. The care required of school bus drivers and companies operating school buses is the highest that can be reasonably exercised by persons of vigilance and foresight when acting under the same or similar circumstances. In addition, the law provides that this "common carrier" duty applicable to school bus drivers and companies operating school buses includes an obligation to furnish passengers with a safe place in which to get on and off of the bus.
( Click here to read about the landmark decision the lawyers at Cannon & Dunphy S.C. S.C. obtained from the Wisconsin Court of Appeals involving the duty of care owed by school bus drivers and companies.)
School Buses - A Risk Assessment
The risk of injury or death is particularly acute during the pick-up and discharge of school children. There is a danger zone around the outside of every school bus where children are in the most danger of being hit, either by another vehicle or their own bus.
This danger zone extends as much as 30 feet from the front bumper, 10 feet from the left and right sides, and 10 feet behind the rear bumper of the bus. In addition, the area to the left of the bus is always considered dangerous because of passing vehicles.
A Guide to School Bus Accident Claims
School bus accident claims can often be complicated to both prove and pursue. School bus accidents may be caused by such contributing factors as driver negligence, inadequate driver training and/or supervision by the school bus company, weather conditions, or improper maintenance, to name a few. In many school bus accidents, it is imperative that an accident scene survey is undertaken by a qualified accident reconstructionist immediately after a crash, so that all physical evidence is photographed and documented, including any skid marks, gouges, debris fields, and any other important evidence. In addition, some claims against school bus drivers and/or school bus companies may be subject to specific notice and/or claim filing requirements set forth in Wis. Stats. §§ 893.80 and/or 893.82. These statutes require certain written notices and/or claims to be filed within strict time periods after an accident when a governmental entity may be involved.
If your loved one has been wrongly injured as a result of a school bus accident, it is important to retain an attorney that is experienced in handling Wisconsin bus accident cases and knowledgeable about these filing procedures to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to preserve and pursue a meritorious school bus accident claim. We have the proven track record to handle your case.
Contact the experienced school bus lawyers at Cannon & Dunphy S.C. today for a free initial case evaluation.