School Bus Accidents
Each day in the United States, more than 20 million children are transported to and from their schools by school buses. The parents of these children reasonably expect that their children will arrive at school and back at home safely and without harm. However, thousands of children are injured in school bus-related accidents each and every year. While some school bus accidents happen when there is collision with other vehicles, many collisions occur when a school bus is stopped. Texas law requires all motorists to stop when a school bus stops to drop off or pick up children. Failing to do this puts children at risk of getting hit by the moving vehicles on the road.
In fact, Section 545.066 of the Texas Transportation Code states that a driver can only proceed when:
- The bus resumes motion;
- The bus driver signals you to proceed; or
- The visual signs are no longer activated
Causes of School Bus Accidents
The following are some of the causes of stopped school bus accidents:
- Distracted motorists: The driver of the other vehicle might not be paying attention, and when he or she notices that a school bus has stopped, it might be too late.
- Failing to maintain brakes, reflectors lights, mechanized side mounted stop signs, and other safety equipment.
- Driver negligence: Sometimes, the blame falls with the school bus driver, who either did not deploy the stop sign on time, did not direct the children well, or stopped the bus in a dangerous location.
Even if the school bus has deactivated its stop sign, motorists should be careful because children may still be present in the area and on the street.
School Bus Accident Injuries
Accidents that happen when a school bus is stopped are usually collisions of oncoming vehicles and the children. The following are some of the injuries that can result from this:
- Brain and/or spinal cord injury;
- Internal injury;
- Bone fracture;
- Nerve damage
Recovering Damages in School Bus Accidents
You can get damages for the injuries caused to your child in an accident. The compensation you will receive will cover things like the medical bills and pain and suffering.
You might be tempted to try to take on the driver’s insurer yourself, but this is a mistake. The insurers have a team of lawyers and investigators on their side working to make sure they pay little to nothing in compensation. With a personal injury lawyer on your side, you even the playing field. A personal injury lawyer will carry out investigations into the cause of the accident and the continuing chain of events. A lawyer will also help you contact witnesses who can help make your case solid.
If the accident was caused by the negligence of the bus driver, you can bring a claim against the school district. Note that since a school district is a government agency, there are special regulations that guide the pursuit of financial restitution.
Have Questions About Your Legal Rights After an Accident Involving a Houston School Bus?
Contact a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a family member suffered a serious injury in a collision involving a bus and have questions about your legal rights and options, take immediate action now. Contact Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. to schedule a free, confidential case review.