When you send your child to school or go with them to an event as a chaperone on their bus, you expect that the school will have maintained the bus and done its due diligence in selecting a bus driver who can get you from one place to another safely.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sometimes, drivers come in when they’re tired. Other times, they may not have the driving skills needed to be behind the wheel. Whatever the cause, if they make a mistake that causes a crash, you or others on the bus may be able to seek compensation for your injuries.
Is a school liable for a bus crash?
When a bus crash happens, the first thing to determine is who is at fault. Did the bus driver make a mistake? If so, then they could be held liable, and the school may be as well as their employer. If a truck driver or other passenger vehicle driver caused the crash, then they may be held responsible and liable for the crash. That doesn’t mean you won’t have a claim against the school, too, though.
What should you do if your child, or you, are involved in a bus crash with a school bus?
The priority after any kind of collision is to call 911 and to seek medical attention for anyone who was harmed. Buses are designed differently than other vehicles and may not use seat belts depending on their design. That means that children, teachers or parents on board may have been injured due to the crash.
While the compartmentalization of the bus helps absorb impacts and prevent injuries, debris, as well as more direct impacts, could still harm people inside. Your first priority is to identify those injuries and seek help.
After that, you may want to reach out to your attorney and discuss the claim, so that you know who could be held liable. If an insurance agent reaches out to you, don’t settle the claim just yet. You need to know more about the injuries and losses that have been suffered before you decide on a fair settlement.