Child Injuries from School Bus Accidents in Missouri & Kansas
Parents expect their children will arrive at home and school safely when they ride the school bus. The NHTSA states that students are much more likely to arrive at school safely when riding a school bus compared to riding in a car. Unfortunately, that statistic is not true for all children. Approximately 124 people were killed in school-transportation-related accidentseach year from 2008 through 2017. In 2018, 117 people were killed in school bus accidents.
Our Kansas City child injury attorney helps parents and children seek the compensation they deserve after a school bus accident. We help parents protect their child’s legal rights as they navigate the legal system. More importantly, we aggressively fight to ensure that your child is treated fairly by the insurance companies, school districts, and other parties involved in a school bus accident claim.
What Causes School Bus Accidents?
School buses are carefully regulated in Missouri and Kansas. School bus drivers must meet specific qualifications to drive a school bus. If buses are carefully monitored and school bus drivers are trained properly, how are students injured and killed when riding the bus?
The answer is the same as it is for other motor vehicle accidents — human error.
Most school bus accidents are the result of human error. A school bus driver or another driver makes an error that leads to the bus accident. Examples include:
- distracted driving,
- reckless driving or speeding,
- drunk or impaired driving,
- drowsy driving,
- following too closely, failing to yield the right of way, and other traffic offenses also lead to school bus accidents.
Other factors that can contribute to a school bus accident include weather conditions, hazardous road conditions, poor bus maintenance, and defective bus parts. In addition, children are also injured and killed when getting onto and off of a school bus or crossing the road to access the school bus.
Who is Liable for a School Bus Accident?
The cause of the school bus accident generally determines who might be liable for damages caused by the accident. If another driver failed to yield the right of way for the bus, that driver is liable for damages caused by the accident. However, if the school bus driver caused the crash, the school district and other parties might be liable for injuries and damages.
School districts that fail to take steps to prevent school bus accidents can be liable if students are injured as a result of the district’s negligence. Examples of negligence may include:
- the school district fails to conduct adequate background checks on school bus drivers,
- the district fails to train the school bus driver adequately,
- the district fails to inspect and repair the school bus,
- the district allows a driver to continue driving a bus after the school district is notified of drug or alcohol use or serious traffic violations.
More than one party may be responsible for the damages caused by a school bus accident. A thorough and comprehensive accident investigation is required as soon as possible after a bus accident to identify the cause of the crash and parties that might have liability for damages.
The process of filing claims against the school district and other government entities can be complicated. In some cases, parents may have 180 days or less to file a notice of claim to protect their child’s right to pursue legal action against the school district and other parties. The deadlines vary depending on the situation. A Kansas City school bus accident attorney can review the matter and verify the statute of limitations that applies to the case.
Steps to Take After a School Bus Accident
A school bus accident can leave parents in shock. The first priority is your child’s safety. Focus on obtaining the best medical care for your child. It is generally a good idea for your child to see a doctor for a checkup, even if your child does not appear to be seriously injured.
Some injuries may not present symptoms for a few days after an accident. Watch your child very carefully and note any symptoms of common injuries from motor vehicle accidents, such as whiplash, concussions, and back injuries.
Make careful notes about all information provided to you by the school district, police department, or other sources. Keep copies of any documents you receive regarding the accident.
As soon as possible, contact a Kansas City school bus accident attorney for help. An attorney takes immediate steps to protect your child’s legal rights by investigating the school bus accident and placing parties on notice of injury claims.
Contact Our Kansas City School Bus Accident Attorney for More Information
Going up against the school district, government entities, and large insurance companies can be difficult if you don’t have the right law firm fighting for you. The Law Office of Kevin J. McManus has the experience, resources, and skills required to handle personal injury claims involving complicated issues, such as school bus injuries.
Contact our office by calling 816-203-0143 to schedule a free consultation with a Kansas City school bus accident lawyer.