How Frequent Are School Bus Accidents?

School bus accidents are relatively rare, but they can have catastrophic consequences when they happen. Most accidents occur in the form of a rear-end collision. It’s natural to worry and feel scared if your child sustains injuries in such an accident, and you may not know who to hold liable for the damages.

Talking to experienced Manhattan school injury lawyers about the accident is essential. They can investigate the case’s circumstances, collect the necessary evidence, and help you determine liability. They can also provide legal counsel on whether the issue is worth a lawsuit. With their help, it would be easier to navigate the legal system.

What Are the Causes of School Bus Accidents?

Many school bus accidents happen as the buses transport children to and from school, and the victims are often the children riding on the bus. In other cases, children walking to school are also struck by school buses. Since school buses are significantly larger and heavier than most vehicles on the road, they can cause severe and near-fatal injuries. 

These accidents happen for various reasons, including the following:

  • Distracted driving, especially texting while driving 
  • Speeding 
  • Poor visibility
  • Illegally passing a stopped school bus, hitting the bus, or a child crossing the street or exiting a school bus. 
  • The inexperience of the driver or the school bus 
  • Recklessness on the road, for example, dangerously weaving in and out of traffic or tailgating other vehicles. 

Regardless of the cause of your child’s school bus accident, you should take the injuries seriously from the start. The best action immediately after the accident is to consult skilled school bus accident lawyers in New York for legal guidance. They can also provide legal representation if you file a lawsuit. 

What Can I Do If My Child Got Injured in School Bus Accident?

As a parent, you want your child to be safe in and out of school. While they are at school, it’s the school’s legal duty to meet this expectation. When this doesn’t happen, you have the right to pursue legal action for negligence by the party responsible for the accident that caused your child’s injuries. That’s where New York school bus accident lawyers come in to help.

Experienced and aggressive personal injury lawyers will prioritize determining liability for the injuries through a thorough investigation. Once they find the liable parties, they can aggressively fight to help you pursue the compensation your child deserves.

Determining Liability

Liability is a legal term that means holding a person legally responsible for compensating the injured parties in the event of an accident. In New York, the justice system uses a no-fault insurance system for motor vehicle accidents. 

That means your own insurance policy (which include no-fault insurance) should cover your child when riding in your car and the school bus or if injured on foot. The no-fault insurance pays for all medical bills for injuries arising out of the accident.  However, many exceptions to the no-fault rule exist, allowing accident victims to file a claim against the at-fault party. So, if your child sustained injuries in a school bus accident, several parties could be liable, including:

  • The at-fault driver who caused the crash 
  • The school district 
  • The school 
  • The board of education 
  • The bus transportation company, if the driver is employed through a contract between the school district and an outside company. 

Your child’s application for no-fault benefits must be made within 30 days of the accident.

Remember that strict legal deadlines apply when pursuing legal action against government entities like the City or a school district. A Notice of Claim must be filed within 90 days of the accident.  Aggressive bus accident attorneys in New York can ensure you file the lawsuit within the stipulated time limits and help you pursue the maximum compensation amount. 

Private Schools vs. Public Schools

Employees in public and private schools are considered government employees, so they’re immune from lawsuits. Courts may sometimes create exceptions to remove the immunity depending on the severity of the negligence on the part of the at-fault parties. Gross negligence is a common reason why courts may suspend immunity.

However, you must first file a notice of claim on time, that is within 90 days of the accident, or otherwise lose your right to immediate legal action. Consult skilled personal injury attorneys in New York to understand your risks and options in pursuing a lawsuit for a school bus accident.

Deadlines and Statute of Limitations for School Accident Lawsuits in New York

In a school bus accident, you have certain deadlines.

The first is the deadline to file for your child’s claim for no-fault insurance benefits which will pay for all of the necessary medical care, such as hospital bills, surgery bills, doctor visits, tests, and physical therapy.  This must be filed within 30 days of the accident.

The next set of deadlines are as follows:  

  1. Filing the Notice of Claim with the City within 90 days of the accident
  2. Conducting the City’s hearing within 180 days of the accident; this is a required step before brining a lawsuit; and
  3. Filing the lawsuit within 1 year and 90 days from the accident.

You don’t want to miss out on valuable compensation for your child if the clock runs out before you’ve filed a claim for the injuries. So, your best bet is to contact experienced school bus accident attorneys in New York to help you file a lawsuit within the statutes of limitations and handle your case to the end. 

Learn Your Legal Options Following a School Bus Accident

If your child sustains injuries in a school bus accident, you must act as soon as possible to help them recover compensation for the damages. Remember that you only have up to 30 days to file the no-fault claim and 90 days from the accident date to file a Notice of Claim. A skilled NY personal injury lawyer can help you fight for the compensation your child deserves.

Our law firm hosts passionate and understanding school bus accident attorneys who can legally support you through this trying moment. We know how overwhelming it can be to see your child suffer for another person’s negligence. That’s why we want to help you fight for fair compensation to meet the medical and living expenses. Call us today to get started.