Can I Sue After an Accident With a School Bus?

School buses are a familiar sight throughout Ohio now that schools are back in session. There have already been accidents involving the large yellow vehicles since the start of the school year, like the fatal crash in Clark County or the crash involving a bus or a trailer in Gates Mills.

An accident with a school bus could range from mild to severe. Getting compensation when another driver is negligent is challenging: getting money after a school bus crash adds another layer of complexity. Learn more about available damages after a bus crash.

How Do School Bus Accidents Happen?

Like accidents with passenger vehicles, school buses can be involved in crashes with just themselves or other vehicles. Several factors, such as driver error or sheer coincidence, could cause a crash. It’s critical to know how crashes can happen because that can affect the success of a personal injury settlement.

Some causes of a crash might include:

  • Distracted driving: Children can be rowdy by nature, which may distract the bus driver. Even on buses with well-behaved children, other interruptions can take the driver’s focus off the road. Although they’re tasked with the children’s safety, some school bus drivers can be reckless and ignore basic safety tips. They could cause accidents due to their lack of care.
  • Speeding: School buses perform the critical service of transporting youth. There’s a chance they could fall behind schedule on their stops due to late riders, trains, or other delays. A neglectful driver may try to catch back up by speeding. This could result in an accident.
  • Not following the right-of-way: School buses are expected to follow the rules of the road like passenger vehicles. That means they must yield until they can safely complete a turn or cross an intersection. However, some drivers believe they have a pass to go anytime they like. If they ignore right-of-way laws, you could be seriously injured.
  • Road rage: Bus drivers are people. People can become irritated as they drive, whether because of disruptive schoolchildren or aggravating drivers. Maybe they’re just having a bad day or have a habit of getting upset with other drivers. Road rage could lead to accidents with severe consequences.

This is not an exhaustive list. Weather or poor maintenance could cause a crash. Some vehicles end up in accidents because of defective parts. If you are injured in a crash with a school bus, you should get help finding the cause and any liable parties so you can begin a compensation claim.

Can I Pursue a Personal Injury Claim After an Accident with a Bus?

School bus crashes can be difficult to litigate because Ohio school districts have some “governmental immunity.” Also called “sovereign” immunity, this standard means the bus driver or the district cannot be sued in some cases.

However, that immunity is waived if the bus driver or school district were negligent or reckless. If their neglectful acts caused the accident, you might be able to pursue personal injury claims. An Ohio bus accident lawyer will be able to examine your case to see if you have a valid claim.

Who Is Liable in an Accident with a School Bus?

Identifying the party responsible for your damages after a school bus crash can be complex. You’ll need to examine the circumstances around your accident and work with your attorney to determine who shares fault.

Some typical at-fault parties include:

  • The bus driver: if their actions contributed to your injuries directly, you have a strong case against the bus driver. That includes failing to maintain a safe bus or reckless operation.
  • The school district: a district is responsible for hiring safe drivers. If they do not vet a driver or allow an unsafe driver to remain in their employ, a district could be partially at fault for a crash.
  • The manufacturer: buses are expected to be safe for passengers and nearby drivers. If a manufacturer allows an unsafe vehicle to be used, then there could be an argument for their contribution to a crash.

There could be other people responsible for the crash that hurt you. An experienced attorney will be able to examine the facts of your case to help establish your claim to ensure you get the maximum compensation possible.

Tips For School Bus Safety

Be cautious around school buses, not just for the children’s safety but for your own as well. You can protect yourself and others by being prepared and doing your part to mitigate risk.

Some tips to remember while driving near school buses:

  • Keep a safe following distance behind them: buses are large vehicles. They need time to stop, whether the stops are planned or not. Keep back from buses to avoid underride accidents.
  • Watch for the lights: school buses use lights to indicate when they’re stopping for students. Yellow means they’re approaching a stop, and red means all traffic should stop. It’s the law: if you ignore these signals, you could lose some of your claim if you’re hurt in an accident.
  • Give space for turns: some buses are better designed for tight turns. It’s safe to assume buses, like other large vehicles, need more room as they turn. Allow them space to protect yourself.

How Can an Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?

If you’re hurt in an accident with a school bus, you should consider calling an Ohio school bus accident lawyer. They can help you through the personal injury accident process. Your case rests on the evidence of negligent or reckless behavior. Your attorney will know where to look for that evidence, who to interview to support your claim, and how to build your case.

School bus accidents are difficult claims to prove, even if you feel it’s evident that the bus driver was in the wrong. An attorney can support you and help communicate throughout the process so you don’t miss anything.

Call An Ohio Bus Accident Lawyer Now

Call the personal accident lawyers at Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co, LPA. Attorney Kyle Wright has the experience and drive you need to hold the at-fault party responsible for your injuries. We’ve helped countless clients recover millions of dollars for their injuries.

Each case is unique, so our approach is unique to each case. We understand how devastating a personal injury accident can be, and we want you to be made whole.

Call (419) 625-7770 or use our contact form to schedule your free consultation.