The last thing the parent of a child wants to think about when they are getting their child off to school in morning is the possibility that their son or daughter may be involved in a bus accident. Parents are justified in putting these thoughts out of their mind as school bus transportation is a fairly safe mode of transportation. However, as with all forms of transportation school buses are prone to getting into accidents.
We help private and public school bus accident victims throughout all of Southeast Massachusetts, including, but not limited to, the following school districts:
- Norfolk County School District Schools
- Bristol County School District Schools
- Plymouth County School District Schools
Bus Fatal Accident Statistics
Every school day 500,000 school buses transport 24 million students to and from schools. Since 1990, roughly 1,500 people have died in school bus related crashes. Of these 1,500 school bus fatalities, 67% were riders in other vehicles involved in the bus crash, 25% were pedestrians or bicyclists that came in contact with the bus and 9% were passengers on the bus.
According to these accident statistics roughly twenty-seven students die in school bus accidents each year; seven are passengers on the bus and twenty are pedestrians. More than half of these 20 pedestrian deaths involved children between these ages of five and seven. These school age pedestrian accidents usually occur between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. when buses are transporting children home or to after school activities.
Roughly 17,000 school aged children suffer either fatal or non-fatal injuries every year in school bus related accidents. The majority of these injuries occur when the school bus is involved in an accident with another motor vehicle or when the child is getting on or off the school bus. Unfortunately most school buses in Massachusetts aren’t equipped with seat belts and as a result children can be severely injured in accidents if they are thrown from their seats when a school bus collides with another vehicle or when the school bus operator brakes suddenly or makes a sharp turn.
Who can be held responsible for school bus accidents?
Many factors and circumstances surround a bus accident. Determining who is responsible for you or your child’s injuries is heavily dependent on determining the factors that caused the accident. Hiring an attorney that can gather the facts behind the accident and determine who is responsible is a crucial step toward recovering damages in a civil suit.
An experienced and proven Massachusetts bus accident attorney could identify the following parties to be at fault:
Liability Of Bus Companies
Often times Massachusetts cities and towns subcontract school transportation services to private companies. These private companies are responsible for maintaining their buses in a safe, working condition. Defective or worn brakes, worn tires, busted shocks, and shaky steering columns are just a handful of the defects a private bus company could send a bus out on the road with. Not only are the bus companies responsible for putting in place proper maintenance procedures and oversight they are also responsible for hiring and training the personnel that maintain and drive the buses. Hiring a driver or mechanic that doesn’t have the proper certification could be considered a case of negligent hiring. If that incompetent employee causes the accident then the bus company could be held liable.
School District Liability
Because school district officials are responsible for hiring the drivers or transportation companies they could be liable for the negligent conduct of the bus driver, mechanic or maintenance company they hire. These officials could also be responsible for injuries if they failed to implement or enforce reasonable safety guidelines.
Bus Drivers Liability
A bus driver negligently causes an accident when he or she falls asleep at the wheel, becomes distracted or violates a traffic signal. In most cases the company employing the bus driver and their insurance carrier will be held liable for injuries caused by the driver. However, the driver of the bus may be held personally liable for any injuries caused by his or her gross negligence. A driver exhibits gross negligence when they act with a total disregard for the safety of others. Some examples of gross negligence are operating under the influence of drugs and alcohol or speeding in great excess of the speed limit.
Brockton and Southeast Massachusetts Public and Private School Bus Accident Victims Lawyer
Call (508) 588-0422 For A Free Legal Consultation
For over thirty years The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan has been representing Massachusetts residents in personal injury claims. Our experienced attorneys have a proven track record of helping area residents seek compensation against parties responsible for bus accidents. If you or your child was injured in a school bus accident call our Massachusetts bus accident attorneys today so we can get you compensation you need to pay for:
- Lost wages and earning
- Loss of future earning potential
- Medical bills
- Long-term future medical rehabilitation services
- Occupational Therapy
- Loss of Companionship
- Replacement serves
- Pain and Suffering
Our Massachusetts accident victim attorneys are available 7 days a week to meet and discuss your case and personal injury claim. With offices in Taunton, Brockton, and Quincy we are conveniently located to serve clients throughout southeastern Massachusetts. Our attorneys are a phone call away so call today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.