According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 1,500 people were killed in school-bus-related accidents from 1995 to 2005. Most of these were in other vehicles, but about 16 students, including pedestrians, die annually. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a bus accident and suffered injuries, you might still be suffering from the trauma and aftermath of the crash.
Steps to Take After a Bus Accident
After a bus accident, you will need to take several steps in order to make sure that you, your family and other victims are treated. First, call the authorities immediately so that you can receive the medical attention you need. Next, take pictures of the scene, injuries and damage so you can document what happened. Collect witness and contact information as well. Next, go to a doctor if you think you have been injured in order to protect your health.
Next, you will need to contact a seasoned lawyer with a track record of handling cases involving bus accidents. A delay could seriously harm your case, so you will need to call someone quickly. Bus companies and their drivers have specific legal responsibilities they must follow. If they failed to comply with proper safety regulations, they could be held responsible for negligence.
Laws Related to School-Bus Accidents
Across the nation, more than 23 million students take a school bus daily. Usually they do so without incident, but accidents can happen. In addition, school buses are not required to have seat belts. In the event of a crash, they aren’t restrained, which could mean injuries could be more serious. These can range from bumps and bruises to concussions and broken bones to very serious injuries. Advocates for seat-belt installation insist that children would be safer if they were restrained in the bus. Opponents cite cost factors and feel that the bulk of the bus sufficiently protects the occupants.
Suggestions for School-Bus Safety
While most drivers realize they need to stop for a school bus, people do not always follow the laws. This can result in tragedy for children and others on the road. Parents should review a few safety tips with their children related to school buses.
- The child should stay on the sidewalk and away from the bus.
- The child should not approach the bus until it stops completely and the driver motions the child to enter.
- When exiting, the child should walk away from the bus so the driver can maintain visual contact.
- The child should hold onto the rails to get in and out of the bus.
- The child should pay attention to traffic.
After a school-bus accident, you need someone dependable who is in your corner. Our attorneys at Funk and Associates will protect your rights against the insurance companies. Contact us today at 512-472-FUNK for help with your case.