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Liability in School Bus Crashes

When school bus accidents occur, they can result in serious injuries and emotional distress for both students and their families. Determining liability in these cases can be complex, especially if it involves suing a school district or other government entity.

Potentially liable parties

These are some of the parties who may bear responsibility:

  • The bus driver: School bus drivers may be held liable if their actions contributed to the accident. This includes instances of negligence, such as distracted driving, impaired driving, reckless behavior or violations of traffic laws. External factors like adverse weather conditions or road defects may limit their liability, although drivers are expected to exercise caution in such situations.
  • The school district: The school district responsible for operating the bus service has a duty to maintain safe vehicles. If a crash occurs due to inadequate maintenance or negligence, the school district may be held liable. Furthermore, under the principle of vicarious liability, the district can be responsible for the driver’s negligence. This means that if the driver is found liable, the school district may also be held accountable.
  • Other motorists: If another driver’s negligence leads to a collision with a school bus, they may be held responsible for the injuries and damages resulting from the crash.
  • Manufacturers and maintenance providers: In some cases, accidents can be attributed to defects in the school bus itself, such as faulty brakes, defective tires or other manufacturing issues. Negligent third-party maintenance providers who service the buses may also share in the liability if their actions or oversights contributed to the accident.

When claims involve school districts or other government entities, the statute of limitations may be shorter than the average personal injury claim. It’s important to get legal help as soon as possible.

If your child has been injured in a school bus crash, reach out to the trusted personal injury attorneys at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP to learn more about your legal options.