Maryland School Bus Accident Attorneys
Across the country, millions of families put their kids on the school bus every day to get them to and from school. When you think about it, we’re doing much more than putting our kids on the bus—we’re entrusting the bus driver and the school district with the lives of our most vulnerable family members. We don’t want to think about it, but what happens if there is an accident? Car accidents happen every day, and buses are often on the roads during peak traffic. School bus accidents can and do happen, and can result in serious injury.
If your child or someone in your family has been injured in a school bus accident, reach out to the attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC for help. Call us at (844) 632-7274 or send us an email via our online contact form.
The first few hours and days following the accident are critical. You should seek immediate medical attention for your child or family member. Be sure to get a full examination, and let your doctor know of any soreness, stiffness, aches or pains. Keep in mind that some injuries may not present themselves right away. If you’re experiencing symptoms after your initial examination, don’t hesitate to go back and get another exam.
We should also note that school bus accidents can cause particularly severe injuries, as school buses tend to lack many modern safety features such as seatbelts and airbags. As a result, your child’s injuries may be obvious. However, recovery may take a long time and require extensive treatment and physical therapy. Your child’s health should be your first priority, and she should not have to suffer long-term consequences as a result of someone else’s negligence.
Once you’ve sought medical treatment, you should collect as much information as you can. You should try to get a copy of any reports from the police, insurance providers, or anyone else who is reporting on the accident. That said, be careful with what you say to others about the accident and your child’s injuries. Limit your conversations only to the basics facts of the accident, and resist any attempt to get you to arise at a conclusion as to the extent of your child’s injuries or what may have caused them.
You should also carefully document every step of the process. Keep detailed notes as to whom you spoke and when. Keep copies of all medical bills and other bills for treatment. Document any lost wages or other expenses that resulted from the accident, such as the time you had to take off from work to take your child to the doctor. This information will help you evaluate your claim for damages.
Who is Liable?
Bus accidents are more complicated than your typical car accident between two private parties. There are many potential parties who may be at fault or share a part of the blame for the accident. It can be difficult to determine who is at fault, but a lawyer who has experience with school bus accidents can help you identify the proper party that should be held liable for your child’s injuries.
The School District
In most cases, the school district is usually the party held liable. This is because they employ the driver and operate and maintain the buses. The school district has a legal obligation to ensure the safety of your child. They are also obligated to provide adequate training for the drivers and ensure that they are qualified to do their jobs. The school district also has to maintain the buses to ensure that they are in good working order, free from any mechanical issues that could pose a safety problem.
If the school district’s failure with respect to any of these obligations caused or contributed to the accident, they may be held liable for your child’s injuries. Importantly, if your child attends a public school, your claim may subject to certain rules that apply when suing a state agency—including a significantly shortened time limit to do so. For this reason, you should always contact an attorney as soon as possible after a school bus accident.
Private Bus Companies
Some schools, often private schools, contract with private bus companies to provide transportation services to the school. These companies owe you the same duties to ensure your child’s safety as does any school district, in their cases to include adequate training of the drivers and how they maintain and operate the buses.
If the driver of the other vehicle caused the accident, that driver is the at-fault party. It could be a case of simple negligence—maybe the driver failed to stop at a stop sign or was speeding. On the other hand, the driver may have been drunk or driving recklessly, referred to as gross negligence. Or, the crash was caused by the driver’s failure to maintain his vehicle. Whatever the case, the school district may sue on your behalf, but it still may make sense to have your own representation to make sure you are fairly compensated for your child’s injuries.Manufacturer’s Defect
In some cases, the accident may have been caused by a defect in the bus itself. For example, let’s assume that the brakes failed because the bus was equipped with an inadequate braking system. In this scenario, the manufacturer of the bus may be liable for your damages. These cases can be very difficult because of the challenges in bringing a claim against a corporate defendant.
How an Attorney with Experience in School Bus Accident Cases Can Help
Personal injury claims may seem simple but can get complicated very quickly. One mistake could jeopardize your rights and your child’s health with a single mistake. Your child’s future is too important to face these issues alone.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine whether you should pursue legal action and how much your claim is worth. He can also help you talk to the other parties involved and help manage the entire process. He can help you get fair compensation for your child’s injuries and help you get some piece of mind.
Contact a Maryland School Bus Accident Lawyer Today
If your child or someone you know has been injured in a school bus accident, the attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC are ready to help. Call us today at (844) 632-7274 or send us an email to schedule your free case evaluation.