Philadelphia School Bus Accident Lawyer
When parents send their children to school, the last thing they expect is an injury – let alone a fatal accident. Sadly, thousands of young students receive injuries each year. There are countless hazards on and off school grounds.
Negligence and School Injuries
Schools must meet remarkably high standards to keep students safe. Most facilities have detailed policies about bringing weapons to school, which they must strictly enforce. Even old and unsafe furniture or outdated equipment that leads to an injury may be grounds for civil action. Of course, this extends beyond the school’s property; when children get on or off a bus, faculty members must do everything possible to protect these young pupils.
Like other academic equipment, many school buses are outdated and inherently unsafe. When this happens, modern safety features, like seatbelts, gate arms, and sturdy side panels may not protect students. These vehicles also travel thousands of miles each year, and there are many areas school faculty and staff must carefully monitor.
School Bus Accident Statistics
In Pennsylvania alone, 369 vehicle crashes occurred in 2014. Due to the high profile of these vehicles and their precious cargo, the state has enacted many laws to keep traveling students safe. For example, other drivers must obey school bus lights and stop signs. Bus drivers must follow dozens of regulations – including not texting or talking on a phone while driving.
Here are a few everyday hazards your child faces when he or she steps foot on a bus:
- Road accidents: Buses are not aerodynamic. With a big and heavy frame, they are especially prone to roll overs. In addition, most states (including Pennsylvania) do not require seatbelts in school buses. These problems often exacerbate already dangerous streets; just like any other collision, if a driver was speeding, intoxicated, or distracted, he or she may be sued to cover damages beyond the scope of insurance.
- Slips and falls: With dozens of excitable children minimally supervised, there is plenty of room for common accidents like slips and falls. Rainy days and inclement weather increase the chance for accidents.
- Pedestrian accidents: Students are at a much higher risk of a vehicle striking them while they walk to or from a bus than experiencing a roadway collision. Whenever students are boarding or exiting these vehicles, school personnel must keep them safe.
For example, a bus driver and school can be liable if the driver doesn’t extend the stop sign to warn drivers about exiting children. Buses also collide with students waiting to be picked up.
The consequences of a school bus accident are typically severe. For example, amputations, life-impacting brain injuries, and even death are common results. While the drivers, teachers, and anyone else charged with monitoring your children must do everything possible to keep them safe, some accidents are just that. However, when these professionals breach their duties and a student is injured, they may have to pay for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Contact a School Bus Accident Attorney
Representing those injured in a school bus accident in Philadelphia requires dedication and the drive to hold the responsible parties accountable. Teachers, administrators (such as the bus driver or supervisor), and even other students may be legally accountable for any actions – or inactions – that contribute to an accident. Indeed, you need a tireless Pennsylvania personal injury attorney who will explore every possible legal outlet to get you the compensation needed following a school bus accident.
For more information on our state’s laws regarding negligence and liability, contact our Philadelphia injury attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices. Let us review your case, and we will put our decades of experience to work for you.