In 2010, approximately 17,000 students in Douglas County School District, Denver relied on a school bus to get to and from school, according to a 2010 article in the Denver Post. While school buses are one of the safest means of transportation for students, and dramatically reduce the number of cars on the road each year, some buses may become involved in accidents.
Not only do traffic accidents involving school buses occur – there were 1,236 fatal school-transportation related crashes from 2001 to 2010 in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – but bullies and other hazards may also be present on a school bus.
If your child was hurt on a school bus, learn about school bus accident liability to begin exploring options to recover damages.
Denver School Bus Accident: Common Injuries
There might be a variety of injuries that students suffer while on a school bus. The injuries most common are those sustained as a result of a traffic accident.
Injuries from a traffic accident may range in severity, and may include one or more of the following.
- Sprains or strains
- Back and neck injuries
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
Anxiety, depression, or even post-traumatic stress disorder may also be present.
However, a child may sustain injuries on a school bus even when an accident doesn’t occur. A sudden stopping of the school bus, for example, can cause whiplash or other injuries. Or another student may cause harm to a child on the bus as a result of physical bullying. Or a child may slip and fall when entering the bus or walking to his or her seat.
Denver School Bus Accident: Determining Liability
School bus accident liability is dependent upon whether or not the school district, bus company, or employees of the school district or bus company (in this case, the bus driver) acted negligently. Negligence refers to a party failing to take the proper care required to prevent the accident.
For example, if the bus driver’s speeding caused a bus accident, the driver acted negligently and thus is responsible for the accident. In this case, the driver’s employer – the school district or a bus company if the school contracts transportation with other parties – may be liable for damages.
On the other hand, if the bus was involved in an accident that another driver caused – such as by rear-ending the school bus – then the school district or bus company may not be liable. In this case, the driver of the vehicle that rear-ended the bus could be liable.
For other types of injuries sustained on a school bus – such as one from a bullying accident – the rule of negligence still applies. For example, if the bus driver knew that the bullying was occurring and failed to stop it, then he may be responsible for injuries arising from the bullying incident.
His employer may be liable for damages. However, if the driver could not have predicted the bullying accident and was not aware of the bullying, then proving negligence becomes more complicated.
Discuss Your Options with a Denver School Bus Accident Attorney Today!
Proving negligence and school bus accident liability can be difficult, and the law regarding both is often complex. If your child has been involved in a school bus incident in Denver that resulted in an injury, consider discussing your case with an experienced personal injury attorney like D.J. Banovitz.
A personal injury attorney helps you determine the viability of your case, the types of compensation you may be eligible for through a personal injury claim against the school district or bus company, and helps build a case against the negligent party(ies). For a FREE legal consultation, call the Law Offices of D.J. Banovitz today at 303-300-5060 or use the form on our contact page.