School Bus Accident Claims in Phoenix
School buses are vehicles that we see every day. They are also a mode of transportation that many people take for granted. While these vehicles transport children across Arizona to and from school and other events every day, they all encounter some degree of risk. Unfortunately, some of these risks are created by the school buses themselves, and accidents can and do occur. When they do, you will need the help of an experienced Arizona bus accident lawyer.
Below youll find information regarding basic school bus accident statistics, potential theories of liability that could be brought against different parties in a legal claim filed by someone whos been wrongfully injured and finally how you should proceed if you or someone you love has been harmed in a school bus accident in Arizona.
School Bus Accident Statistics
The first statistic that should be reviewed is that millions of school children are transported to and from school and school-related activities every day. Its estimated that approximately 9 million trips with students are made in school buses every day, which translates to approximately 24 million people.
Overall, school bus accident statistics in the United States are quite troubling in terms of their volume. On an annual basis in the United States, nearly 17,000 people are injured and between 20 and 30 are killed in school bus accidents. Many of those who are injured and killed, however, are not passengers on school buses, but form a group comprised of passengers in other vehicles and pedestrians, especially those who are attempting to board or to exit the school bus.
Potential Theories of Liability for School Bus Accidents
No two school bus accidents are ever exactly alike, and that means that there are several different theories of liability that could arise in the aftermath of a school bus accident. The legal theory thats chosen when a lawsuit is filed will depend on the facts that surround the situation, much like any other legal claim. Below are a few examples of liability theories based on school bus accidents.
Negligence by the School Bus Driver
School bus drivers are supposed to be specially trained and qualified in order to be trusted with the transportation of school children through traffic conditions that can be challenging. However, school bus drivers will make mistakes like anyone else, and if the school bus driver was negligent in any way he or she would likely be named as a defendant to a lawsuit that follows.
Negligence by the School Bus Company
In many cases, the school bus company will be named as a defendant after a school bus accident because the bus driver was an employee of the company. However, it should be noted that not all school bus transportation services are fulfilled by private companies. In many locations, the school buses are owned and operated by the school board or school district.
However, in those situations where a private company contracts with the school district, the company could face liability for hiring an unqualified driver, for failing to properly maintain their vehicles and for many other reasons where the company's alleged negligence was a cause of the school bus accident and injuries that followed.
Negligence by the Arizona School Board or School District
In those situations in which the school buses in an area are owned and operated by the school board or school district, that entity could face exposure to liability for many of the same reasons as the private school bus company mentioned above. Even if the school board contracts with a private company, that entity could still face liability if it hired a company that did not meet basic qualifications or the school district did not exercise due care in the hiring and management of the private transportation company.
Negligence by Another Driver
Not all school bus accidents are the fault of the bus driver. There are many situations in which the negligence of the driver of a private vehicle would be the cause for not only the school bus accident but also for the injuries and damages that result from the incident. In this situation, the other driver or drivers would likely face liability.
Negligence by the School Bus Manufacturer
There are also situations in which the school bus thats involved in an accident was defective in some way that could not have been foreseen by the entity thats responsible for transporting the children. In this situation, a basic products liability theory would govern the subsequent lawsuits against the manufacturers of the defective school buses.
How an Phoenix Bus Accident Attorney Can Help
If you or someone you love has been harmed in a school bus accident, you need to take action. However, instead of wading through the intricacies and legal technicalities that can dominate these situations, seek the help of an experienced Arizona bus accident lawyer who understands what it takes to hold those responsible for injuries accountable. Contact Phillips Law Group today to schedule a free initial consultation.