School bus crashes are a lot more common than people may realize. In fact, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was an estimated 1,313 fatal school bus accidents between the years 2006 and 2015, which averaged 131 fatalities per year. These incidents involved vehicle accidents and school buses accidentally striking children. Unfortunately, most of these accidents could have been prevented.
If your child is riding the bus to school, there are things you need to know as a parent to keep them safe. Also, you must understand your rights in the event your child is injured in a school bus accident.
A Las Vegas personal injury lawyer from our firm can explain the applicable laws, review your child’s losses, and pursue compensation from the liable party.
Give Essential Safety Tips
A school bus is designed to be safer than your average passenger vehicle, and the majority of times, children will ride school buses to and from school without any issue.
However, accidents can happen, and even the most cautious bus driver can be involved in an accident – especially because they cannot control the other vehicles around them.
You can help increase your child’s school bus safety by using a few of these tips:
Teach Your Child to Be Careful and Safe Around and On School Buses
Your children should always be aware of their surroundings at the school bus stop. That means no distractions and always looking out for cars and the bus driver.
Also, while your child is on the bus, they should be aware of where they are going and what is going on around them. They should also remain seated until the bus comes to a complete stop.
Keep an Eye on Your Children at the Bus Stop
While it may not always be convenient, try to walk with your child to the bus stop several times per week to monitor their behavior. This way, you can pinpoint any dangerous behaviors and correct them before they become issues. Make sure your child knows what hazards to look out for and what to do around the bus.
Teach Your Children About Proper Safety
Your child should always wait until the bus has stopped and the doors have opened before approaching the bus. Also, your child should know not to reach for any objects near the tires or in front of the bus as the driver cannot see them if they are that close to the bus.
Filing a Lawsuit for Injuries
If your child is injured on a school bus, you have legal options for pursuing compensation and ensuring those responsible are held liable for their actions. First, you will need to answer three very important legal questions:
Who Is at Fault for the Accident?
First, you will need to determine who is at fault for the accident. Determining who is at fault is a major component of any personal injury case. If the bus driver was acting negligently and caused the accident, then they would be considered the “at-fault” party in the incident.
However, the bus driver isn’t always responsible for the accident. Another motorist could have caused, or at least played a role, in the accident if they:
- Ran a red light
- Failedto yield to the bus driver
- Recklessly changed lanes
Who Is Liable for the Accident and Your Child’s Injuries?
While there may be someone at fault, that party may not always be the liable party. For example, if the bus driver was at fault, the liable party may be the school or the district that employs that bus driver, because these employers are responsible for the actions of their employees.
If the bus malfunctioned, then there may be a product liability claim against the manufacturer, making them liable for any injuries and losses.
In the event another motorist drove negligently or recklessly and caused the bus accident, then they or their insurance company would be liable for your child’s medical bills, pain and suffering, and other resulting damages.
Filing Your Lawsuit Within the Allotted Time
When dealing with a school or school district, your case will fall under government claims. These are not the same as filing a suit against a private individual, and you will have stricter requirements and deadlines to meet.
Usually, state governments have sovereign immunity from lawsuits, meaning plaintiffs can only sue them if the government consents to it. However, according to NRS § 41.032, Nevada waives sovereign immunity and allows citizens to sue for employees’ negligent behavior.
How long you have to file a lawsuit can be unclear, but one of our injury lawyers can review your case and relevant laws to determine how much time you have to take action.
However, if a third party causes a bus accident that injured your child, you must comply with the statute of limitations codified in NRS § 11.190(4)(e). Under this law, you generally have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. Adhering to this deadline is crucial to your right to claim damages. If you try to bring your case after the deadline expires, you may no longer be able to hold the liable party accountable.
How a School Bus Accident Attorney at Our Firm Can Help You with Your Case
If you choose to hire a lawyer for your bus accident case, sooner is better than later. Important evidence can disappear after a few weeks or months, witness memories may fade, and deadlines and other requirements are quickly approaching.
The longer you wait to start building your case, the more difficult it is to back up your negligence claims.
When you call us, our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys can get to work on your case right away while you spend time with your child and tend to their needs. On your behalf, they can:
- Collect relevant photos, videos, and the incident report
- Review your child’s medical records
- Interview witnesses
- Establish the liable parties
- Maintain communication with the other party, their insurer and attorneys, and others involved
- Determine your child’s losses and quantify them accordingly
- Negotiate a fair settlement that covers your child’s past and projected medical bills, pain and suffering, and reduced earning potential, among other damages
- Fight for you in a trial ifwe cannot settle the case out of court
At De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers, we take school bus accident cases on a contingency fee basis. Your lawyer won’t charge you any upfront, out-of-pocket, or hourly fees. Instead, they will only take payment if and when they recover a settlement or favorable verdict for you. That way, you can pursue your case without any added financial stress.
Was Your Child Injured in a Bus Accident? Contact De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers Today
If your child was seriously injured in a school bus accident, contact the Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers. We can assist you in filing your claim and work to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.