What Causes School Bus Accidents?
A school bus accident can be caused by a great many factors, just like any car crash. Driver negligence, distractions, poor road maintenance, failing bus parts, and other elements are typical culprits in these wrecks. Regardless of the cause of the accident, injuries in a school bus crash can be significant. Though school buses are built to be the safest vehicles on the road, lack of seatbelt protection can lead to injuries like whiplash, broken bones, and worse—especially if the bus rolls over.
If you or your child become injured in a school bus accident, the best option is to seek help from a qualified Dallas school bus accident law firm like Pintas & Mullins. Our lawyers can work to establish the cause of the accident, catalog a complete list of your damages, negotiate with the other side’s attorneys, and pursue the highest possible compensation package to help get you the recovery you deserve.
Causes of Crashes Determine Defendants
It is important to determine the cause of your school bus accident because that helps to identify who is responsible for paying your compensation. Some common causes are listed below, as well as the avenues for compensation that you and your Dallas bus wreck attorney can pursue.
Driver Distraction and Negligence
One of the most common causes of a school bus accident is the negligence or distraction of a driver, be that driver the school bus driver or the driver of the opposing vehicle. Negligence occurs when a driver either does some action that puts the vehicle at more risk for a wreck or fails to perform a reasonably expected action that increases safety. For example, forms of negligence can include:
- Drunk driving
- Texting while driving
- Failing to yield
- Running a stop sign
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, texting and driving is the most worrisome form of distracted driving. However, school bus drivers may also face significant distractions from a noisy, unruly group of schoolchildren, which can increase their risk of a wreck. Regardless, you can sue the at-fault driver and recover compensation from them or their insurance if their negligence is the root cause of the crash.
Sometimes, a school bus wreck can be caused by significant defects in the road. Deep potholes, severely altered roads due to construction, and similar issues may be used as a way to sue the government for compensation. According to the Texas Tort Claims Act, a municipality is responsible for the maintenance of streets, so a failure to keep the streets safe is a possible inroad to a lawsuit.
However, lawsuits against the government are often difficult and complex. The concept of sovereign immunity, a holdover from old English law, must be overcome. Sovereign immunity is the concept that, as the “sovereign” over the land, the government cannot be sued. This is good in one sense, as it keeps the courts from being inundated with frivolous claims against the government, allowing the state to go about the business of governing. But it can be a serious hurdle to getting the money you need if a governmental entity is responsible for your injuries. You should get in touch with the school bus accident lawyers at Pintas & Mullins for help navigating this kind of case.
Poorly designed or improperly manufactured auto parts may be the root cause of your school bus accident. For instance, the bus’ brakes could fail at a crucial moment due to a defect. Another cause could be a tire blowout due to a fault in the rubber or badly calibrated air pressure. These are viable claims to make, and they fall under Texas’ product liability law. There are four key elements that you must show in order to have a valid product liability claim for this kind of bus accident, and experienced school bus crash attorneys can help you prove them. You must show the following.
- A safer design existed when the product was made.
- This safer design would have eliminated or reduced the risk of your injury occurring.
- The faulty design was the cause of your injury.
- The safer design was achievable with the technology at the time of the faulty part’s manufacture.
I Can Get Help From Lawyers For FREE
School buses carry the most precious cargo of any vehicle anywhere in the world: our children. Accidents involving these vehicles are understandably fraught with emotion, and serious injuries that result from these wrecks can devastate families. At Pintas & Mullins, we want to help you and your family get back to a sense of normalcy as soon as possible.
We do not believe that justice should be predicated on the size of your bank account. That is why we work on a contingency basis—we don’t get paid unless we win you the compensation you need. To talk to a knowledgeable Dallas school bus accident lawyer in a FREE consultation, simply fill out the form on our contact page or call our offices at 214-305-8277. We will handle the legal matters so you can focus on your family.