Every year, no less than 500,000 school buses convey 24 million+ kids between their homes and schools. Buses are also an alternative form of transportation for adults. In 2013, 18,000 bus accidents led to injuries.
The injuries are often severe, especially for passengers or non-passengers that directly receive the impact of the crash. These impacts may be head-on or side impacts. Rollover bus accidents may also occur.
Negligence and Bus Accidents
The simple majority of bus crashes do not involve only one automobile. Often, multiple vehicles are involved, with one of the drivers being at fault. Avoidable bus accidents occur when the driver at fault is either negligent or impaired.
Distraction while driving is the major form of negligence. Another is not being attentive to prevailing road conditions. Impairment of the driver stems from alcohol or drug consumption, or excessive drowsiness.
Besides the causative factors, how bus accidents occur also vary. Negligence may directly cause collision. In other occasions, the offending driver may try to pass and/or turn in the direct path of the bus. Although not common, the driver may refuse to allow the bus have its right-of-way.
Under Florida State Law, when the negligence of one party results in an accident that causes damage to property or injury to persons, the negligent part is bound to pay damages. Thus, an individual who sustained injury in a bus accident can receive compensation from the negligent driver or his or her insurance carrier.
For School Buses
The law is more stringent and protective of school buses. State law mandates all drivers within the state to stop for school buses when the latter indicates so. This is contained in Section 316.172 of Florida Statutes.
The indication made by the bus may be in form of flashing red lights or using a stop signal. The law stipulates that drivers may not continue on their way until the bus withdraws the signal.
Furthermore, state law condemns the act of driving a vehicle on the side of the bus where kids exit and enter. A driver who commits this offense will receive a fine, have his or her license suspended for 180 days, and will stand for a mandatory hearing.
The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards also stipulates guidelines for rollover protection of school buses. These guidelines are implemented during quality assurance testing of the school buses. One of the arduous procedures tests the capability of each emergency exit on the bus to open “during the full application of force.”
In addition, the guidelines also include “occupant protection requirements” that pertain to the seating barrier and restraining barrier that must be present on the bus. These barriers and flexible seats are design for protecting passengers during bus accidents or unanticipated maneuvers.
Bus Accident Compensation
Victims who prove that the injuries they sustained in a bus accident were caused by the negligence of a driver may receive different kinds of compensation.
- Compensation for medical-related bills, from emergency response care at the accident’s scene to continuing care for the injury
- Compensation for any lost income at the moment or in the future caused by the inability of the victim to work
- Compensation relating to expenses made for funeral and medical services when the bus accident was fatal to a victim
Personal Injury Attorney
Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. provides you with skilled Florida bus accident attorneys that would be of vital help if you sustained an injury in a bus crash. Over the years, victims of bus accidents across Florida have used our high quality personal injury legal representation to secure deserved compensation.
You too can avail of our legal prowess lined with expert knowledge and experience. Simply give us a call at 954-761-3888 or get in touch with us online.