School Bus Accident Liability

It’s been less than a week since the accident that took the life of a young boy in Athens Texas. This accident has affected many in our state and has raised awareness for improved school bus and train track safety standards. According to several news articles, the bus driver made the correct stop before crossing the track but unfortunately was still struck by the train. School buses may initially seem to be an unsafe form of transportation for children with their lack of seat belts and the large number of children that usually occupy the vehicle at one time. However, the fact remains that school bus fatalities are rare with an average of four to six annual fatalities, but they do still happen too often. Even though fatalities don’t occur at an alarming rate it still causes a large number of injuries each year. These injuries can leave children injured emotionally as well as physically for long periods of time. For that reason, we feel it’s important that East Texans know who is liable if their child is injured on a school bus.

In most cases, one of the following will be responsible for your child’s school bus injury:

  • The school
  • A private bus company
  • Another driver
  • A parts manufacturer
  • A public entity

If your child is injured your first reaction may be to blame the school your child attends. This may be the case, but only under certain circumstances:

  • The driver was performing negligently while under the school’s employment.
  • The vehicles malfunction caused the accident and should have been noticed under routine maintenance.
  • The school contracted through a private bus company did not legally have to perform the duties that caused the accident.

There are many layers to who is responsible for getting your child home safe while on a school bus. The laws vary from state to state and from school district to school district so it’s important to ask for help from a local professional. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families affected in last Friday’s accident. We know authorities are doing all they can to make sure all the facts are in place before any blame is placed. If you’re struggling with knowing who is liable for you or your family members injury in any situation, don’t hesitate to call our office for a consultation. (903) 526-1600