School Bus Accidents
Each school day in America there are about 450,000 school buses carrying about 23.5 million school children to and from their schools. Because young school-aged children are the occupants, school bus accidents are certainly the most tragic of all car or motor vehicle accidents. Buses travel nearly 4 billion miles every year with our precious children as their cargo.
In Illinois, a school bus rider is injured or killed just about every other day.
School bus accidents can occur not only when a bus crashes into another moving vehicle or a stationary object, but also when a student is getting on or getting off the bus. Naturally there are many Illinois Department of Transportation safety laws that apply to the operation of school buses. But even with the safety measures and awareness of them, school children are still injured at an alarming rate on Illinois’ school buses.
Under Illinois law, school buses are considered “common carriers,” which means that the school bus companies and their drivers are required to exercise the highest degree of care for the safety of the students who occupy their buses. The care that is required of school bus drivers and the companies that run the school buses is at the highest level that can be reasonably exercised. The common carrier duty applies to school bus drivers and companies when a student is getting on and off the bus. When a child is getting on and off a bus that may be the most dangerous time of all. Other motorists are required to stop when a school bus stops to either allow a child to enter the bus or to exit the bus. Sometimes the care of the bus driver in judging the place to stop his or her bus is not well thought out. In other words, a school bus driver may stop his or her bus in an unsafe location putting the student at much higher risk.
The school bus driver must be aware of a danger zone which extends as much as 30 feet from the front bumper, ten feet from the left and right sides of the bus and ten feet behind the rear bumper of the bus. The area to the left of the bus, the driver side, is always considered dangerous because other motor vehicles are passing or can be passing.
Causes of school bus accidents include driver negligence, inadequate driver training or supervision by the school bus company, weather conditions or lacking maintenance to the bus.
At Kreisman Law Offices, when we handle a school bus accident case, we engage the services of qualified accident reconstructionists, photographers, investigators and other experts to immediately reconstruct the crash, the physical evidence, the skid marks, debris and other important physical evidence, as well as witness statements that may be attained.
In some school bus accident cases, the school district may be involved. That requires a different look into the appropriate law so that no right of claim is denied because of a failure to timely notice or file a lawsuit. Governmental entities are treated differently than private non-governmental entities.
If you or someone you know or love has been wrongly injured as a result of a school bus accident, please call us for an immediate free consultation. Robert Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Chicago and Illinois school bus accidents for more than 40 years.
With our years of experience in trying and settling school bus accident cases, Kreisman Law Offices provides the best possible services to our clients and have achieved unsurpassed results. Our service is unmatched. Please call us 24 hours a day at 312.346.0045 or toll free 800.583.8002 for a free and immediate consultation, or complete a contact form online. There is no charge for a consultation that will include an evaluation of your case.