Accidents caused by school buses are not very common, however, they do occur. When these kinds of accidents happen, the most important thing is to seek medical attention for anyone that got hurt.
Most of the time the authorities will have to investigate the cause of the accident to determine liability. In some situations, the driver might be found responsible and, in other cases, the drivers of other vehicles.
Additionally, the school authorities and the parents of the child should be notified as soon as possible. According to facts, accidents caused by school buses killed 54 people nationwide in 2020, down by over 50% compared to 2019.
If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, it is essential to seek personal injury lawyers. Depending on who is responsible for the accident, getting compensation for personal injuries incurred by your child can be a hard task.
7 steps to take if your child is injured in a school bus accident
What should you do if your child is involved in a school bus accident? No parent ever wants to ask or talk about this. But It is important to know what steps to take to get the compensation and medical care that they deserve.
1. Seek medical attention immediately
It doesn’t matter if your child is complaining or not, even if your child says they are fine or was treated at the scene and released. Seek medical attention immediately, adrenaline and fear may be causing your child to miss the signs of an accident.
Getting them checked by a healthcare professional can see to it that they get the treatment they need for internal injuries. Also, make sure that your child’s emotional changes and medical records are properly tracked.
Additionally, some injuries can take days to reveal themselves. It is important to be on guard for the following:
- Changes in mood
- Complaints of discomfort
2. Document your child’s injuries and discovery
Take pictures of your child’s injuries as soon as you can. This should be done even if the injuries were minor or major. Don’t stop there, monitor your child’s recovery over the next few weeks or months. Check if they are recovering rapidly or slowly.
Doing this can help show the damage the accident caused, thereby allowing your personal injury lawyer to show powerful evidence, and get the compensation you deserve.
3. Hire a lawyer
The school will fight hard to avoid a lawsuit, but your child deserves to receive compensation for damages. If your child has been involved in a school bus accident, it is important to hire a lawyer with years of practice.
School bus accidents can be really difficult because there may be more than one respondent. The following variables may be taken into consideration:
- The company that owns the bus (if it’s not owned by the school)
- If the accident happened in the school’s district or not
- If it’s your child’s school
- If the driver was employed by the school
- The driver’s employer (if the accident isn’t the school district)
- A government agency (if the accident was caused by roadway issues)
It is important to avoid delays in hiring a lawyer. Waiting can harm your chances of getting the fair amount legally allowed for your child’s injuries.
4. Don’t sign anything from the school
It is essential to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney before signing anything related to your child’s accident.
Have your lawyer look over everything before you put down your signature. Do not speak about the event unless you have your attorney with you.
5. Speak to the parents of other children involved and gather information about the accident
When your child is ready to speak, ask them for details. They will be able to tell you what went on inside the bus or on the roads during the accident.
They may be able to tell you about the behavior of the driver. Also, speak to the parents of the other children that may have been involved, they may have seen the accident from the street.
Speak to them to see if they have any information about what happened. They may be able to supply information based on their children. This information may include:
- Whether the bus was going above the speed limit (In 2020, speeding was a related factor in 29% of all traffic causality)
- Whether the bus driver was texting and driving
- Whether there was an act of recklessness or negligence on the part of the driver
Make sure you record every piece of information, they will be useful in court and can help improve your chances to receive compensation on behalf of your child.
6. Keep all accident records in a safe place
As a parent of a child who has been involved in a school bus accident, you are likely to receive information from the school district. The school might tell you facts about the accident.
Keep all the documents related to your child’s treatment. It includes all medical records such as medical bills, therapy sessions, follow-up visits, and prescriptions. Keep these facts in a safe place so you can easily access them in the future.
7. Do not accept the first settlement offer
When you sue for damages, you and your attorney should try and pursue the maximum amount of compensation available. Also, remember that the defendant and the insurance companies are not going to be on your side.
Although it may be temporary, do not accept the first settlement offer. The first settlement they always offer you is a play down of compensation from them.
School bus accidents may be rare but are very serious and you deserve to get proper compensation.
Accidents can place huge stress on victims and their families. It can harm your child’s education and development. When your child is injured on the school bus, it can make them absent from school for days or even months.
That is why you should not waste time fighting for their rights. Remember, insurance companies might not want to pay out claims, so get an experienced attorney so your child can get all the support they need.