School Bus Accident Lawyers Serving Chicago, Illinois
School buses transport an estimated 26 million children back and forth to school every day. There are nearly half of million bright yellow or orange buses throughout the U.S. In most cases, the buses provide the safest option for children to travel to school.
However, even though a child is more likely to be injured riding in a passenger vehicle versus a school bus, there are still incidences when bus drivers are negligent in their duty to provide safe transportation for their precious cargo.
The Illinois bus accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC regularly represent families in cases where children were injured in Chicago school bus crashes. If you have questions about the legal rights related to your child's severe injuries under Illinois law, our law firm invites you to contact our law office for a free case review.
Bus Driver Negligence Resulting in Injuries to Students
Most people would agree that school bus drivers have a tough job. They must be vigilant in ensuring that their young riders get on and off the bus safely. The driver is responsible for controlling the passengers while driving the students to school and back home again.
To ensure safety, school bus drivers receive training in student management, safety procedures, and the intricacies of operating a bus. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) cites the top four reasons for bus accidents where only the school bus was involved in a single-vehicle fatality crash as:
- Striking a fixed object
- A person falling from the vehicle
- Vehicle overturning
- Bus hitting a train or other non-fixed object
Loading and Unloading Children from the Bus
One of the most significant dangers to children on the school bus is not the ride itself, but getting safely on and off the bus. Of the children fatally injured in a school bus accident between 2010-2016, most were either on foot or a bicycle when struck by the bus or another vehicle.
- 73% of the children killed were struck by the school bus,
- 34% of those fatally injured were hit by a bus going straight at the posted speed limit,
- 22% were killed when the bus was leaving a parking space or in a lane of traffic,
- 15% of the children were killed when the bus made a turn.
In addition to the fatalities, there are many injuries to children who fall or have other accidents when loading and unloading onto the bus. The NHSTA estimates that between 8,500 and 12,000 children suffer severe injuries each year in school bus accidents.
Riding a School Bus in the Time of Covid-19
Since the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) became a worldwide pandemic, public transportation, including local CTA bus lines, has been in free fall. Ridership has been hit hard on public transportation vehicles, common carrier tour buses, and school buses, as have airplanes and travel by rail.
Many cities, including those in the Chicago area, have taken a hard look at how the public is exposed to life-threatening infection. The rise in cases involving sickness and death has fallen squarely on the shoulders of school and private bus companies, and regional bus systems, including the Chicago Transit Authority.
Many communities in Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, and the Chicago area operate a heavily localized network of buses and rail cars.
Most essential workers from low-income areas do not have a motor vehicle for transport to and from work. Even with the threat of sickness from Covid-19 (coronavirus disease), these workers have no other choice than to use mass transit buses, including CTA buses.
Sadly, riding shoulder to shoulder with others on large vehicles places everyone at risk, including the bus driver. Many communities have chosen not to allow children to return to their classrooms because of the exposure they did receive riding school buses.
Who's Responsible for Injuries to a Child in a Chicago School Bus Accident?
In most cases of negligence in a school bus accident, the driver and the school district are both legally liable parties. The school district ensures both the buses and their drivers to cover accidents. However, if the cause of the crash is found to be negligence, a school bus accident lawsuit may be necessary to settle a financial compensation claim.
No child should ever be harmed through negligence on the part of a school bus driver. Parents expect that when they entrust the safety of their child to a school district employee that the driver will do everything possible to keep the children safe.
Illinois School Bus Injury Lawyers
Our Chicago bus crash attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are experienced in handling sensitive cases that involve child injuries. We will work with you to get the best possible monetary outcome in your case. Let's meet to discuss your child's school bus accident.
We can help you obtain compensation from the government entity's insurance company to cover your medical expenses, time off from work, pain, and suffering. Jonathan Rosenfeld provides an initial free consultation. To start legal action, our law office works on a contingency fee basis and do not take a fee unless we obtain a monetary award for you. 888-424-5757
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