Chicago School Bus Accident Lawyer
School buses transport an estimated twenty-six 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.
An Illinois School Bus Crash Attorney Can Help
The Illinois bus accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC regularly represent families in bus accident 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.
Your personal injury lawyer can provide legal advice on how to handle your medical bills through a free case evaluation. Our Chicago bus accident lawyers currently represent clients throughout the United States, Illinois, and the Chicago area, including Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, Aurora, Chicago, Elgin, LaSalle, Naperville, and Schaumburg.
Many of our cases involve Greyhound, charter buses, Mega buses, school buses, and tour buses.
School Bus Accident FAQs
What Happens if a School Bus Gets in an Accident?
Typically, the school district owns and operates its school buses, picking up elementary, middle, and senior high school students. These school buses are often used for off-campus activities, transporting students to sporting events and field trip locations.
Individuals suffering harm or property damage by a negligent school bus driver can file a claim against the school district, holding them accountable for compensation. However, obtaining compensation from any government entity, including a school, could be challenging, requiring the skills of a competent personal injury attorney who specializes in complicated personal injury cases.
Can You Sue for a School Bus Accident?
Any party injured by the school bus driver's negligence can file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation. The driver is responsible for ensuring everyone's safety on the bus and sharing the roadway and sidewalks.
Responsibility for causing the accident could extend to the school district that hired, trained, and supervised the driver responsible for the crash.
What are the Most Common Types of School Bus Accidents?
The most common types of school bus accidents involve colliding with other vehicles. Nearly all school bus fatalities involve drivers and passengers' death and other vehicles not writing on the bus.
A small portion of school bus accidents involved pedestrians for the negligent driver hit, knocked down, or bumped the pedestrian in the street or parking lot.
How Many People Have Died in School Bus Accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about two hundred people die every year in school bus accidents. However, only a small number of these fatalities involved passengers riding on the bus.
What Causes School Bus Accidents?
Driver distraction is the leading cause of most school bus crashes and car accidents. Operating the school bus on hazardous road conditions or inclement weather also causes serious problems that lead to many bus accidents.
A lack of proper maintenance causes bus accidents every year.
Why are There no Seat Belts on a School Bus?
Regulations maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that school bus passengers are protected through compartmentalization without wearing a seat belt. The Illinois Department of Transportation also follows this concept.
The school bus's weight and size can distribute the collision's impact force, making it safer for passengers than those driving a light truck or car.
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.
Every motorist is responsible for controlling the passengers while driving the students to school and back home again.
To ensure safety, school bus drivers in the United States 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
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 2013-2018, most were either on foot or a bicycle when struck by the bus or another vehicle.
- About 72.5% of the children killed were struck by the school bus,
- Nearly 33% of those fatally injured were hit by a bus going straight at the posted speed limit,
- Approximately 22% were killed when the bus was leaving a parking space or in a lane of traffic,
- About 14% 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 serious 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 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 their exposure to riding school buses.Who's Responsible for Injuries to a Child in a Chicago School Bus Accident?
In most negligence cases 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 crash's cause is found to be negligence, a school bus accident lawsuit might 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 their child's safety to a school district employee, the driver will do everything possible to keep the children safe.Illinois School Bus Injury Lawyers
Were you injured in a school bus accident, or did you lose a loved one wrongful death? If so, 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.
Our Chicago bus accident attorneys 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.
Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All discussions with our law firm remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.