FREE Personal Injury Claims Quiz

Take My Free Quiz Now!
(719) 757-1182

An Experienced Colorado Springs School Bus Accident Lawyer Explains Your Rights if Your Child is Injured in a School Bus Accident

September 15, 2023 – David W. Foley – Auto Accidents, Personal Injury

school bus accident lawyer

As summer draws to a close and children across Colorado excitedly don their backpacks to head back to school, parents once again place their trust in school buses to safely carry their young ones.

These buses are a familiar sight on our roads, reliable and predominantly safe. Yet, just like any other vehicle, they aren’t exempt from accidents. When a bus crash happens, the gravity is amplified because of the potential harm to our children.

Understanding why these accidents happen and knowing your rights as a parent afterward is crucial. In this blog, a school bus accident lawyer from The Foley Law Firm explains common causes of a Colorado bus accident, determining liability, and shares the potential legal avenues you can pursue if your child becomes injured.

If you face this challenging situation, contact us at (719) 757-1182 to schedule your FREE consultation.

Common Causes of School Bus Accidents

Driver Errors

Fatigue and distractions, especially in today’s digital age, can compromise a driver’s attention. These errors, whether due to extended shifts or a mere glance at a phone, are significant contributors to accidents.

Maintenance Issues

The safety of school buses hinges on regular and thorough maintenance. Lapses can result in engine failures and other mechanical problems, leading to mishaps.

Weather Conditions

Adverse weather, like snowstorms or heavy rain, can create hazardous road conditions. While proper training and maintenance can mitigate risks, they remain a prevalent cause of accidents.

Who Can Be Held Liable?

When it comes to school bus accidents, understanding the root cause is only one piece of the puzzle. Equally critical is determining who bears the legal responsibility for the accident. Here’s a closer look at the potential parties that could be held liable:

The Bus Driver

Drivers are entrusted with the safety of their passengers. They can be held accountable if lapses in judgment, negligence, or distractions are evident. It’s crucial to assess factors like their driving history, any signs of impairment, or breach of regulations.

The School District

School districts are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for students, which extends to their journey to and from school. They could be liable if they neglect to enforce or implement essential safety protocols, such as regular vehicle checks or driver training programs.

Other Vehicles

In multi-vehicle accidents, it’s necessary to analyze the actions of all involved drivers. If another vehicle’s reckless driving or breach of traffic rules played a part in the accident, that driver or their insurance company may bear a share of the liability.

Manufacturer Defects

Every vehicle on the road is expected to meet rigorous safety standards. If investigations reveal that a defect or malfunction within the bus played a pivotal role in the accident, the manufacturer could be drawn into the fray.

Such situations might lead to individual compensation claims, larger product recalls, or class-action lawsuits.

Bus Companies and Private Firms

Beyond bus drivers and school districts, third-party bus companies, especially those contracted by districts, have a duty to uphold safety standards.

If lapses in vehicle maintenance, flawed hiring practices, or inadequate training processes are identified, these firms may face liability.

Your Rights as a Parent Following a School Bus Accident

In the unsettling aftermath of an accident, you have the following rights:

Medical Attention

You have the right to prioritize your child’s health, seeking immediate medical care even if injuries appear minor.

Documentation

You have the right to gather comprehensive details about the accident, from photographs to witness statements.

Legal Consultation

Before handling insurance or making statements, you’re entitled to consult with an expert school bus accident lawyer to navigate potential claims.

Compensation

You have the right to pursue multiple types of compensation, ranging from medical bills to the emotional distress your child might experience.

While the exact compensation depends on the individual situation, consulting with a lawyer can help you understand all the options available to you.

Legal Action

You can file lawsuits against potentially responsible entities, even school districts, though there are considerations such as the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act.

What Should You Do If Your Child Gets Injured in a School Bus Accident?

Following a systematic approach is crucial to ensure your child’s well-being and preserve any potential legal claims in the aftermath of a school bus accident. Here’s a recommended course of action:

  • Medical Attention: Seek immediate medical care for your child, even if injuries appear minor. Some symptoms may manifest later.
  • Document the Incident: Capture photos of injuries, the scene, and any property damage. Also, note the witnesses’ contact details.
  • Notify Relevant Parties: Inform the school and district about the accident, as they might have specific reporting protocols.
  • Legal Consultation: Before engaging with insurance or making official statements, consult a school bus accident lawyer to ensure you take the right steps.

Assessing Compensation for Your Child’s School Bus Accident Injuries

It’s distressing to quantify your child’s suffering in monetary terms, yet to ensure their well-being and your family’s stability, it’s essential to account for every cost incurred and anticipated due to the accident. Your attorney will explore compensation available for economic and non-economic losses.

Economic Losses

  • Medical bills from immediate and ongoing treatments
  • Costs associated with both physical and emotional therapies
  • Provisions for sustained care, particularly if there’s a long-term disability

Non-Economic Losses

Addresses the “pain and suffering, inconvenience, emotional stress, and impairment of the quality of life” your child endures post-accident

The specifics of compensation will vary based on your circumstances. An experienced school bus accident lawyer from Colorado Springs can offer tailored advice, ensuring you’re fully informed of all entitlements.

Can You File a Lawsuit Against a School District for a School Bus Accident?

You have the right to file a lawsuit against a school district following a school bus accident. However, when initiating litigation against governmental entities like school districts, you need to be aware of some key distinctions:

Sovereign Immunity

One critical point parents should be aware of is the concept of “sovereign immunity.” The Colorado Governmental Immunity Act could potentially shield public school districts from certain types of lawsuits. However, this is not an absolute shield.

If it can be proven that the school district or any of its employees showed clear negligence leading to the accident, they can be held accountable. Due to the intricacies of this law, consulting with a school bus accident lawyer experienced in this area is crucial.

Strict Deadlines

When suing a governmental agency, the timeframes to notify them and file a claim are often more stringent than in other personal injury cases.

Missing these deadlines could jeopardize your case. Instead of having two years to file a claim, you’ll only have 182 days to file a written notice after discovering the injury.

Special Procedures

These entities often have unique procedural requirements for lawsuits. It’s not as straightforward as suing an individual or a private company.

Given these complexities and the unique nuances of pursuing legal action against a governmental entity, it’s essential to have legal guidance at your side.

Contact a Colorado Springs School Bus Accident Law Firm

We know how challenging and stressful it can be to deal with the aftermath of a school bus accident, especially if multiple parties are involved. Working with an experienced Colorado Springs school bus accident law firm can help ensure your child receives fair compensation for any injuries, medical bills, and other damages.

The Foley Law Firm is here to provide that vital support, bringing a wealth of experience to help you navigate this complex terrain.

As your neighbors, we serve Colorado Springs, the wider El Paso County, and the Pikes Peak region. To discuss your case and understand your rights, call (719) 757-1182 or contact us online for a FREE consultation with our experienced personal injury lawyer in Colorado.

We’re here to advocate for the best possible outcome, allowing you to concentrate fully on your child’s recovery and healing.

Copyright© 2023. The Foley Law Firm. All Rights Reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

The Foley Law Firm
222 East Costilla Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
(719) 757-1182
https://davidfoley.net/

Related Blog Posts

Personal Injury Lawyer in Colorado Springs | Call 719-757-1182

Our Location

Pease Enter Your Name and Number For Callback

Request A Call Back