School Bus Accidents
School bus accidents are truly the stuff of nightmares. Since they often involve injuries to children, school bus accidents inspire great amounts of fear and concern. On average, Florida sees more than nine hundred accidents involving school buses each year. Accidents can cause injury to children riding on the bus, but they may also result in injuries to pedestrians and people in other vehicles. There are some key differences between an ordinary auto accident and one involving a school bus, such as the larger size of a bus and the types of injuries that may result. A skilled Florida school bus accident attorney can help you identify a claim and recover for your damages.
Injuries to Other Vehicles
School buses are among the largest vehicles typically found on the road. Aside from 18-wheelers, other large trucks, and public buses, school buses might be the largest vehicles most drivers will encounter on a daily basis. As a result of this size, a collision with a school bus will likely cause more damage than a regular car or truck. This includes both property damage and injuries to other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians.
Injuries to Children
School buses also present a unique danger for injuries, since children who ride on school buses rarely wear seat belts. Although a school bus’s size and mass may offer it some protection in a collision with another vehicle or a stationary object, its occupants can still suffer serious injuries.
A common injury suffered by children in school bus accidents is whiplash: an injury to the head and neck caused by the sudden impact of a crash. Some accidents may lead to fractured or broken bones, while others may cause more serious brain or spinal cord injuries or other disabling injuries. Unfortunately, some accidents with school buses result in death.
Suing a School District or the State
Common carriers, defined as a business that uses vehicles to transport people as a primary activity, owe a very high duty of care to their passengers. People who are injured in an accident with a vehicle that is a common carrier, which includes school buses, may have a claim for damages against the company that operates the vehicle. Parents or children who are injured in school bus accidents may bring claims on their children’s behalf.
Since school buses are typically operated by a school district, or by a company contracted to a school district, a claimant must go through several steps in order to pursue a claim. The doctrine of sovereign immunity normally prevents a person from suing a government agency, but governments make exceptions for certain types of claims. The Florida Tort Claims Act allows claims against government entities, including school districts, although it sets strict time limits and deadlines for filing claims, and it sets a cap on damages.
The Deerfield Beach injury attorneys at Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. represent people in Palm Beach and Broward County who have been injured in automobile and other vehicle accidents. Contact the firm through this website or at 954-428-9333 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.