School Bus Accidents
Orlando School Bus Accident Attorney
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are an average of 26,000 school bus accidents in the United States every year. Although the overall percentage of injuries and fatalities from school bus accidents is relatively low, the rate of accidents involving school buses in Florida has been on the rise in recent years.
At NeJame Law, we are passionate about keeping our kids safe. When accidents happen and innocent children are hurt, we fight to hold liable parties accountable.
If your child was injured or killed while riding a school bus or at a bus stop, our Orlando school bus accident attorneys can help. You and your family deserve justice, and negligent motorists—including bus drivers—have no place in our community. We know that nothing can undo the tragedy and trauma you have endured, but we have also seen firsthand how fair compensation can provide victims with the financial resources they need to heal.
How Do School Bus Accidents Happen?
Like any motor vehicle accident, school bus crashes often result from negligence. Sometimes, this negligence occurs on the part of the school bus driver; in other cases, it stems from the carelessness or recklessness of other motorists on the road. In any case, the consequences are often devastating, leading to catastrophic injuries and fatalities.
Some of the most common causes of school bus accidents include:
- Bus driver error
- Another motorist’s negligence
- Distracted driving
- Traffic law violations
- Safety violations
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Failure to yield to children crossing
- Poor weather conditions
- Defective roadways
- Inadequate bus maintenance
- Failure to conduct bus repairs
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Vehicle defects
Sadly, the vast majority of school bus accidents could have—and should have—been prevented. When someone’s negligent, wrongful, or reckless behavior causes an accident that leaves others severely injured or dead, the at-fault party can and should be held accountable.
Who Is Responsible for a School Bus Accident?
School bus accident claims are similar to cases involving
large trucks and commercial vehicles in that establishing who is liable for the crash
can be complicated. Because school bus drivers are typically on the clock
when these accidents occur, their employers can often be held liable.
This is because employers in Florida are generally liable for the conduct
of their employees while those employees are actively working or carrying
out activities related to their employment.
However, in some cases, liability may rest with a third party, such as the manufacturer of a defective bus part or another motorist on the road who negligently caused the crash. At NeJame Law, our Orlando school bus accident attorneys understand the many complexities involved in establishing liability in these types of cases—and we know how to investigate claims to determine who is responsible.
Often, liability only becomes a relevant factor when a victim must go outside Florida’s no-fault system when seeking compensation. If you or your child was injured in a collision with a school bus, the first step in recovering compensation (in most cases) is filing a personal injury protection (PIP) claim with your own auto insurance provider. PIP covers certain economic damages up to set policy limits; however, these limits are often very low, and PIP does not provide any compensation for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.
To go outside the Florida no-fault system, you will need to prove that your injuries or your child’s injuries are “severe,” meaning they meet the state’s “serious injury” threshold. Injuries that meet the serious injury threshold include broken bones/fractures and injuries that result in significant and/or permanent impairment or limitation of an important bodily function, system, organ, or member, as well as injuries that result in total disability for a period of at least 90 days.
Compensation for School Bus Accident Victims
In 2019 (the latest year for which data are available), approximately
13,000 people were injured in school bus-related accidents. About 5,000 of these people were school bus passengers and another 6,000
were the occupants of other vehicles involved.
Injuries from school bus accidents tend to be severe, regardless of the victim’s position in the crash. School bus passengers often sustain significant injuries due to a lack of safety features, such as seatbelts and airbags, within buses, whereas passengers of other vehicles are often catastrophically injured as a result of the sheer size and weight of school buses. Unsurprisingly, victims often require immediate emergency treatment and extensive, ongoing medical care. For children, the consequences of suffering catastrophic injuries can be even more extreme, affecting them for the rest of their lives.
If you or your child was injured in a school bus crash, you could be entitled to compensation for various damages, including but not limited to:
- Ambulance fees
- Emergency room costs
- Surgeries and other treatments
- Medical equipment
- Ongoing and future care
- Physical/cognitive therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income
- Lost earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders
If your child or another loved one was killed in a school bus accident, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party. This would allow you to seek compensation for economic and non-economic losses, such as medical expenses for final treatment and care, funeral costs, pain and suffering associated with losing a child, and loss of love, support, and counsel.
Providing Compassionate, Client-Focused Representation
At NeJame Law, we understand just how devastating it is to be injured in
a serious crash or to have a child injured in a school bus accident. Our
firm never loses sight of the fact that our clients are real people facing
some of life’s most challenging moments. Because of this, we offer
a compassionate, client-focused approach. When you choose our Orlando
school bus accident lawyers, you can count on them to provide the consistent
communication and tireless advocacy you deserve.
We are proud to be one of the area’s leading personal injury law firms, known for our accomplishments, experience, and integrity. We encourage you to reach out to us today to set up a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys. We provide our legal services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not owe any attorney fees unless/until we recover a settlement or succeed in obtaining a favorable verdict in your case.