When parents put their kids on a schoolbus, they expect their children to get to their destination safely and to be let off in a safe place. Unfortunately, accidents occur where the child has gotten off the schoolbus safely but is then hit by another vehicle. In these cases, the school or bus company has been held liable for the child's injuries.
Dropping The Child Off On The Opposite Side Of The Road
Some parents have been able to recover because of the driver's negligence in dropping the child off on the opposite side of the road. For example, an eight year old child was able to recover because the busdriver negligently controlled the exit from the bus by stopping it on the opposite side of the highway from the child's home. The driver opened the bus door and the child exited, attempting to cross the highway. The driver was negligent for allowing the child to cross at a dangerous time when an automobile was approaching the bus.
Pulling Over Too Far From The Curb
In some cases the school or bus company may be liable for stopping the bus too far from the curb, causing an accident. One child was able to recover when he exited the bus and was hit by a speeding oncoming car while trying to cross at the rear of the bus. The driver of the bus was found negligent for not stopping the bus as far to the right as possible and in not parking the bus at least eight feet from the center of the highway as required by statute.
Failing To Lookout For Oncoming Vehicles
Courts have held schoolbus drivers liable for failing to maintain an adequate lookout while children are exiting the bus. One schoolbus driver was found negligent when he let children out while a truck was passing. One child walked around the front of the bus and collided with the truck. The driver knew the highway was busy and that children would immediately cross the highway to reach their home, but he opened the door and let the children out anyway, without checking for oncoming traffic from the rear.
Improper Use Of Flashing Lights
Almost every state now requires schoolbus drivers to operate a stop bar and warning lights which are plainly visible to traffic in both directions before letting students off the bus. Additionally, many states require busdrivers to make students cross in front of the bus so that they are visible at all times. Failing to follow these precautions may be evidence of negligence per se (an act which is intrinsically negligent because of the violation of a statute).
Should I Contact An Attorney If My Child Was Injured Getting Off A Schoolbus?
It is always a difficult and emotional time when children are injured. If you think your child was injured because of a schoolbus driver's negligence, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately. Proving your case can be difficult, but an attorney can help hold the school or bus company responsible so you can recover damages for your child's injuries.