Who Is Responsible for a School Bus Accident?

who is responsible for a school bus crash

Did you or someone close to you suffer a serious injury in a school bus accident in New York? An accident involving one of these large vehicles can be utterly catastrophic, and many school bus crash victims are left to deal with painful injuries, astronomical medical expenses, and other devastating losses. However, if someone else was to blame for the accident, you could be entitled to substantial compensation.

At Finz & Finz, P.C. our New York injury lawyers are recognized for our outstanding representation and stellar case results. We can help you by identifying all possible sources of compensation and demanding maximum recovery on your behalf. Read on to learn more about who could be responsible for a school bus accident, and don’t hesitate to contact us for a free case review.

Common Causes of School Bus Accidents

Here are some examples of the leading causes of New York school bus accidents:

  • Distracted driving – School bus drivers can become dangerously distracted if they are texting, responding to dispatch instructions, or interacting with passengers while behind the wheel. 
  • Driver impairment – All commercial drivers, including school bus drivers, are prohibited from operating commercial vehicles with blood alcohol concentrations of .04 percent or higher. Unfortunately, school bus accidents involving drivers who are drunk, high, or otherwise intoxicated still occur. 
  • Reckless driving – If a bus driver is frustrated or running late, they may engage in speeding or other reckless driving behaviors, which significantly increase the chances of devastating collisions.
  • Driver error or inexperience – School buses are large vehicles that require focus and experience to operate. If a bus driver is inattentive or inexperienced, they are more likely to commit serious driving errors that result in wrecks.
  • School bus defects – If a bus driver, owner, or school district fails to properly inspect or maintain its vehicles, natural wear and tear can result in mechanical defects that may contribute to loss-of-control accidents. 

Who Can Be Held Liable for a School Bus Crash?

Depending on the circumstances, any of the following parties may be partially or entirely responsible for a New York school bus crash:

  • A school bus driver – A school bus driver may be at fault if their negligence contributed to the accident in some way. For instance, if they were distracted or impaired behind the wheel or violating local traffic laws when the crash occurred.
  • Another road user – Another road user may bear some responsibility if their actions or inaction contributed to the school bus accident. For example, a pedestrian who darted in front of an oncoming school bus could be liable if their movement prompted the bus driver to swerve and collide with another vehicle.
  • The school or district – A school or school district may bear responsibility for school bus accidents if it hired unqualified drivers, issued unsafe dispatch instructions, or failed to properly maintain its vehicles. 
  • A bus parts manufacturer – The manufacturer of a mechanical component or system within the school bus might be at fault if negligent manufacturing standards contributed to the accident. For instance, if the manufacturer cut corners on safety or sold products with known defects.
  • A local government – A government entity responsible for local road maintenance could be liable if egregious road defects contributed to the accident. For example, if the government failed to address huge potholes, missing road signs, or other severe traffic hazards.

Compensation for School Bus Accident Injuries

With a successful personal injury claim, you could be entitled to compensation for the following personal and financial losses stemming from a school bus accident:

  • The costs of any medical care needed to treat your injuries, including expenses related to ambulance rides, hospital stays, doctor’s visits, or prescription drugs
  • Any incidental expenses you incur as a result of the accident, such as mileage costs from traveling to medical appointments for your crash-related injuries
  • The value of any lost wages or benefits from any time you miss at work while you are recovering from your school bus accident injuries
  • The projected value of losses in your future earning capacity, if the school bus accident leaves you with permanent injuries that affect your ability to work
  • The intangible costs of the pain, suffering, and lost quality of life you have endured as a result of the school bus accident and your subsequent injuries

What You Should Do After a School Bus Accident

You can take the following simple steps to protect your health and establish a strong foundation for your injury claim in the aftermath of a New York school bus accident:

  • Seek prompt medical attention to ensure your injuries are diagnosed, treated, and included in your official medical records
  • Follow your doctor’s care plan and attend all follow-up appointments as needed
  • Gather evidence from the accident, such as photos of the wreckage, insurance details from the bus driver, and statements from eyewitnesses
  • Keep track of medical bills, bank records, pay stubs, and other documentation of any expenses or financial losses you incur as a result of the accident
  • Create a “pain journal” to record daily observations about your pain levels and how your injuries impact your day-to-day life

How a School Bus Accident Injury Lawyer Can Help

When you retain the services of the top-rated school bus accident lawyers of Finz & Finz, P.C., you can count on us to help you by:

  • Answering your questions and evaluating your case for free with zero obligation
  • Conducting an independent investigation into the school bus accident
  • Identifying potentially liable parties and obtaining valuable supporting evidence
  • Interviewing eyewitnesses and reliable experts for useful testimony
  • Managing important case documents, deadlines, and details on your behalf
  • Communicating with school districts, insurers, and other parties on your behalf
  • Negotiating aggressively to maximize your case value during settlement talks

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in New York

When you need an experienced personal injury lawyer you can trust in the aftermath of a New York school bus accident, look no further than the distinguished legal team at Finz & Finz, P.C. Our firm has the resources and experience needed to give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us now to discuss the details of your case in a free initial consultation session with a school bus accident lawyer in New York


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Finz & Finz, P.C. is a New York and Long Island personal injury law firm based out of Mineola, NY. It was founded in 1984 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.