School Bus Accident Attorneys in St. Louis
Protecting Victims’ Rights in Missouri & Illinois
School buses are designed to safely transport children and teenagers alike to school, but are school buses actually safe? Every year, 23.5 million kids ride the bus to and from school, and according to the NHTSA, between 2004 and 2013, 1,344 riders were killed in school bus crashes, or while getting on or off the bus. Currently, full-size school buses do not include lap or shoulder restraints, but according to the National Safety Council, this could be the best option for eliminating school bus accident fatalities overall.
School bus accidents occur for many different reasons, whether due to the negligence of a passenger vehicle driver, a school bus driver, or a defect in the vehicle’s mechanics. But, the facts remain: countless innocent children are injured every year in school bus accidents, and victims and their families deserve justice for their pain and suffering. If your child suffered injuries while riding the bus and you are thinking about filing a claim, our St. Louis school bus accident lawyers can ensure that evidence from the crash is preserved and your case has the best odds of recovering compensation.
Contact The Dixon Injury Firm today to schedule a free case review with a member of our team.
Liability in School Bus Crashes
School buses are generally operated by private contractors that are hired by the school, but this can vary from one school to the next, and whether a school is public or private. Most of the time, bus accidents involve public school buses, which are subject to Missouri’s traffic laws. Bus drivers transporting children must carry general liability and property damage insurance to protect the best interests of passengers and other parties in potential accidents. Depending on the circumstances of a school bus crash, several parties could be liable for the accident. For example, if the bus has defective brakes, the manufacturer or company that maintains the vehicle could be at-fault for the accident, rather than the bus operator. Alternatively, if an accident is caused by a bus driver’s negligence – speeding, failure to follow road signs, driver fatigue – the driver, if an independent contractor, could be found solely liable. Similarly, if a negligent bus driver is an employee of a school district, the bus operator and the school could be sued for damages from the accident.
Missouri School Bus Laws
Under Missouri’s Statute of Limitations (§304.016), if a vehicle approaches a stopped school bus, that has safety signals on, the vehicle must stay immobile until the bus retracts its safety signals. If a passenger vehicle driver doesn’t follow regulations and causes an accident, the driver is liable for damages caused to the bus, bus operator, or bus passengers during the accident. Depending on the cause of the crash, and other elements involved, penalties can include suspension or revocation of the driver’s license, jail time, and fines.
If a school bus causes a crash, due to lack of safety signals, failure to follow road signs, or lack of caution, under the Missouri Revised Statute (§304.050), the bus operator could face penalties such as suspension or loss of their CDL license, jail time, and fines. Similarly, under “Respondeat Superior,” the school district could be liable to compensate the victim for damages caused by the bus driver’s negligence while operating as an employee of the school.
School Bus Accident Lawsuits in St. Louis
Motor vehicle accidents happen every day, but school bus accidents are typically rarer. However, recently, in the past year, there have been several school bus accidents in Missouri that left school-age passengers injured. At the beginning of May, a school bus was struck by a passenger vehicle in Gasconade County that sent four children to the hospital, and in mid-May, in Osage County, Missouri, a head-on collision involving a school bus that was transporting a high school soccer team and a passenger vehicle occurred, sending six people to a nearby hospital for injuries.
If your child is injured in a school bus accident, it’s essential to know that there are options available to your case for recovering compensation. Bus accidents can be traumatic, and with several damages present (medical bills, emotional distress, lost wages), it’s often overwhelming for victims to file claims. Hiring an experienced attorney ensures that you know the options available to your case, a strong claim for suing the at-fault party, and support during this trying time.
Let The Dixon Injury Firm Protect You
If your child is injured in a school bus accident, the last thing you’ll want to do is file a claim and negotiate with insurance agents. Fortunately, our school bus accident attorneys in St. Louis can alleviate the stress of pursuing a suit against the bus driver, school district, or passenger vehicle driver responsible for the accident. We handle all aspects of your case from gathering evidence to negotiating with the other party’s insurer to secure the highest settlement for your damages.
If you are thinking about filing a school bus accident claim in Missouri, Christopher Dixon possesses an innate drive to win and unwavering aggression when fighting for clients. Recognized as a “Top 100 Trial Lawyer” by the National Trial Lawyers Association, Chris Dixon is a dedicated and experienced legal professional with a strong track record.
Get started by calling our firm at (314) 208-2808 today. We can help you better understand your case and your options.