4 Factors to Consider in School Bus Accident Cases
You must consider these 4 important points when filing a bus accident injury lawsuit
School buses are used by many public and private schools to help get students to and from classes and other school activities. While buses are convenient, unfortunately they lack many safety features found in other vehicles, and in the event of an accident, students riding on school buses may be severely injured or even killed as a result. As a matter of fact, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has found that 37 percent of bus fatalities involve school buses. If your child has been involved in a school bus accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Here are 4 factors to consider before filing an injury claim with the help of an expert bus accident attorney.
First of all, consider whether the driver of the school bus was at fault for the accident. Unfortunately, driver fatigue, carelessness, and intoxication are all common contributors to school bus accidents. The school bus driver may have been 100 percent at fault, or liability may be shared with the driver of another vehicle or even with a pedestrian who may have stepped out into the road and caused the accident. When deciding whether or not to file a bus injury lawsuit, it is vital to properly identify all liable parties.
The owner of the bus company can also potentially be held liable for the accident. For example, if unsafe hiring practices, inadequate driver training, poor vehicle maintenance, or any other activity in the bus company’s sphere of responsibility contributed to the accident, you can and should consider naming them in your personal injury lawsuit. Be aware that in most cases, the school itself is not the owner of the bus or the employer of the bus driver. Instead, most schools use third party contractors for their bus services and these contractors will be the parties targeted in your lawsuit.
In some cases, you may wish to target a school district in addition to the operator of their bus system as a defendant in a school bus accident case. For example, if you have evidence that the school district was negligent in continuing to contract with a provider known to have serious driver and vehicle safety issues, and you believe this negligence contributed to the accident that injured your child, you may wish to involve the school in your case. However, bear in mind that doing so brings many complications and may significantly increase the difficulty of winning your case.
Statute of Limitations
In general, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in California is two years from the date of the accident or from the time when the injury was discovered. However, in certain situations you may need to act more quickly. For example, when filing a claim involving a public entity like the Los Angeles Unified School District, you have only 6 to 12 months to begin the process by filing a claim with the public entity in advance of any court action.