Recently, WPBF 25 West Palm Beach reported that five students had been hurt in a school bus accident. The bus was stopped at the railroad tracks when it was rear-ended by a car. Five unidentified students aboard the bus at the time suffered injuries described as "minor" after the accident. However, it is unclear exactly how badly the five young people were hurt.
Our West Palm Beach accident attorneys know that school bus accidents happen far too often and for many different reasons. It is important to understand that there may be many different individuals, companies and government entities who could potentially be responsible for a bus accident. This makes it important to understand how your crash occurred and who could be legally liable for paying the costs of any injuries that resulted from the bus accident.
Who is to Blame for Bus Accident Injuries?
When a bus passenger is hurt on a bus, there is virtually no situation in which the bus passenger was responsible in any way for his or her own injury. The bus passenger, unlike the driver of a car, has no control over what the bus does on the roads. The passenger's fate is in the hands of others around him.
Since bus accidents don't usually happen unless someone has made a mistake, done something negligent or done something wrong, it is important to determine all of the factors that led to the accident. There are a couple of different potential people or entities who may have made a mistake that results in them being blamed for the crash and made to pay damages to accident victims. For example, potential individuals responsible for covering bus accident costs and losses include:
- The driver of the bus, who could be responsible if he was negligent (unreasonably careless, more so than the average reasonable bus driver would be).
- The company that employs the driver of the bus. The bus company could be responsible if the company itself was negligent in its policies or in who it hired. The company could also be responsible because the driver works for it and anything the driver does is seen as acting on behalf of and for the company.
- Other drivers sharing the road with the bus could be responsible if they were negligent and caused an accident to happen.
- Road designers/ those responsible for road maintenance. If the problem is not with the bus or the other passenger cars, then it may be possible the bus accident was caused by a defect or problem with the road. In this case, the government entity responsible for design or road maintenance could be sued. Unfortunately, taking legal action against the government is challenging because of a rule called sovereign immunity that dates back to England when people couldn't sue the king. Today, you can sue the government authority who made a mistake on your case but you just need a lawyer who knows how to help make your case a success.
- Bus manufacturer and/or maintenance contractors.
Knowing who is to blame for your bus accident and resulting injuries is important so you can take legal action to protect your rights.
If you've been hurt in a car accident, contact West Palm Beach Injury Attorney David J. Glatthorn at 800-990-9394.