Was your child injured while riding to or from school on the bus?
A familiar sight across the state is children boarding and riding on school buses on their way to school, summer camps, field trips, or after school activities. In fact, 55% of school children in grades K-12 ride the bus to school. Often, parents think of a school bus as being a safe, even the safest, means of transportation for their children. Once kids are on a bus, many parents are reassured that the safety of their kids will come first and that there is nothing to worry about.
Many parents feel safe because buses are subject to more stringent regulations that passenger cars. For example, some buses must stop and check for trains before crossing train tracks. Bus drivers are not legally allowed to drive with any alcohol in their system, meaning that no school bus driver should be behind the wheel after drinking. Other parents seem satisfied that the large size of the bus means that even in the unlikely event of an accident, their children cannot be hurt.
The facts show that unfortunately, this is not the case. School buses are regularly involved in accidents in Illinois and often result in injuries to minors and children. Occasionally, a child is killed in a school bus accident.
School Buses are Vulnerable to Crashes, like any Other Vehicle
There are thousands of ways a school bus can be involved in an accident while children are on board. Another driver may be negligent for running a red light or a stop sign and striking the bus, or for speeding and causing a crash with a bus.
When an accident involves a school bus, children on board are more likely to be injured than the public might believe. Generally, kids on a bus do not have access to seat belts and therefore cannot use a seatbelt to keep themselves safe. Without seat belts, a child is much more likely to be thrown from a seat in the event of a crash. A child can be thrown to the floor or up to the ceiling, depending on the crash, and can sustain severe injuries when that happens.
Thousands of Children are Injured Every Year in School Bus Accidents
In 2011 alone, there were 1,476 school bus collisions in Illinois and of those, 276 crashes produced injuries.
Unlike collisions with small passenger cars, when a school bus is involved in a crash, dozens of people, including children, can be hurt in a single accident. Crashes between two buses full of students can result in many more injuries. The Law Firm of Abels & Annes, P.C. has previously and currently represents several children and their families in the Chicago area that have been injured on a school bus.
A child injured as a result of negligence can be a very hard experience for any parent and family. When a child is hurt, parents or guardians of a minor under the age of 18 can bring a claim or lawsuit on the child’s behalf.
Injuries Causes by School Bus Accidents
School bus accidents can result in injuries such as:
- Fractures (broken bones), sometimes so sever they require surgical repair.
- Head and brain injuries.
- Back & neck injuries, otherwise known as whiplash.
- In some cases, death.
School bus accidents can be caused by a school bus driver or by another driver on the road. Regardless of how the accident occurs, it is not the fault of the children on the bus. In an accident, the children become innocent victims and yet, too often, the bus and insurance companies ignore this and treat the families of the victims as if they have no rights.
If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, your family may have a claim for any injuries sustained and any other damages you were forced to incur. Whether the crash was the fault of the school bus company, the school bus driver, another driver on the road, or some other adult, you may have a claim. These cases can be very complicated and often are defended vigorously by the school bus companies, even when your claim is valid.
Was your child injured in an Illinois school bus accident?
We will work to help you make a recovery for your child’s pain and suffering, medical expenses, disfigurement, loss of normal life, and any other losses sustained in the accident. We look to recover present and future costs when representing an injured minor.
With experience representing children in cases against Chicago Public Schools and the bus companies that serve them, as well as schools in the suburban areas, we know how difficult it can be to get justice when your child has been hurt. Let Abels & Annes, P.C. put our experience to work for your family today.