Was Your Child Injured on a Chicago School Bus?
A familiar sight across Chicago is children boarding and riding on school buses. They could be on their way to school, summer camp, field trips, or after-school activities. Did you know that 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 feel comfortable that the safety of their kids will come first. They believe that there is nothing to worry about. Our Chicago school bus accident lawyers know this isn’t always the case.
Many parents feel safe because buses are subject to more stringent regulations than passenger cars. For example, some buses must stop and check for trains before crossing the tracks. Further, it is illegal for bus drivers to work with alcohol in their system. No school bus driver should be behind the wheel after drinking. Other parents seem to believe that the large size of the bus means that even in the unlikely event of an accident, their children cannot get hurt.
The facts show that, unfortunately, this is not the case. School buses are regularly involved in accidents in Chicago and throughout Illinois. These collisions often result in injuries to minors and children. Occasionally, a child is even killed in a Chicago school bus accident.
Are School Buses in Chicago Vulnerable to Crashes?
There are thousands of ways a school bus can get 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 speeding and causing a crash.
When an accident involves a school bus, children on board are more likely to suffer serious injuries. Often, 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. He or she can sustain severe injuries when this happens.
How Are Thousands of Children Injured Every Year in School Bus Accidents?
In one recent year alone, there were 1,586 school bus collisions in Illinois, with over 250 injuries and two fatalities.
Unlike collisions with small passenger cars, when a school bus is in a crash, dozens of people, including children, can suffer injuries in a single accident. Crashes between two buses full of students can result in even more injuries. The Law Firm of Abels & Annes, P.C. represents children and their families in the Chicago area when they suffer injuries resulting from school bus accidents.
It is hard for parents when their child suffers an injury due to negligence. They may feel helpless and uncertain of what to do next.
If your child got hurt in a Chicago school bus accident, it is important to know that you have legal options. When a child suffers injuries, parents or guardians of a minor under 18 can bring a claim or lawsuit on the child’s behalf.
What Are Common Injuries from School Bus Accidents?
School bus accidents in Chicago can result in injuries such as:
- Fractures (broken bones), sometimes so severe they require surgical repair
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Back & neck injuries, sometimes known as whiplash
- In some cases, Wrongful 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. Yet, too often, the bus and insurance companies ignore this. They sometimes treat the families of the victims as if they have no rights.
If your child has injuries from a school bus accident, your family may have a claim for damages. Whether the crash was the fault of the school bus driver, bus company, or another driver on the road, 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.
Can a Chicago School Bus Accident Lawyer Help?
Our Chicago school bus accident attorneys will go to work for you from the start. We will investigate every aspect of the school bus crash to determine who is ultimately to blame. School buses are considered common carriers. As such, bus drivers and bus companies must give their passengers the highest duty of care. When they fail to provide this high level of care, they can face liability for the harm they caused.
School bus drivers may face liability if they drove carelessly, under the influence, or distracted. They can also face liability if they did not obey the rules of the road. Speeding is a common reason why many school bus accidents occur.
School bus companies can face liability if they hired inexperienced or untrained bus drivers, if they failed to maintain their buses properly, or if they cut corners in maintenance of any kind.
It is our job to determine who is to blame for the school bus accident, so we can seek compensation from the liable parties. In many cases, multiple parties can share the blame for the crash, including the bus driver, bus company, other drivers, and even the bus manufacturer.
We will work to help you make a recovery for your child’s:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Loss of normal life
- Future medical expenses and other costs
We Seek Justice After a Chicago School Bus Crash
The Chicago injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C., have represented numerous families after tragic school bus accidents. As bus accident attorneys, we are well aware that school buses can result in catastrophic injuries to children both on the bus and waiting at bus stops. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration established safety standards that bus owners and drivers must follow. We work quickly to determine if bus drivers or company owners breached those standards. If they failed to regulate emergency exits, drove carelessly, did not install proper safety features, or hired inexperienced bus drivers, we can hold them accountable. If their negligence caused your child harm, we will fight every step of the way for justice.
After a school bus accident, you need to tend to your injured child and help them rebuild their lives. Let us worry about the insurance companies and legalities. Our law firm has the resources and experience you need to fight for justice after a serious Chicago school bus crash.
Our attorneys have 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 sustains an injury. Let Abels & Annes, P.C. put our experience to work for your family today.