In a school bus accident, who’s to blame? If your child is injured in an accident while on a school bus your sure to be shaken if not panicked at the prospect of the harm, physical and/or mental, that has fallen on them. You may also be anxious to find out who is really responsible and at fault for the injuries brought onto your child. As a factual matter in these cases, there are multiple parties who may share in the blame and owe you compensation you may desperately need to help mend your child.
You may look first at the school district. After all, you entrusted them with the safe transport of your child to and from school and they do have a legal obligation to provide such a service. Arizona law has detailed minimum requirements for the safety and maintenance of school buses and if not followed, the school district may have culpability. Both the scope of maintenance and that it be done by properly certified mechanics are called out by the law and if this has not been done to the standard, the school district can be potentially liable.
There are also specific requirements applied to the driver of the school bus which include that they be at least 18 years old, have completed required classroom training, earned a driver’s license and endorsement from the Arizona Department of Transportation. Bus drivers are required to perform a daily safety inspection and conduct themselves while operating the bus in a hyper responsible manner. For example, use of a mobile phone or listening to music on headphones is prohibited. If the school district supplies the bus service they may be liable. In some cases, bus service is outsourced to a private bus company and in these situations, either the school district of the service provider may be liable. A review of the agreements between the district and the private company will need to be understood to determine responsibility.
In some instances, the fault of the accident may be legitimately outside of the control of the school district or a private bus service provider. If the accident is caused by another motorist driving irresponsibly or perhaps under the influence and causes the accident, the driver of this vehicle may be held to account. Another case could be defective parts on the school bus such as bad breaks, tires or other components that cause the accident. In this case, there may be a product liability argument against the manufacture for skirting their responsibility to provide known good parts within performance standards required for the bus.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident and injured, you have our deepest concern and sympathy. Contact us at Accident Law Group to get a complete assessment of your case. We built our firm to help you build fight and win your case and make sure the rights you have under the law are protected.
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