School Bus Accident

According to statistics, approximately 25 million children across the United States travel on school buses everyday. There are more than 400,000 school buses on the roads of America every school day, accounting for more than 8 billion school bus trips to and from school each year.

School buses are among the safest means of travel in the U.S., much more so than private cars and other vehicles. Although it is very heartening to know this, it is unfortunate that school buses are not 100% safe, and do get involved in accidents. In fact, recent national data shoes that school bus related accidents send around 17,000 children in the United States to emergency rooms every year.

About one-fourth of all the school bus related accidents happen when the children are boarding or leaving the bus. Crashes account for 42% of the crashes. Other reasons for injuries on school buses are when a child slips or falls on the bus, injuries from roughhousing with other children, as well as getting jostled if the bus turns suddenly or stops abruptly. Most of the injuries sustained do not require hospitalization, though there are cases of broken bones, sprains, and cuts that require a hospital visit.

Any kind of traffic accident is tragic, but in the case of a school bus accident, the tragedy can be so much worse because children are invariably going to be involved in the accident.

Over the years, a leading debate surrounding school bus accidents has concerned a lack of seat belts in school buses. There have been many instances of school bus accidents where a child has been thrown from the bus due to the impact, and this has caused the death of the child. Thus, the question is raised as to why school buses are not equipped with seat belts, which can save the lives of many innocent children in case of a school bus accident.

But school authorities, bus drivers, and many other people are of the opinion that seat belts in school buses, would not save as many lives as they would endanger. Statistics show that there are many more situations where children need to be extricated from school buses than there are of children being thrown from the school buses. While, in the latter case, a seat belt may have proved effective, it could endanger the lives of many other children if they needed to be removed from the school buses in an emergency, and could not be extricated because of the hindrance caused by seat belts.

The debate continues, with many parents asking for seat belts to be put on school buses, and many others campaigning against them. As of July 2004, all new school buses that are being manufactured need to have certain types of restraint and safety systems for the children, but these do not apply to older school buses. Whether such restraint systems do in fact help in bus accidents or make the situation worse still remains to be seen.

Litigation

If your child has been in any kind of school bus accident, you need to consult with an accident lawyer to know about your options regarding bus accidents. If your child has sustained any injuries, you may be entitled to receive damages, depending on the seriousness of such injuries.

If you have lost a child as a result of any school bus accident, you may have a criminal and civil case against the responsible parties.

No amount of money, regardless of the amount, can be compensation enough for losing a child, but you are entitled to seek compensation nonetheless. A lawyer will be able to help you get compensation for your loss, and your lawsuit may even encourage the relevant authorities to try and make school bus travel safer than it already is, so as to minimize any further instances of school bus accidents.

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