School buses are a common form of transportation for children in Smyrna. Those operating buses must ensure they are safe for all passengers. If someone fails in their duty, it can lead to an accident. Talk to a Smyrna school bus accident lawyer today if you or a child suffered injuries.
You should not have to bear the costs of someone else’s negligence. At John Foy & Associates, we’ve been helping bus accident victims recover what they deserve for over 20 years. To get a FREE consultation, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.
Why School Bus Accidents Happen in Smyrna
School bus accidents happen less often than other auto accidents. But they can still occur. Some of the most common causes include:
- Overloaded buses
- Driver distraction or fatigue
- Failure to adapt to driving conditions
- Defective brakes
- Failure to yield
- Aggressive driving
- Lack of school bus driver training
School bus drivers must complete sufficient training and drive carefully at all times. They must also follow traffic laws and bus operation protocols. When bus drivers are careless, they put many students at serious risk.
School bus accidents can also happen when school districts are negligent. The school might fail to keep up with bus maintenance. Or, they might fail to investigate or train drivers correctly.
Contact a school bus accident lawyer after your collision. They can evaluate the crash and determine who is responsible. Your lawyer will know how to seek the compensation you deserve.
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Determining Fault in a School Bus Accident
The at-fault party in a school bus accident depends on negligence. Under Georgia Code Section 51-1-2, negligence is the lack of care that “ordinarily prudent persons” would have in a similar situation.
Everyone has a “duty of care” to avoid being negligent towards others. When someone is careless, they can cause harm. After an injury accident, the negligent party is responsible for the damages.
After your school bus accident, we’ll examine each of the following parties to determine fault.
School Bus Drivers
School bus drivers are common carriers. According to Georgia Code Section 46-9-1, common carriers must use “extraordinary diligence.” The law holds them to higher standards than other drivers.
School bus drivers transport many young people every day. They must be especially careful not to cause harm. If a school bus accident happens, the driver would be responsible.
Most of the time, a driver’s employer is responsible for on-the-job accidents. However, some buses are privately-owned. If the driver does not have an employer, they could be liable.
Public School Districts
A school district is usually in charge of a school bus driver’s employment. Schools are often government entities with sovereign immunity, which means they cannot be sued in most cases. Someone can only sue a government entity under certain circumstances.
If the school district is responsible, contact a school bus accident lawyer. You will need to get started on your case right away. Your lawyer can determine if you have a claim against the school.
Bus Manufacturing Companies
School bus defects can sometimes lead to accidents. If a defective part caused the accident, it’s a product liability issue. You might be able to file a claim against the bus or part manufacturer.
School bus defects can affect parts like:
- Rollover propensity
- Fuel systems
- Safety features
Like all other vehicles, school buses need regular maintenance. If the driver or school did not keep up with maintenance, they could be liable. However, the maintenance company that worked on the bus could also be responsible.
In some cases, the school bus driver did not have control over the accident. Another driver might have collided with the school bus. If another driver caused your accident, you could file a personal injury claim with his or her insurance.
Our lawyers thoroughly investigate each school bus accident case. We will work to hold each at-fault party responsible. If more than one person was partially at fault, you might have several injury cases.
At John Foy & Associates, we do not charge you a fee unless we win your case. You can get the legal help you need, risk-free. To schedule a FREE consultation, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.
What to Do After a Smyrna School Bus Accident
School bus accidents are stressful for everyone involved. As a parent, you never want to get the call that your child suffered injuries. But there are some things you can do to help ease the burden.
You should not have to pay for costs that were not your fault. To build an injury claim, you will need to prove that:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care.
- The at-fault party failed in their duty of care.
- The failed duty led to the school bus accident.
- You or your child suffered injuries from the accident.
You can start building your case right after the collision. If you haven’t yet contacted a lawyer, here are some ways to begin gathering information on your own.
Get Medical Treatment
If you are at the accident scene, make sure everyone is okay. Call for any necessary emergency medical treatment. If you were not on site, go there and make sure your child gets medical help.
If you don’t need medical help immediately, see a doctor as soon as possible. You will need records of your or your child’s treatment for your case. If you don’t get medical attention soon, the insurance company can use it against you.
Talk to Witnesses
The chances are good that other people witnessed the school bus accident. Talk to those at the scene, and ask what they saw. Collect names and contact information for any eyewitnesses.
Your school bus accident lawyer will reach out to witnesses later. They will get statements to help support your claim.
Get the Driver’s Information
Ask the school bus driver for his or her:
- First and last name
- Contact information
- School district name
- Insurance information
You can document the accident scene with pictures. Use your phone to capture:
- Your or your child’s injuries
- Any vehicle or property damage
- The entire accident scene
Keep Notes on What Happened
Talk to your child about what they remember. Record it or write it down. Memories can fade quickly. The sooner you record a conversation about the accident, the better.
Report the Accident
The school bus driver should call the police to report the accident. If he or she doesn’t or can’t, you can call. Tell officers what happened. Also, ask where you can get a copy of the accident report.
Talk to a Smyrna School Bus Accident Lawyer for Free Today
John Foy & Associates is here for you and your family after a school bus accident. We bring 20-plus years of experience to each case. Plus, we will not charge you a fee unless we win you money.
To get a FREE consultation, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.