Every day school buses take more than 26 million children to schools and drop them back to their homes in the US. There are almost 500,000 school buses functioning, and are considered to be the safest mode of transportation to school for children. While there is a higher chance for a child to be injured in a passenger vehicle than a school bus, incidents have happened where negligent bus drivers were involved in accidents, causing injury to children and property damage.
Common Causes of School Bus Accidents
There are several factors that can lead to a school bus accident. Based on what caused the accident and how it happened, it can be determined which defendant is liable to pay for damages. Some common causes of school bus accidents include:
- Brake failure
- Bus driver fatigue
- Bus driver intoxication
- Excessive speed
- Hazardous weather conditions
- Overloaded buses
- Poor driver training
- Inexperience driver
- Poorly maintained buses
- Reckless driving
Unfortunately, an increasing number of such accidents are a result of negligent drivers of trucks and cars who do not stop for the flashing lights on the school bus.
Determining Liability in a School Bus Accident
The cause of the accident is generally the basis of determining fault and liability. In Illinois, the law and regulations are different for a vehicle accident involving a school bus than those governing passenger vehicles and trucks, since those drivers are employees of school district.
Generally, when a school bus driver is at-fault in an accident, the plaintiff may file a claim against the school district. Most of them have insurance coverage in place that provides compensation for accidents caused by their bus drivers. However, since a school district is a government entity, recovering damages can be a long and challenging process requiring the help of an experienced and reliable attorney.
The injured party is entitled to receive compensation to recover different damages, including:
- Lost income of parents
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering of both child and parents
- Wrongful death damages in case of death of the child
Statute of Limitations for School Bus Accidents in Illinois
If you are a parent of children who have been injured in a school bus accident, it is essential for you to know that Illinois has a shortened statute of limitations for such types of accidents. In personal injury cases involving trucks or car, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is 2 years from the date of the accident. Illinois law has a shorter statute of limitations of 1 year for all cases involving state or government entities. This means that if you are making a claim against the school district, you will have only 1 year from the date of the accident to file a case.
If your child has been in a school bus accident where a bus driver was negligent, you can file a personal injury claim and recover compensation for current damages and future expenses.
Contact Fisk & Monteleone Ltd. today at 815-209-9030 to schedule a free case consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.