Each year, city and school bus accidents lead to injury and deaths for children and adults riding buses, or bicyclists and pedestrians hit by buses, due to the negligence of bus operators or those responsible for bus maintenance. According to released statistics from the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS), the number of Ohio school bus accidents are increasing year on year. Road safety authorities, like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, are concerned that city and school bus accidents are causing leading to more injuries and Truck Accidents.
From 2005 to 2014, there were almost 1,200 school-transportation-related crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and numerous city bus related accidents reported. Over 18,000 injuries occurred, and of the total number of fatalities, 304 were school-age children: occupants of school buses, pedestrians or occupants in other vehicles.
Many of the accidents and injuries on Ohio’s roads result in problems for victims, including huge medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and in many cases, permanent injuries.
Following a serious bus accident, victims should contact an experienced Ohio bus accident lawyer to investigate. Joe Lyon is an experienced Ohio personal injury attorney, well-versed in the science and economic impact bus accidents have on a victim’s life and family.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
Even though buses represent a small percentage of vehicles on Ohio’s roads, like trucks, they are involved in many of the most serious accidents reported each year.
Bus accidents are almost always preventable. Too often, negligence plays a role in road accidents, whether it’s a bus driver or driver of another vehicle. Common causes of bus accidents include:
- Driver fatigue
- Driver distraction
- Driver error
- Defective bus safety equipment
- Malfunctioning safety features
- Reckless driving behavior & Excessive speeding
- Improper or inadequate training of bus drivers
- Failure to maintain busses
- Overloading busses
- Roadside Hazards
- Negligent Highway Design
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Unsafe driving practices—dangerous turns and lane changes, following vehicles too closely, failure to check blind spots, and improper turn signals
Serious Injuries Associated with Bus Accidents
Thousands of motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians are injured in city and school bus crashes and collisions every year. Some common bus accident injuries may include:
How to File a Lawsuit
Your attorney can help in filing a personal injury lawsuit following a bus accident, and lead you through the following process:
- File a complaint: Plaintiffs and attorneys will determine fault and name specific defendants, which may include negligent bus drivers or municipalities. An Ohio auto negligence attorney can help you organize your complaint in a legal format and get the document filed in court. The named defendants will then be served with copies of the complaint and will be required to provide a response in writing.
- Discovery Period: The discovery process includes depositions, interrogatories, and potential requests for documents. Your attorney will question the defendants under oath. Interrogatories include written answers to questions. Document requests in bus accident lawsuits can include police records, and any document that supports the claim.
- Settlement or trial period: most bus accident lawsuits are settled before the trial period. Your lawyer can negotiate a fair settlement, and you can choose to accept or seek more compensation in a trial.
Contact an Ohio Bus Accident Lawyer
Following any bus accident or collision with a municipal vehicle, the victim may have a claim against the responsible party and may recover medical costs and damages. All too often, insurance companies are difficult to deal with and refuse to pay out claims.
As a result, those injured in an Ohio bus accidents are encouraged to hire a Cincinnati bus accident lawyer to assist in the legal process.
After seeking professional medical care, a plaintiffs can start to consider what legal actions may be necessary to recover proper compensation. The Lyon Firm works with Accident Investigators to determine the root cause of a car or bus accident.
Ohio bus accidents can be reduced if bus drivers and passing motorists follow state laws and tips from the National Safety Council:
- Drivers should make sure children wear seat belts
- Drivers should be aware of pedestrians and bicyclists
- Do not pass a school bus that stops to load or unload children.
- Stop your vehicle far enough from a school bus to see children on three sides.
- When in doubt, slow down. Watch for children walking in the street.
- Watch for children playing near bus stops.
- Be aware that children may dart into the street without looking at traffic.
- Learn and obey the school bus “flashing signal light system” that bus drivers use to alert motorists of certain actions: Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop. Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate a school bus has stopped and children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait.