School bus accidents are no stranger to experienced bus accident attorneys, but to families and children they are not an everyday occurrence. When an accident occurs, it affects those involved in many ways, including emotionally, physically and possibly even financially. Bus accident lawyers work with victims of school bus accidents to mitigate the damages and help people move on with their lives.
As bus accident attorneys are aware, it is estimated that more than 23 million elementary and secondary school children ride school buses every day in the United States. National data show that school bus related accidents send 17,000 children to the emergency rooms every year in this country. Nearly one quarter of those accidents occur when children are boarding or leaving school buses. Crashes reportedly account for 42 percent of accidents involving children and school buses, which amounts to about 8,000 children every year. The statistics are alarming, even for lawyers that deal with bus accident cases on a regular basis.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has established federal motor vehicle safety standards that must be followed by school bus owners and companies. The attorneys that work with bus accident victims will research whether or not the bus owner or company followed these requirements, which include regulating emergency exits, roof structure, seating and fuel systems as well as bus body joint integrity. The NHTSA also sponsors programs on school bus safety.
Buses certainly are a convenient form of public transportation – whether they be commuter buses, tour buses, airport shuttles, ski shuttle buses, casino buses or, of course, school buses. As common carriers, bus drivers and bus companies owe their passengers a greater duty of care in protecting them from harm. School bus driving takes special training and that training must be adequate to meet that higher duty of care. School buses also need to be checked regularly for safe operation. When bus accident lawyers take on a case, the actions against a common carrier can involve the negligent conduct of the bus driver or inadequate training, or the condition of the school bus itself, such as improper maintenance or defective parts.
Whenever a family suffers from a wrongful death or injury at the hands of another, it is a tragedy. But, as bus accident attorneys can attest, it seems that bus accidents and other mass transportation accidents affect those families and the general public the worst. The communities of these families and all of America mourn the disasters where dozens of people needlessly die.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a school bus crash, certain time periods are required to be followed in filing a lawsuit with bus accident attorneys. These deadlines are called statutes of limitations. They vary from state to state, and certain common carriers that are owned by governmental entities such as federal, state, county or city governments may have special notices that must be given before filing a lawsuit. These time periods can be very short, and this is why it is important to contact a bus accident lawyer immediately following the event.
Clifford Law Offices’ lawyers are currently handling several bus accident cases. In 2005, the tragedy of a University of Illinois student killed by a bus driver made national headlines. The firm filed a lawsuit against the Mass Transit District and its driver on behalf of the family of a freshman student from Deerfield who was killed while she was walking to her dormitory. The firm’s bus accident attorneys also represent a 15-year-old honors student from the west side of Chicago who was severely injured when a bus driver struck her at the curb and then drove away. Clifford Law Offices also represents the family of an 81-year-old woman killed when a semi-trailer rammed the back of a tour bus in which she was sitting with dozens of other elderly people.
Clifford Bus Accident Lawyers’ Cases Dealing with Bus Accidents
Robert Clifford – $24 million (Verdict): 8-year-old boy suffers permanent brain damage and motor impairment after he was struck by a CTA bus as he crossed the street in a school zone crosswalk
Kevin Durkin – $7 million (Verdict): Woman in crosswalk struck by bus suffers permanent brain damage
Robert Clifford – $6.5 million (Verdict): 55-year-old woman’s legs crushed by a CTA bus making too tight a turn in the crosswalk
Robert Clifford – $5 million (Verdict): Jogger hit by bus suffers permanent injuries
Kevin Durkin – $1.2 million (Verdict): Single female struck and injured by private bus
Craig Squillace – $374,430 (Verdict): 41-year-old passenger on bus thrown into air and lands on right heel, fracturing it, when bus hits a bump
Robert Clifford – $2.775 million: Bus makes tight right-hand turn and pins 24-year-old woman against barrier; leg is degloved