Sacramento School Bus Accident Attorneys
We trust our children to school bus drivers and the vehicles they pilot every day because we must. If a school bus accident happens and your child is injured, you have the right to hold any negligent party involved accountable for their actions.
Determining whether a local school district is legally responsible for a child’s injuries in a school bus accident can be a complex and emotionally charged task. However, at Demas Law Group, our experienced Sacramento school bus accident attorneys have more than two decades of experience helping crash victims and their families recover full and fair compensation. Whether your child was on a bus that crashed or was hit by a bus, or if you were hit by a school bus, our legal team can walk you through all your options.
Our law firm has extensive experience handling personal injury claims involving children. We understand public school transportation fleet operations and what the law requires them to do to keep their buses and the children who ride them safe. We have the knowledge and resources needed to help you.
Clients feel confident putting their trust in us because:
- Our law firm has earned a 99 percent success rate in obtaining compensation for thousands of families and individuals injured in accidents across Northern California.
- Our attorneys and staff are committed to treating clients like VIPs, showing one-on-one attention and genuine compassion for what you and your family are going through.
- We are dedicated to fighting for justice for the unjustly injured, and we will not back down from a fight against deep pocketed government entities or corporations.
- Our law office offers a “no win, no fee” guarantee, which promises we will not charge you a fee unless we have recovered compensation for you.
We know the anguish of parents whose children have suffered serious injuries. This is no time to be on your own. Let us fight for the compensation your child deserves so you can focus on your family’s needs.
Our Law Firm Investigates School Bus Accidents
It is extremely important for a school bus accident to be thoroughly investigated. Although law enforcement and government agencies will certainly respond to an accident in which schoolchildren are injured, they cannot afford to devote the time and resources a serious accident requires. Further, law enforcement will focus on potential criminal charges, and school districts will be concerned about public opinion.
Only a personal injury law firm working for you will conduct a thorough, independent investigation of the school bus accident with the goal of pursuing the compensation your child deserves. At Demas Law Group, our respected accident investigators have the field experience necessary to examine crash scene evidence and the know-how to dig through the mountains of regulatory paperwork bus companies are required to complete.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) typically regulates buses, or “passenger-carrier commercial motor vehicles,” including school buses. However, school buses are exempt from several federal regulations and requirements. This leaves it to multiple state agencies to set and enforce requirements for school-bus driver qualifications and training, vehicles, inspections, and other operational aspects not covered by the FMCSA.
Additionally, school buses may be operated by school districts or private contractors that work on behalf of school districts. Private service vendors may recruit and/or test school bus drivers for alcohol or drug use, or maintain and repair school bus fleets.
- Those who investigate the accident must know what evidence to look for and where to find it, and they must take the time to pore through the records to discover whether there are violations that caused or contributed to the accident.
- There may be multiple parties with responsibility for a school bus accident.
After our investigation, we may be able to pursue claims against one or more parties, such as:
- The bus driver. School bus drivers may be found responsible for careless and reckless behavior after an accident. Despite the young lives in their hands, school bus drivers may engage in texting while driving, fatigued driving, driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, speeding, etc.
- Another driver. Any driver on the road is capable of negligence that leads to an accident involving a school bus. Impatient drivers may not slow, stop, and wait for school buses that are picking up or dropping off children, as state law requires.
- The school district. Public-sector agencies can be held liable for the actions of their employees, such as school bus drivers, as well as for the operation of vehicles they put on the road. A school district may be held liable for systemic negligence or its employees’ failures, such as allowing poorly trained or incompetent drivers to man school buses, or neglecting school bus maintenance needs.
- A service vendor, such as a company hired to maintain a school bus fleet or drug- and alcohol-test drivers. If contractors performed inferior work or failed to adhere to schedules, and their negligence is found to have contributed to the accident, it may be the basis of a claim.
- Manufacturers and retailers of buses and/or bus components and parts. If a defective product – such as brakes, tires, steering systems, etc. – failed and caused an accident, this may be cause for a product liability claim.
- The federal, state, or local governmental agency responsible for building and maintaining roads where a school bus crash occurred. If faulty road design or maintenance contributed to an accident, the responsible government body and/or contractors it hired for the work might be held liable. If a badly designed or erected highway work zone contributed to a school bus crash, such as by not providing adequate warning and space for a bus to slow down, this could lead to a claim.
We urge you to contact our knowledgeable Sacramento school bus accident lawyers as soon as possible if your child has been hurt in a crash. Our law firm has the resources and the know-how to conduct a serious investigation into the accident and, if necessary, to take on multiple negligent parties.
Schedule a free consultation with our team today to discuss your legal rights.
Common Causes of School Bus Accidents
School buses transport more than 26 million students to school and other activities every day across the United States. Although school buses have a strong safety record, crashes that cause fatalities and serious injuries do occur.
On average, there are about 115 fatal crashes involving a school bus each year, according to a 2017 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report to Congress. Seventy-two percent of fatal crashes in the study period occurred during home-to-school and school-to-home travel.
The GAO report found the most common school bus driver-related factors in school bus accidents included:
- Failing to keep in the proper lane
- Leaving the bus unattended and with the engine running
- Traffic violations, such as:
- Illegal turns
- Failure to yield
- Failure to signal for a turn or stop
- Careless / reckless / inattentive driving (e.g., distracted driving).
School bus accidents are typically high-speed rollover accidents or side-impact crashes, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Buses are taller than passenger cars, which raises their centers of gravity and makes them up to three times more likely to roll over than a car, particularly if moving too fast in a turn. In a side-impact crash, a car hits the broadside of the bus or the bus broadsides a vehicle. These types of crashes, also called “T-bone accidents,” often happen in an intersection because a driver has run a red light or stop sign.
Indeed, it is not always the school bus driver who is at-fault. Other drivers hit school buses. Sometimes children who are getting off or on a school bus are hit and injured by other motorists.
Compensation for Your Family After a School Bus Accident
Particularly with accidents involving children, it is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side who understands how to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of damages both now and into the future. When evaluating your school bus accident claim, our attorneys will take into account:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of emergency medical care, hospitalization, diagnostic tests, surgery, physical therapy, medication, etc.
- Future medical costs, such as for anticipated medical treatment or care necessitated by disabling injuries
- Lost income during recovery or due to diminished earning capacity the individual’s injuries cause (including lost income from parents due to caring for an injured child)
- Pain and suffering, which includes physical pain, emotional turmoil, stress, disruption of lifestyle, and/or loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage, such as motor vehicle repair or replacement costs if your car was hit by a bus
When a child has suffered a catastrophic injury, we consider the child’s future when calculating what proper compensation consists of. We will calculate medical costs up to the present and work with your child’s doctors to make projections for anticipated medical requirements. In cases of permanent disability, we work with life-care planning consultants to develop detailed plans for medical and personal care needs and their costs for the years to come.
We further consider that a child who has suffered a disabling or disfiguring injury may not lead a full childhood and may face limitations as a youth or adult. This might range from difficulty engaging in childhood play or organized sports as a youth, to fewer education, employment, dating, and marriage opportunities.
A severely injured child’s loss of enjoyment of life must be included in pain and suffering compensation. Parents’ ongoing grief over the full life unjustly taken away from their child is deserving of compensation, as well.
Injuries Caused by School Bus Accidents
A public school system like the Sacramento City Unified School District may be responsible for as many as 2,500 school bus trips in a given school year. It hires staff or contractors to drive and to service and maintain hundreds of buses it owns or leases. Unfortunately, it only takes one mistake or moment of negligence to cause a catastrophic, life-changing injury.
Children involved in school bus accidents may suffer such serious injuries as:
- Head injuries, including concussions and more severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Whiplash and/or nerve damage in the neck and spine
- Broken bones, including simple and compound fractures
- Disfiguring cuts, abrasions, and burns
- Loss of limbs in traumatic or surgical amputations
School buses do not have seat belts or other safety equipment. So when a rollover accident or a collision occurs, students on the bus are typically thrown about the interior and injured by potentially multiple blows to their bodies.
Let Our Sacramento School Bus Accident Lawyers Fight for Your Family
If you or your child has been seriously injured in a school bus accident, you’ll need qualified legal assistance to demand the full amount of insurance compensation you deserve. Our skilled Sacramento school bus accident lawyers are prepared to investigate the crash and pursue all avenues for compensation.
In addition to personal injury claims, our legal team works with families who have lost a loved one in a school bus accident. We can explain your options for seeking justice through a wrongful death claim after a fatal crash.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced California school bus accident attorney today. We will not charge for services provided to your family unless and until we recover compensation for you.
Call (916) 444-0100 or contact us online now.
This literature may be considered attorney advertising or an offer of professional services, according to rule 1-400 Rules of Professional Conduct by the State Bar of California. The information does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your potential legal matter.