School bus transportation is a significant part of daily life for many American families. Unfortunately, in 2021, the nation experienced a shocking surge in school bus-related fatalities. While fatalities draw significant attention, addressing injuries from school bus-related crashes is also crucial.
What is considered a school bus?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a school bus-related crash as any collision involving a vehicle used as a school bus, whether directly or indirectly. This is regardless of its body design, so it can be a bus, a van or even a private car. The main point is that it encompasses incidents where school children enter or exit the vehicle.
Who usually gets injured in a school bus crash?
Statistics reveal that about 30% of those injured were school bus passengers. School bus drivers accounted for 9% of injuries while 53% were occupants of other vehicles. The remaining injuries affected pedestrians, pedal cyclists and individuals in miscellaneous or unknown circumstances.
What to do if you’re injured?
Below are some steps to follow if you find yourself injured in a school bus accident:
- Get medical help promptly, even if your injuries seem minor.
- Obtain the names, contact information and insurance details of all parties involved in the accident, including witnesses.
- Take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage and any visible injuries you sustained.
- File a report with the police and obtain a copy of the report for your records.
- Consult a personal injury lawyer with experience in bus-related accidents. They can guide you through the legal process and protect your rights.
- Keep all relevant documents, medical records and receipts for your injuries and expenses.
- Refrain from discussing the accident with insurance adjusters until you have legal representation.
While a school bus is primarily a vehicle to transport students safely, anyone can get injured if it crashes. By following the steps above and seeking professional legal advice, you can pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.