A school bus accident is a worst-case scenario that no parent wants to imagine. Yet, sadly, these accidents injure and kill children each year. Despite federal and state safety laws, not all schools in Colorado take the correct steps to ensure reasonably safe school buses and bus drivers. If your child gets hurt in a school bus accident in Denver, learn your legal rights by consulting with a Denver bus accident attorney at Manning Law.
What Causes School Bus Accidents in Colorado?
School bus accidents are almost always preventable. They occur most often when someone is negligent, or fails to exercise proper care. Negligence can take the form of a careless or reckless bus driver, a lack of proper driver training by a school, inadequate bus fleet maintenance, or dangerous road defects. Common causes of school bus accidents related to a negligent bus driver include:
- Distracted driving
- Texting while driving
- Drunk driving
- Drowsy driving
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Following too closely
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Failing to yield the right-of-way at intersections
- Traffic law violations
Bus accidents can also be caused by outside drivers, such as a motor vehicle driver who does not stop behind a school bus that has extended its stop sign or is displaying other visual signals. Another common issue is a defective or dangerous bus that has an equipment malfunction and crashes due to poor bus maintenance by the school or owner of the bus.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for a School Bus Accident?
In Colorado, it is necessary to determine the cause of a school bus accident before a parent can seek justice and financial compensation through a personal injury claim. The state’s fault law holds the person or party most responsible for causing a traffic accident accountable for related damages. This means the at-fault party must pay for all victims’ medical bills and property damage.
Liability for a school bus accident can potentially be assigned to a school, school district, bus manufacturer, government or a third party. If your child was a student at a private school, you may be able to sue the school itself for a bus accident caused by the negligence of the school or one of its employees, including a bus driver.
If your child attended a public school, you may be able to hold the school district liable for a bus accident. On the other hand, collisions caused by defective bus parts could point to a product liability claim against the manufacturer, while an accident caused by a dangerous roadway could lead to a lawsuit against the city or state government.
When to Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
If your child sustains an injury in a school bus accident in Colorado, your family should contact a bus accident lawyer before attempting to file an insurance claim or injury lawsuit. A Denver personal injury lawyer can review your case and investigate the accident to determine the liable party/ies. Then, your lawyer can file the required paperwork to initiate your lawsuit before the state’s deadline expires.
An attorney will know how to negotiate with a school’s legal team and insurance company to pursue maximum compensation for a school bus accident on your family’s behalf. A law firm will advocate for your child’s rights and best interests by establishing the defendant’s negligence in connection to the bus accident. Meanwhile, your family can focus its attention on healing and moving forward.
For more information about how to sue if your child gets hurt in a school bus accident in Denver, contact Manning Law to request a free case consultation.