Boston School Bus Accident Attorneys
When you send your child of to school, you do so with the trust that the school bus driver and school have their best interests at heart. Drivers have the significant responsibility of getting to and from school safely, and any act of negligence can jeopardize their well-being. All it takes is one serious error to cause a catastrophic school bus accident, which can injure passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians.
If you or your child were injured in a school bus accident, then DiBella Law Offices, P.C. can fight to get you proper compensation for your injuries. We have years of experience investigating negligent drivers after serious accidents and can advocate for your best interests in a personal injury claim. Our Boston school bus accident attorneys are not afraid to stand up to government agencies or big insurance companies to get our clients the compensation they deserve. Call us today at (617) 870-0907 for a free consultation.
School buses are large, powerful vehicles that must be handled with great care by drivers. A bus can weigh thousands of pounds when fully loaded and be difficult to operate around winding roads, dense traffic, and dangerous weather conditions. As passenger vehicle operators, school bus drivers are held to a higher standard than other drivers and must take those responsibilities seriously.
If a school bus driver acts negligently, it can cause serious injuries to both passengers and other drivers. Buses have wide blind spots, presenting a high risk of sideswiping nearby motorcyclists and other smaller vehicles. Their weight also means they need more time to come to complete stops and speeding can increase the chance of a driver causing an intersection accident. In terms of design, buses are top-heavy vehicles, making them prone to rollovers when recklessly maneuvered.
But it is not just bus drivers that must operate these vehicles safely. Boston Public Schools has a duty to inspect, maintain, and repair all school buses to prevent serious mechanical failures, which can contribute to bus accidents. Other drivers should also operate their vehicles responsibility when around buses. A high-speed collision by another large vehicle, such as a van, truck, or SUV, can cause catastrophically injure occupants, including young children.
Following a school bus accident, it is important to review all the details of your case to determine who is liable for your injuries and owes you compensation. If a school bus driver acted negligently and struck your vehicle, they can be found liable for your injuries. It is important to determine if the bus was operated by a public agency, like Boston Public Schools, or a private company, such as a private school or church. The process of recovering compensation from public agencies is different from private companies and will impact the timeline of your claim.
In turn, if another driver struck a school bus and injured your child, you may be able to file a car accident claim against them for compensation. First you will need to go through your family’s PIP coverage, but if it does not fully cover your child’s injuries, then you can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Lastly, if you or your child’s injuries were caused by a defective bus component, then you may have an auto product liability claim against the manufacturer. These types of accidents can also be caused by poor repairs by maintenance companies, which can also be held liable in a claim.
Massachusetts is a no-fault state when it comes to auto insurance, meaning you will need to go through your own insurance company first before filing a claim against another party. PIP insurance will cover the costs of your medical bills and 75% of your lost wages up to $8,000, allowing you or your child to get immediate coverage for any emergency treatment. However, this does not cover your pain and suffering damages, which can only be recovered through a third-party car accident claim.
In order to file a claim against an at-fault driver or school, you must have:
- Incurred at least $2,000 in medical expenses; and/or
- Suffered a permanent and serious disfigurement, broken bones, hearing damage, or vision loss.
If you meet these criteria and another driver caused your injuries, you can file a claim under their liability insurance policy. However, the timeline is different from government agencies and private drivers. With private drivers, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim, but for public schools, the statute of limitations is two years. For children, these time limits may be extended until the child turns 18-years-old, from which they will have until their 20th birthday for government vehicle claims and their 21st birthday for private drivers.
A school bus accident can be incredibly distressing. You may be worried about the well-being of your child, getting your medical bills paid, or the long-term impact of an accident. If you or your child suffered a serious injury, you may have a long road to recovery, but you should not have to pay for these costs alone if someone else caused your injuries.
At DiBella Law Offices, P.C., our Boston bus accident attorney can provide the legal expertise and knowledge you need right now. Sorting out who you can hold liable for your injuries and fulfilling all legal requirements of a claim can be difficult during recovery, but our firm can handle the heavy-lifting for you. We can investigate the accident, collect evidence of negligence, and negotiate for proper compensation from the at-fault party. If necessary, we will take your case to trial to get you the highest possible award.
Call DiBella Law Offices, P.C. today at (617) 870-0907 for a free consultation.