On March 28, a one-year-old child was injured in an accident involving a school bus in Columbia, Maryland. The accident occurred when the car being driven by the victim’s mother attempted to make a left turn in front of a school bus on Little Patuxent Parkway. The vehicle was struck by the school bus on the rear passenger side, where the victim was seated in a child safety seat. There were five people in the school bus, including two students, two aides, and the driver. However, no other injuries resulted from the accident.
The students were en route to Forbush School in Hunt Valley, an institution that provides special education to children with autism. After the accident, a second school bus reported to the scene in order to transport the students to school.
MOST SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION RELATED FATALITIES INVOLVE OCCUPANTS OF OTHER VEHICLES.
Every day, nearly 22 million students ride school transportation. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) School Transportation Related Crashes report, over 1,200 fatal school transportation related accidents occurred between 2001 and 2010. In total, these collisions resulted in 1,368 deaths. On average, there were 137 fatalities annually as a result of school transportation related accidents. The study defined a school transportation related accident as one which directly or indirectly involved a school bus or other vehicle functioning as a school bus, while transporting students to and from school or a school related activity.
The majority of school transportation related accident fatalities involved individuals who were occupants of other vehicles. These individuals account for approximately 72 percent of reported fatalities. 21 percent of fatalities in this type of accident involved non-occupants, such as pedestrians and cyclists. The remaining 7 percent of fatalities in this type of accident were occupants of school transportation vehicles.
In addition to these deaths, many individuals suffer serious injuries that severely impact their health and quality of life as a result of school transportation related accidents.
IF YOU ARE INVOLVED IN A SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION RELATED COLLISION, AN ACCIDENT ATTORNEY CAN HELP YOU RECEIVE COMPENSATION.
If you or your loved one are injured, or if your loved one is killed, as a result of a school transportation related accident, it is important to contact an attorney in order to ensure that your legal rights are protected.
Depending on the circumstances of your school transportation related accident several parties may be responsible for your injuries and losses. These parties include the school bus driver, the school board, and the company contracted to provide student transportation services.
The school board or the company contracted to provide student transportation services could be held liable for the negligent acts or omissions of the school bus driver under the legal theory of respondeat superior. Under this theory, an employer is held vicariously liable for the negligent acts of their employees, which are committed within the scope of employment.
This is important because school boards and private companies are usually better suited to compensate accident victims for their injuries because they have greater financial resources and more substantial insurance policies.