School Bus Accidents in Florida
With school back in session across the state, the concern of serious school bus accidents has come to many parent’s minds once again. Unfortunately, regardless of how careful and cautious drivers are, school bus accidents happen and can be devastating for all involved.
Even though school bus accidents are rare (only about .4% of all accidents that occur), they still happen. In fact, this type of accident causes approximately 134 deaths per year. While this is true, the passengers on the bus only make up about eight percent of the total deaths that occur.
So, what options do you have if your child is involved in an accident with a school bus? What if you are the other vehicle and not at fault? Unfortunately, these can be complicated situations.
If you find yourself dealing with the aftermath of a school bus accident in Florida, our team at The Law Offices of Pardy& Rodriguez is here to help.
Illegally Passing of School Buses in Florida
Every year, a survey is conducted by the Florida Department of Education regarding the number of vehicles illegally passing school buses. Each year, these numbers reach the thousands, which is alarming, to say the least.
The state has taken steps to help make buses safer for children. These requirements ensure that if dangerous conditions on the road occur or an accident, the children inside will be as safe as possible. The requirements include:
- Two-point seatbelts
- Fire retardant seating
- Dual stop signal arms and student crossing arms
- Heavy-duty braking systems
- Fuel system integrity
- Increased emergency exits for easier and faster evacuation
It’s worth noting that Florida stands out from other states regarding seatbelt safety. Only Florida and California currently have liability laws related to school bus seat belt requirements.
Bus Accident Liability and Florida’s No-Fault System
Florida is a no-fault accident state. This means that passengers who are injured in a bus accident will submit injury claims to their own insurance company. If the cost of the damages surpasses what the policy covers, then it is possible to pursue compensation against the driver or school system.
It is also important to note that the drivers and passengers of other vehicles involved in the accident with a school bus can also seek damages from the bust driver if the injuries were classified as catastrophic based on the law in Florida.
Because Florida uses pure comparative negligence, injured drivers may receive financial compensation if they are partly at fault. In this situation, the damages they receive are reduced by the percentage of fault they are determined to have.
School Bus Injuries in Florida Aren’t Just from Accidents
When talking about the dangers of school buses, it is easy to focus on traffic accidents that occur. However, accidents are not the only cause of school bus injuries.
Along with accidents (which is the leading cause of injuries), children are often injured while leaving or boarding the bus. For example, children may slip, trip, and fall on the steps or be hit by a vehicle while crossing the street or walking to or from the bus.
Some other causes of bus-related injuries include rough play on the bus and sudden stops or turns by the driver.
Recovering Compensation After a Florida School Bus Accident and Injury
Suppose your child is on a bus when an accident occurs and they suffer an injury because of someone else’s negligence. In that case, you may be able to receive compensation to cover the damages and medical expenses incurred. You should understand that many insurance companies will attempt to deny or underpay for an accident insurance claim. Because of this, you need the help of our legal team. We will fight for your rights to help ensure you get the compensation deserved for your child’s:
- Medical costs
- Pain and suffering
How Our Legal Team Can Help
When you contact us, you will find that our team is ready to help. We will take some time to learn about the accident and your situation. We will investigate what happened, talk to witnesses, gather documentation of the accident and your child’s medical issues, and then begin to build a case.
Once we have the evidence needed to prove fault – regardless of if it is the driver of another vehicle owner – our team will file a lawsuit for compensation. We will build a strong case to help ensure you get the damages needed to cover your costs and expenses.
Contact Us to Learn More
Was your child on a bus when an accident occurred? Were they injured and are now suffering because of the situation? Or were you the driver of another vehicle that was struck by a bus? Regardless of the situation, our legal team at The Law Offices of Pardy& Rodriguez are here to help. Contact us at (407) 477-4291 to schedule a free consultation.