Though pretty uncommon, school bus accidents can still be devastating. Due to their particularly large size and several passengers involved, the damages could be very high.
According to a report, nearly 39% of school buses in the US are operated by private contractors. And other reports suggest that out of all the accidents involving school buses, most of them result due to negligence of the bus driver.
So, presumably, for a school bus accident, it is possible to file a personal injury claim against the contractor.
However, there are certain criteria that need to be met before filing a personal injury claim against the contractor.
Keep reading to learn more.
Though the reports suggest a majority of school bus accidents result due to drivers’ negligence, by law, it is still necessary to prove the fault.
In this context, an experienced personal injury attorney who has experience with road accidents might help. That being said, here are some of the common ways to prove the fault:
The easiest and also the most common way to prove fault in a personal injury case is to collect pieces of evidence. It is noteworthy that evidence could be anything from witness testimony to footage of the incident. You can ask your attorney to help you gather the same.
There have been reports of cases where the cause of the accident is a technical fault in the bus. Notably, the contractor is responsible for regular maintenance of the school buses. Failing to comply, the contractors could easily be held responsible for the accident.
In some cases, there exists a history of the driver with at-fault accidents. Although the contractors usually carry out a thorough history check on the drivers, it is still possible to miss out on such details. And thankfully, it could work wonders in your favor when filing for a personal injury claim.
Estimating the Damages
The next step you ought to be doing is estimating the damages. It can include the costs of repair for personal property such as mobile phones, in addition to bodily injuries. Notably, any therapeutic treatments and medical bills must also be included in this estimate when making the claim.
The Claim Process
Once you file a claim with the operators’ insurer, you will need to follow a set protocol for your claim to be processed. And to a large extent, it depends on your filing procedure.
When filing for a personal injury claim, it is important that you attach the copy of evidence you have against the at-fault party.
Attach Copy of Costs
Besides, you must also attach a copy of medical bills, and repair costs. It would help the insurer to estimate the compensation that you deserve.
Negotiations and Trials
Proceeding with the claim process, it is very likely that the at-fault party’s insurer would try to settle the claim out of the court. This is also known as negotiations. Failed negotiations usually lead to courtroom trials, where your case would be tried in front of a jury or a state-assigned judge.
School bus accidents can be a heart-breaking incident. You wouldn’t want your loved ones to suffer from grave injuries at such a young age. And still, if it happens, you would direly wish for the at-fault party to pay for their deeds.