School buses are on the road year round. This includes during the regular school year as well as transporting kids to summer school and even to and from camp. While school buses have been designed with safety in mind and children are almost guaranteed to get to their destination safely, it is possible that the unthinkable could happen.
What should you do if your child or a child you know was killed in a school bus accident? Do you have a wrongful death lawsuit? It will depend on certain factors.
Bus Driver Attention
One of the things you need to look into before pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit in the event your child was killed in a school bus accident is: Was the bus driver paying attention to your child's whereabouts prior to the accident?
For example, did your child walk in front of the bus and the driver started to move the bus before the child cleared the front end? Or did the bus driver allow the child off the bus on a busy roadway and not make sure it was safe to do so? Did the driver cause the accident by hitting another large vehicle such as a semi-truck, which resulted in serious injuries and death?
If you can prove the bus driver was inattentive prior to the accident happening, you may have a wrongful death claim.
Another important aspect to consider before attempting to sue a bus company or driver for wrongful death is to find out how safe the bus was for children to ride. This can include: Was the bus in good condition and had its regular maintenance? Were the tires in good condition and the brakes in proper working order? If not, it's possible you could sue for wrongful death.
Also, if the bus was heading to a camp and an accident occurred, was the bus loaded correctly and safely? Were suitcases, bags, and boxes secured properly so they couldn't fly around and potentially hit any children in the event an accident occurred? Was your child hurt because of a piece of stray luggage that wasn't secured right? This could also lead to a potential wrongful death lawsuit.
Road and Lighting Conditions
The road and lighting conditions at the time of the accident plays into a potential lawsuit as well. If the roads were clear, the weather fine, and the roadway well lit if at night, or if the sun wasn't in the driver's eyes before the accident, you may have a potential lawsuit.
It's important to consult a wrongful death lawyer to see if you have a case in the event of a tragic loss.