School buses are generally safe way for children to travel to and from school. They are on average safer than if they were to be driven by Mom or Dad or walked with friends. However, many Florida school bus accidents have occurred recently. In the past year, there has been sharp spike in the number of Florida school bus accidents, injuring dozens of students.
August 2015 – A dump truck broadsides a school bus flipping it on its side and injuring 16 Pensacola High School students.
September 2015 – A school bus filled with students crashes into a pond in Hillsborough County.
November 2015 – Four students were injured, one seriously, when a school bus crashed after leaving the roadway on I 95 in Orlando.
January 2016 – Five students were transported to the hospital after a school bus and an SUV collided in Riverview in Hillsborough County. The bus driver in that incident was cited for failure to yield.
February 2016 – In Venice, three students were injured in a school bus crash when the bus collided, head on, with a Chevy Cobalt.
March 2016 – In a highly publicized Florida school bus accident, 72 students were injured when a semi-truck rammed two school buses that were packed with children and stopped on Route 90 in Grand Ridge. The first bus was picking up students and the second which was waiting in line was rammed from behind and pushed into the first. Both buses were displaying flashing warning lights. Lawsuits have been filed against the trucking company.
April 2016 – 27 students were taken to the hospital after a three school bus chain reaction crash in Middletown. The driver of the third bus was cited for careless driving.
April 2016 – A school bus carrying students collides with a car in Eagle Lake sending two to the hospital.
April 2016 – Six students taken to the hospital after their bus was struck while stopped, by a car that was pushed from behind by another. The driver of the third car was cited for careless driving.
Other Types of Florida School Bus Accidents
Students are not only injured as the result of a crash. The most frequent injuries occur when students are boarding or leaving the bus. Despite laws against passing a school bus, while children are present and warning lights are flashing; many drivers are distracted and fail to heed the warnings on time. Children must be taught to look both ways before crossing to be sure that all the cars have come to a complete stop. Parent dropping off or picking up students should watch out for them without distraction.
Another way children are injured on school buses is by falling inside the bus. Florida is one of a handful of states which require lap belts in school buses, but kids will be kids. Unless the school bus driver has firm control of the kids, many will choose not to wear them. Fortunately, most non-traffic related injuries to unrestrained children are minor – mostly bumps and bruises.
If Your Child is Injured
It is a tragedy for a child to be seriously injured or even killed while riding, boarding or exiting a school bus. If this should happen there is almost always negligence involved by either the school bus operator or another driver or possibly another entity such as the government agency responsible for maintaining the road. Any parent who has had a child injured or killed while riding, boarding or leaving a school bus should seek the help of personal injury attorney that has had experienced with these difficult cases.
School buses may be owned and operated by the school district or a private transportation company. School buses that are owned by a government entity have a different set of rules. The time limits for filing are much shorter. One or more of the following may be held responsible for the injuries to children:
- The school bus driver
- The school district
- A private school, charter school, church or other owner operator organization.
- A private transportation company under contract to the school
- A third party bus maintenance and repair company
- The bus manufacturer
- The bus parts manufacturer
- A driver of another vehicle
- A government entity responsible for the design, construction and/or maintenance of the roadway.
If your child was injured or lost their life in a Florida school bus accident, there may be compensatory and punitive damages available. Call Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today for a free evaluation of your case. There is no cost to you to speak with a highly credentialed, personal injury attorney that is experienced in all transportation related cases. School bus cases are particularly difficult and only an attorney with specific experience is qualified. Call today at 727-451-6900. Do not wait as time for filing your case is limited.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765