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Back to School: What should I know about school bus accidents?

Most of the time, school buses are a safe way to transport your kids back and forth to school. Nevertheless, accidents do happen, and sometimes those accidents are fatal. Between the years of 2004 and 2013, there were over 1,200 school bus accidents involving fatalities.

In South Dakota, extreme weather can sometimes be a concern in addition to the usual issues at hand during a motor vehicle accident. Your children are precious to you, and you want to do all that you can to protect them. By teaching your kids a few safety guidelines, you can increase the likelihood of them staying safe on the school bus.

Here's how to help your kids stay safe on the school bus.

  • At the bus stop: If possible, go down to the bus stop with your children. That way, you can check the bus stop for hazards and ensure that the kids at the bus stop are staying out of harm's way and out of the road.
  • On the bus: Safety experts recommend that you instruct your children to stay aware and calm on the school bus. You may also advise them not to distract themselves with cell phones, loud music or horseplay, and that way you can keep everyone a little safer.
  • Recognizing danger: It is important that your children know how to identify dangerous situations on the bus. Children should not be afraid to report anyone with a weapon, and you can let them know the signs of sudden illness or intoxicated driving.

If the worst happens and your child is involved in a school bus accident, you may need to attempt to find justice or damages as a result of the crash. This may mean filing a lawsuit, and the lawsuit will take a few factors into consideration.

Here's what you need to know before seeking litigation for school bus accident damages.

  • Who is at fault? Is it the school bus driver or another driver? Was anyone at fault in the crash?
  • Who is liable? Even if the school bus driver was at fault, the school might still have some responsibility, for example, if the administration knew the driver was unfit to drive. If the bus itself failed, the manufacturer of the bus might share in the blame.
  • How do I file? Since a school district is a large governmental institution, there may be some special considerations when filing suit. An attorney may be able to help you understand statutes of limitations and other filing requirements.

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