Who may be responsible for a school bus accident in South Carolina?

student walking towards a school bus

Unfortunately, school bus accidents happen more often than you may think due to negligence. Every parent’s worst nightmare is hearing the news that their child has been injured in an accident. However, when they are injured in a school bus accident determining liability can be quite challenging as several parties may be liable for the cause of the collision. Fulfilling the burden of proof and recovering compensation for your child’s injuries is a bit more complex than in typical car accident cases. With that being said, it is in your best interest to hire a skilled Chesterfield County Auto Accident Lawyer who can help you understand your legal options and establish liability. 

What are the main causes of school bus accidents?

Like any other type of auto accident, a school bus accident can happen at any time as a result of negligence. According to research, the most common type of school bus accident is a rear-end collision. These types of traffic accidents are often caused by:

  • Distracted driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Inexperience
  • Inclement weather conditions
  • Illegally passing a bus
  • Defective parts
  • Failure to obey traffic signals and signs

Ultimately, school bus accidents can occur for several reasons. However, they are less likely to occur when bus drivers and other motorists abide by the rules of the road and exercise reasonable care for others on the road when behind the wheel.

Who can be held liable?

Most people are quick to assume that the bus driver is liable for a school bus accident. Even though it may be true in some cases it is not always the case. Other times, accidents may occur due to the negligence of another party. For instance, the school district is usually held accountable for school bus accidents as they are responsible for ensuring the vehicle is in good condition and the bus drivers they hire have the proper experience and training to transport children to and from school. The school district is not the only other party that may be named in a lawsuit. Additionally, the actual owner of the bus may be responsible for the collision. Sometimes government entities and private companies will outsource school buses to school districts. When this is the case, the school district and the owner of the bus must conduct regular maintenance inspections to ensure the vehicle is in good condition. If they fail to inspect the vehicle and remedy any mechanical issues, a claim can be filed against them for compensation for injuries.

Moreover, the above-mentioned parties may not be the only ones found at fault for a school bus accident. The school bus manufacturer may be held accountable if the cause of the accident was a malfunctioning or defective part. Further, a negligent third party may be liable if they struck the vehicle, causing injuries. When other motorists do not abide by the rules of the road, they can cause serious accidents and injuries.

For more information on who can be held accountable for a school bus accident, please contact a determined Chesterfield County auto accident lawyer. Our firm is committed to helping our clients seek reasonable compensation for their damages.