Fault finding isn't as simple as many Cook County residents realize. Who would you assume is responsible for injuries caused by a school bus accident? Your first choice might be a driver, since driver errors cause many accidents.
However, school bus accident claims usually aren't filed or resolved without examining all possible sources of fault. Accidents can have underlying factors. School districts are responsible for the safety of students -- in school and on school buses.
Some school districts supply their own buses and drivers, while others choose to contract transportation services. In both cases, schools buses must be inspected, maintained and driven according to state and federal guidelines. Schools and bus companies also add their own safety conditions concerning things like bus monitor duties or security measures, like on-board cameras.
Attorneys assess bus accidents by sorting out the duties of care or responsibilities assigned to the parties involved. All drivers are obligated to take reasonable safeguards to protect other motorists. School bus drivers also must be properly licensed and trained to perform their specialized tasks.
Beyond the drivers are vehicle owners and third parties accountable for passenger safety. While schools are accountable for student safety, private bus companies also may share culpability for student injuries in a crash. The contracts between schools and transportation providers supply answers to these questions or create more questions, depending upon how thoroughly the parties' duties are outlined.
Negligence concerns actions a defendant did or did not do. A school might assume a bus company hires highly experienced drivers and trains bus aides. The school could be liable for student injuries traced to driver or aide carelessness, if provisions about these matters did not appear in a bus company contract.
Liability claims can involve primary defendants – the drivers -- and third parties. Attorneys prepare legal actions by first identifying all defendants and possible sources of compensation for plaintiffs.