School Zone and School Bus Accidents
Drivers have a heightened responsibility to operate with care in school zones and near school buses. School bus drivers have the same responsibility.
If you or your child have been injured in a car accident in a school zone or on a school bus, speak to a Boston car accident lawyer who can investigate and preserve your rights. If the other driver was negligent, you may be entitled to recover damages if you act promptly. Most people need to do so after an accident to ensure they make a full recovery and are covered for financial losses, including medical bills and time lost at work.
School Zone Accidents
In Massachusetts, the speed limit for driving in a school zone is 20 mph. Drivers are required by law to stop for buses dropping off children and children in crosswalks. But drivers are often in a hurry; Massachusetts has seen many school parking lot accidents and crosswalk accidents.
School bus drivers can make mistakes and cause school bus accidents. But sometimes, other drivers on the road are to blame.
Drivers are required by law to stay 100 feet behind a school bus at all times. They must pay attention to the vehicle’s flashing lights and refrain from dangerous behaviors, such as speeding, illegally passing and tailgating.
Failure to obey the law can result in fines and criminal penalties. Meanwhile, children and others injured may be able to file a claim against the driver or their employer seeking compensation for their injuries. It is important to consult an experienced attorney to learn your rights.
Types of Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 115 school transportation-related fatalities in 2015. The number has ranged between 150 and 115 each year from 2006 to 2015. Many others are injured in school bus accidents and it is a frightening experience.
School Bus Accidents and Cell Phone Use. School bus accidents can happen when bus drivers are not paying attention, are fatigued or are use cell phones. School bus drivers are banned from all cell phone use in Massachusetts, including making phone calls and texting while driving.
Boarding and Riding the School Bus. Many school bus accidents involve children who are boarding or exiting a bus. They can also happen while children are riding as passengers. School bus equipment must meet safety regulations. But many states, including Massachusetts, do not require buses to use safety belts.
School Bus Accidents Involving Pedestrians. School bus accidents can also involve other pedestrians. The town of Acton saw one serious accident in May 2017, when an 8th grader was hit by a school van at the intersection of Main Streets and Hayward Road. She was walking to school and was hit by a special education van for the Westford public schools.
School Bus Accidents on Highways. School bus accidents on highways can result in the most serious accidents, whether they are caused by the negligence of school bus drivers or other drivers on the road. In January 2017, a pick-up truck driver crossed lanes without checking on Interstate 95 in Weston, striking a school bus of middle school students from Boston. More than 20 people were transported to local hospitals to be treated for minor injuries. In that case, the truck driver was cited by police.
Contact a Boston School Bus Accident Lawyer
Car accidents involving young children are devastating and painful. If a child survives, they may require long-term medical treatment. Parents may need to reschedule their family's daily life and take time off from work to help their child through rehabilitation.
The Boston car accident lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck, P.C., are experienced in handling transportation accident claims. Investigating any accident involving a commercial vehicle and filing a claim against the driver or his employer's insurance is a complex process. Our partners each have more than 30 years of experience, handling claims involving large trucks, buses and MBTA vehicles. We have successfully settled these cases for families and when necessary, taken them to trial and won verdicts for our clients.
You have a limited period of time to file a claim so it is critical to contact an experienced Boston car accident attorney as soon as possible. For a free legal consultation, contact us today at 617-723-7676 or 800-379-1244 or use our contact form.