Child Pedestrian / School Bus Accidents
What is the most dangerous part of the school bus ride? The bus stop! Children are at greatest risk when they are getting on or off the school bus. Most of the children killed in a school bus accident are pedestrians, 5 to 7 years old, who are getting on or off the bus. They are hit by the school bus or by motorists illegally passing a stopped school bus. In neighborhoods, near schools, and at bus stops, drivers need to take special care when children are near.
As a school bus accident lawyer in St. Louis, I know how quickly accidents to children can occur around buses when drivers do not pay careful attention. When our children are harmed because of this inattention, such as when a driver is a rush because they are running late to work, our firm fights back hard to hold these drivers fully accountable for their damages and the injuries they cause. In many cases, the driver, the bus company, and other drivers may be liable for the school bus accident.
Elementary School Children
The law recognizes that children may not recognize the dangers posed by motor vehicles and may act more impulsively than adults. Because of their young age, children:
- Become easily distracted and may start across the street without warning.
- Don’t understand the danger of moving vehicles.
- Can’t judge vehicle speed or distance.
- Blocked from view by the bus.
- Expect vehicles to stop for them at the school bus stop.
School Bus “Reasonably Safe” Drop-Off Points
By law, motor vehicle drivers must stop when they encounter a school bus that is operating its warning signals, like using an extended arm with a stop sign. Moreover, a school bus driver has the responsibility to drop off a child passenger at a “reasonably safe place” for a child. The law recognizes that a “reasonably safe place” to drop off a child is different than a “reasonably safe place” to drop off an adult.
What constitutes a reasonably safe place depends on the age, experience, and ability of the passenger. A reasonably safe place for an 18-year-old high school senior of ordinary experience and intelligence might be a place of peril for an inexperienced 6-year-old first-grader. The care which a school bus driver must exercise toward a school bus passenger is proportionate to the degree of danger inherent in the passenger’s youth and inexperience.
In case after case, school bus drivers feel to drop off children at a reasonably safe place. In one case, a school bus driver dropped off a 6-year-old girl over 450 feet from where she lived. The little girl had never been dropped off at this location before. To get home, she had to walk down a busy highway by herself, bordered not by sidewalks but by a drainage ditch. The court ruled that the likelihood of a child of such tender years impulsively darting into traffic and being struck by a car, as happened in this case, is the very danger that rendered the drop-off place unsafe.
Enlist the Legal Help of a St. Louis Pedestrian Accident Injury Attorney
Child pedestrian accidents can cause serious and life-threatening injuries, from broken bones to internal injuries, brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. I handle all types of pedestrian accident cases, including those involving drivers violating stop signs or other traffic control equipment, accidents occurring in crosswalks and school crossing zones, accidents caused by distracted drivers using cell phones or other equipment, failures to stop when a school bus arm is extended, and failures to yield the right of way to pedestrians.
Contact a School Bus Accident Lawyer Today
If your child has been injured or lost in a school bus accident, please contact me for a free consultation. I will utilize my more than 20 years of legal and trial experience to fight on your behalf toward obtaining a full and fair settlement or verdict for your losses and damages.
There is no fee to us unless and until we recover compensation for you. Once we learn about the facts and circumstances of your case, I can advise you as to the legal avenues available for obtaining compensation for the injuries of your child.