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Pennsauken Crash Shows Hazards Faced in School Bus Operations

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A recent incident in Pennsauken, NJ illustrates that danger is always lurking when school buses are in operation. As a mother greeted her daughter who was dismounting a bus one afternoon, both of them were struck by a car that reportedly drove erratically and crashed into the bus. Police arrested the car’s 39-year-old driver, who was subsequently charged with four counts of endangering another person and one count of being under the influence of a controlled substance.

School bus accident injuries can be serious and debilitating. The mother in the Pennsauken crash sustained severe injury to her shoulder and to her leg, which had to be partially amputated. The daughter also suffered harm, as did three other students on the bus. But such accidents can be deadly as well. Nationally, there were 281 fatalities of school-age children in transportation-related crashes between 2007 and 2016 — with 98 of the victims being pedestrians.

Besides other motorists driving negligently, there are many other potential causes of crashes involving school buses. Depending on the facts and circumstances of the accident, the following parties may be held liable in an auto accident injury case:

  • School bus drivers — Anyone driving a school bus must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and be specifically trained regarding how to operate the vehicle safely. A school bus driver’s failure to adhere to traffic rules or safety regulations creates a potential risk to school children on the bus or on foot and to pedestrians and other motorists.
  • School bus companies — The entity that owns or operates a school bus and employs the driver may be held vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence and wrongful acts. The company may also be responsible for failure to properly train the driver or to adequately maintain the vehicle.
  • Manufacturers and maintenance providers — An accident can be caused by defective brakes, faulty tires or poorly designed parts or component systems. Inadequate safety inspections or the lack of proper repairs can also make a bus unsafe. Anyone involved in the manufacturing or maintenance process may be liable for resulting injuries.

Victims of school bus accidents may be able to recover a wide array of damages, including unreimbursed medical expenses, lost wages and out-of-pocket expenses. A victim may also be compensated for pain and suffering and emotional distress they experienced as a result of the accident.

Offering knowledgeable counsel and reliable representation, the New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Siegel Law can help ensure you obtain the maximum compensation to which you’re entitled for your injuries. Call 201-444-4000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation in our Ridgewood office.

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