Law & Legal & Attorney Accidents & personal injury Law

New York School Bus Accidents Damage Innocent Lives

The large yellow school bus has traditionally been a trademark that represented safety on the road. Parents could take comfort in knowing that the vehicle, its driver and the procedures to load and discharge passengers were all part of a coordinated effort to make buses and students as safe as possible.

School Bus Fatalities

In an average school year, over 23 million students board a bus to and from school. When you consider the use of school buses to transport students to various extracurricular activities, the school bus system is the largest public transit network in the U.S.

Every year, just over 17,000 children require some level of emergency treatment for an injury connected with riding on a school bus, boarding or getting off the bus or standing in the vicinity of the bus. At least 40 percent of injuries on school buses result from collisions with other vehicles. Another 24 percent are related to getting on or off the bus. Though about seven schoolchildren are killed in a collision with another vehicle in the average year, about 20 die per year boarding or leaving a school bus. Injuries disproportionately affect younger students, with the average fatality affecting a student in the age range between 5 and 7 years old. These children tend to be struck by the bus itself or by another vehicle passing the bus. It's bad enough if your child is a victim of an accident, which is why it is imperative to hire an expert school bus accident lawyer to help get the compensation you need to help your child recover, and get your family life back to normal.

Why School Buses Aren't Safe

Despite the dangers of accidents, many parents are surprised to discover that, while seat belts are now required in many other conveyances, school buses still do not have them. Some experts claim that the construction of school buses eliminates the need for seat belt protection. For example, bus seats are now higher and wider than in school buses of the past, and all metal parts are covered by padding. However, while these design changes may reduce the possibility of injury in a straight-line accident such as a head-on or rear-end collision, they have little safety value when it comes to side-to-side motions or rollovers. In New York school bus accidents these can still result in injury and death. In the case of a rollover bus accident, for example, typical injuries involve trauma to the head, neck and spine.

Another school bus safety measure that often goes unaddressed is regular evacuation drills for all students who ride the bus. This informs students on the location of emergency exits and how to access those exits in the event of an accident.

New York School Bus Accidents Affect the Whole Family

The other victims in a school bus accident are, of course, the parents. No amount of accident preparation or school bus safety upgrades can reduce the stress of a parent whose child has been injured in a school bus accident. As soon as the news is received, that family's life will be substantially altered for some time. Hospitalization and medical bills must be addressed and important decisions about compensation must be made in a short period of time. Often, the parent must put aside work obligations to care for an injured child and the loss of wages adds to financial and other pressures already affecting the family.

Families facing the grim reality of the aftermath of New York school bus accidents should enlist an attorney with the expertise necessary to represent them in this highly specialized field. The professionals at Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices are experienced in supporting parents of children involved in these accidents. Ensuring that the welfare of the child and the just compensation due to the family are properly secured remains their highest priority at all times during the process.

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