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Understanding Your Rights After A School Bus Collision

Understanding Your Rights After A School Bus Collision

According to News 2 Charleston, 12 children suffered injuries in a Sept. 12 accident when their school bus crashed during its afternoon route from James Island Charter High School. The Charleston County Sheriff’s office responded at 3:58 p.m.

When school bus collisions occur, it is crucial to determine who was at fault. School children aboard a bus are never to blame, which means someone else must be held legally responsible for injuries and losses. If the bus driver behaved carelessly or recklessly, the school district may be held accountable. If it was another driver on the road, then the victims can pursue a claim against the irresponsible motorist. A lawyer can help determine who was at fault and can help take legal action.

There were more than 30 students aboard when the recent collision occurred on Dills Bluff and Winborn Drive. A preliminary investigation revealed that the bus was traveling on Dills Bluff when another vehicle entered the intersection without stopping. The vehicle that failed to yield the right-of-way struck the driver’s side of the school bus.

A dozen students sustained injuries in the crash and were transported to St. Francis Hospital or the Medical University of South Carolina to receive treatment. There were no reports regarding the seriousness of the injuries.

When a school bus collision happens, it can be complicated to determine the specific cause. The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office is investigating this recent wreck. Evidence that may be considered when investigating a school bus crash includes:

  • Statements from bus passengers, the bus driver and the driver of other involved vehicles
  • Witness statements from other motorists or onlookers who observed the collision
  • The damaged vehicles to determine where the impact occurred
  • Any debris in the roadways
  • Skid marks or other marks on the road
  • The scene of the collision, including any obstructions or traffic signals
  • The blood alcohol concentration of any involved motorists
  • Telephone records from motorists who may have been using cell phones

The police can write an accident report of their investigation, which may be obtained and used by victims making an injury or wrongful death claim. Victims and their families can also get help conducting their own investigation from an attorney.

When the cause of the crash is determined, taking legal action is the next step. If the bus driver is to blame, the case is complicated by sovereign immunity rules providing limited protection from lawsuits against government entities like local school districts. Making a damage claim is still possible, but it is critical to have an attorney familiar with taking legal action against municipalities and government entities.

If another driver is to blame, the case may be a more straightforward personal injury or wrongful death claim. In either situation, an accident attorney can help victims pursue legal recourse.

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