One of the most dangerous and often devastating types of motor vehicle accidents are school bus accidents in Kentucky. Our school bus accident lawyers in Mt. Sterling, KY know that far too often innocent children are seriously injured or wrongfully killed due to the negligence of a person, business, municipality, or another entity. According to statistics, on average over 110 people are killed and another 13,000 people are injured in traffic accidents including school buses each year in the United States, with the majority of those injured being children on the bus. Right here in Kentucky, state-wide statistics reveal that there are almost 280 school bus accidents each year in the Bluegrass State – which is significant considering that school is only open for a portion of the year. More locally and recently in the news in nearby Salyersville, a school bus crash sent 18 children to the hospital for injuries, including some that were “severe.”
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in any type of motor vehicle accident, especially from school bus accidents in Kentucky, call the Maze Law Offices for help. Our local and experienced personal injury lawyers handle nearly every type of catastrophic injury case, including car accidents, truck wrecks, motorcycle crashes, bicycle collisions, pedestrian hit by car accidents, and other traffic crashes. We have a proven track record of success and exceptional service, and offer FREE consultations for victims and their families. We also only get paid after you get paid in a settlement, verdict, or another type of recovery. We offer free consultations and there is no money needed to hire our injury firm. To learn more about how we can help you, please call us today to schedule your free appointment.
There are many potential causes of school bus accidents. Although most of these causes are entirely preventable, unfortunately far too many individuals, businesses, and entities fail to exercise reasonable care when operating a motor vehicle. This failure to exercise reasonable care usually results in avoidable harm to innocent people, something that Kentucky law allows victims and their families to recover compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and other damages.
Some of the most common causes of school bus accidents in Kentucky that may result in liability against a defendant include the following:
Due to their large size and heavy weight, school buses generate significant momentum – even at low speeds. That momentum results in violent force which is dispersed in an impact. This means that occupants of a school bus and other vehicles involved in a school bus wreck will often suffer catastrophic, disabling, and sometimes fatal injuries.
Some of the most common types of injuries that could be caused in a school bus accident include the following:
In order to recover compensation in a school bus crash, you will need to establish liability, or fault, against a defendant. There are several ways to prove liability, including through the common law (judge-made law) or through statutory law (legislatively-made law). Sometimes regulations (agency-made law) can also be used to help prove negligence against a defendant. Although all three of the above can be alleged against a defendant, sometimes there may be different rules for each different defendant. Knowledge of these Kentucky laws and statutes regarding liability are precisely why our clients benefit greatly from the knowledge and skills of our school bus accident lawyers at Maze Law Offices to represent them throughout the claims process and in court.
Some of the most common ways to prove liability in a school bus accident include the following:
Nearly all personal injury cases will have a common law negligence claim. This is true whether it is a bus accident or a slip and fall, medical malpractice, construction accident, or another type of accident. Under the common law, negligence is when an individual or business breaches a duty of care to another person and causes foreseeable harm. Said differently, negligence is when a defendant acts in a reckless or careless manner that harms another.
When it comes to operating a motor vehicle, all drivers must exercise reasonable care in the use or operation of a motor vehicle. This is a duty of care. A driver that fails to exercise this reasonable care may have breached that duty. When the breach of this duty causes an injury to another person, that could be negligence.
In the context of a school bus accident, a bus driver that is inexperienced or fatigued may be negligence in causing a school accident that was caused by either the inexperience or fatigue. Another driver could be negligent for driving recklessly or aggressively and hitting a school bus full of children. A mechanical or maintenance problem could also be negligent in failing to properly change tires, check brakes, or put on wheels, causing a bus to lose control. These are just some of the many examples of negligence that your school bus accident lawyer can help prove for you in the process of settlement.
The common law, described above, is made, and thereafter adopted as law, from the opinions and ruling of judges and juries in court cases over the years that evolve to meet the reasonable expectations of our time. Thus, what was reasonable 100 years ago may not be reasonable in today’s age, and vice versa.
In contrast, however, is statutory law. This is law that is made through formal rulemaking processes by the Legislature. These laws stay on the books until they are repealed or ruled unconstitutional by a court. There are many different types of statutory laws, including those relating to traffic administrative and the rules of the road.
When a driver violates the rules of the road or another statute involving driving, that statutory violation carries with it significant weight. These violations not only play out in terms of criminal offenses or traffic offenses, but also in the realm of personal injury cases. This is because a victim can use the violation of a statute to prove liability or fault against a defendant through the doctrine of negligence per se.
Specifically, a victim who was injured by the violation of statute that was meant to protect the victim from the type of harm that occurred may be able to use that violation to automatically prove liability. The doctrine of negligence per se is very powerful, and applies in cases where defendants have run a red light, stop sign, drove drunk, or other statutory violations. If you were injured by a defendant who may have done one of these things, call Maze Law Offices for help.
In addition to statutory violations, there are also some agency-made rules and regulations that govern bus drivers, specifically bus drivers for private schools. This particularly includes commercial vehicle drivers through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These rules and regulations govern the conduct of truck drivers throughout the state and the country, and including rules on both maintenance and conduct.
However, while the violation of a Kentucky statute may automatically result in liability through the doctrine of negligence per se, that is not true for a regulatory violation. Rather, the violation of a regulation that causes a harm that it sought to prevent against a victim is simply a piece of evidence that your counsel would use to prove the degree of negligence. That means it can be used to help prove liability, but it cannot be used to automatically establish liability. Ultimately, you will still greatly benefit from the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle your school bus accident case if it was caused by a FMCSA or another type of regulatory violation.
If you or a loved one suffered any types of serious or catastrophic injuries in any type of motor vehicle accident, especially a school bus accident in Kentucky, call the personal injury attorneys at Maze Law Offices for a free consultation and case evaluation. We have offices in Mt. Sterling, Lexington, Morehead, and Owingsville, and we can meet with you in person, virtually, or over the telephone to discuss your case.
Importantly, we have a no win, no fee guarantee. We also pay the upfront costs and expenses associated with pursing your claim for settlement. You are never responsible for paying any costs out of pocket and we are only reimbursed if and after we win your case. To learn more or to seek advice, contact us today.