Virginia Beach Police say six children were transported to a local hospital for treatment of crash injuries after a Jaguar T-boned the handicapped bus the students were riding in. The recent crash occurred at approximately 3:30 in the afternoon at the intersection of Indian River Road and Clinton Street.
The bus had just left Woodstock Elementary School, located about a half-mile from the crash site. The impact of the crash forced the bus to turn in the wrong direction. All six students on the bus, along with the bus driver and teacher’s assistant, were taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries. One student was admitted, but police say the injuries were not life-threatening.
Police did not comment on what caused the crash or if any traffic violations were committed by either driver, but did say they were still investigating.
Common Causes of School Bus Accidents
There are a number of reasons why school bus accidents can occur, including the fault of the bus driver or the fault of another driver. The following are some of the most common causes that we see here at our Virginia personal injury law firm:
Just like other vehicle drivers, school bus drivers can become distracted. The difference is that distraction is part of their job. Imagine you are driving a school bus, transporting dozens of students of all ages, grades, and personalities to school. It is not difficult to imagine that a couple of students horsing around in the back of the bus could cause the driver to take his eyes off the road for seconds to see what the commotion is all about. And in those seconds, a crash occurs.
There is also the risk of another driver who is distracted and smashes their vehicle into the bus, causing serious injuries. More than 400,000 victims are injured in car accidents caused by distracted driving each year.
Although school drivers must go through training to obtain their commercial driver’s license (CDL), as well as training to learn how to properly operate the bus, driver error can occur. A driver who takes a too-wide turn or fails to check one of his mirrors can easily cause a serious accident. And just like other vehicle accidents, driver fatigue may also be an issue, especially with the early morning schedule many school buses have.
Driver error on the part of another driver is also a common cause of school bus accidents. Not realizing the light has turned red or seeing a stop sign can result in tragic crashes if there is a school bus traveling in the path of the driver’s vehicle.
A school bus may be involved in an accident because of mechanical failure. A tire could blow or brakes could fail. When these types of incidents occur, the question becomes was the mechanical failure due to a defective part or was the bus not properly maintained and inspected on a regular basis.
Mechanical errors can also occur in passengers and other types of vehicles and this can cause also be the cause of a school bus accident.
Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Law Firm for Help
School bus accidents can be very complex. Not only does liability have to be established, but there may even be multiple parties who could be held legally responsible for your child’s injuries. There are also the complexities of dealing with pursuing legal action against a municipality or school district.
This is why it is critical to have a skilled and experienced Virginia Beach school bus accident attorney advocating for you and your family. Call Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation and find out what legal recourse your family may have.
For over twenty years, Mr. Sharp's law practice has focused on serious personal injury claims, including traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury claims. He also handles nursing home neglect cases and medical malpractice claims. Mr. Sharp has counseled numerous clients about the complexities concerning litigation of both pediatric and adult brain injury.