Halloween costumes and trick or treating schedules should be the top news in late October, but this year the news has been consumed with instance after instance of drivers hitting kids at bus stops. There were at least five accidents in only three days, from Florida to Indiana, with the Indiana school bus stop accident killing 6-year-old twins and their 9-year-old sister, and injuring their 11-year-old brother. In response, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a reminder and tips to keep kids safe.
According to NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi R. King, these accidents could have been prevented if drivers had followed traffic safety laws. For example, she explains that it is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus when the red lights are flashing and the stop sign arm is extended. It is also important to slow down near a school bus that has its yellow lights flashing to indicate it is slowing down, and to watch for children darting across the street when a school bus is near.
California school bus company found liable
Thankfully, none of the recent bus stop accidents have taken place in California, but last year a Southern California school bus company and its driver were each found partly to blame for a young girl’s severe injuries following a 2012 bus stop crash.
Isabella Sanchez, of Highland, was 6 in October 2012, when she was struck by a car while crossing the street to get on a school bus. Isabella suffered broken bones and a brain injury, and five years later, still could not talk or walk. Her ‘round-the-clock nursing care was estimated to cost $360,000 over her lifetime. However, in September 2017, a jury awarded her nearly $19 million for medical costs and an additional $16 million for past and future pain and suffering, for a total of $36.1 million.
Take action after a school bus accident in LA
School bus safety conversations often focus on seat belts rather than bus stop safety. However, a child is almost three times as likely to suffer a fatal injury getting on or off a bus in a bus crash. Sadly, most of these accidents are preventable if only bus drivers and other motorists follow traffic safety precautions.
If your child has been injured in a school bus accident or bus stop injury, you may be entitled to compensation to assist with medical bills and other expenses. At the Salamati Law Firm, we are passionate about fighting for the rights of injury victims, and we understand the complex relationships that can arise when it comes to pursuing claims against parties like school districts and bus companies. Call today to speak with a Los Angeles bus accident lawyer and find out how we can help you.
Additional bus stop injury resources:
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA Urges Motorists to Drive Safely Near School Zones and Bus Stops, https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/nhtsa-urges-motorists-drive-safely-near-school-zones-and-bus-stops
- ABC7, School bus company ruled at fault in case of Highland girl injured while crossing street, https://abc7.com/school-bus-company-ordered-to-pay-$36m-for-highland-case/2444277/
- Stanford Children’s Health, How Safe Is the School Bus?, https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=how-safe-is-the-school-bus-1-1133