School Bus Safety Reminders as Fall is Underway in Alaska

The days are already getting shorter around Anchorage, which means one thing for area parents and children — the start of a new school year. As you are getting your young ones ready for class, signing up for activities, and purchasing supplies, it’s a good opportunity to remind them of school bus safety. The statistics alone are reason enough to have this conversation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there were 1,147 school-transportation-related crashes from 2007 to 2016. Many children were victims in these fatal and injury-causing collisions.

As a parent, you can do your part to reduce the risk, but not all school bus accidents are preventable. When the unthinkable happens, you can rely on an Alaska child injury lawyer for legal help.

How School Bus Accidents Happen

There are many factors that can lead to a bus crash, but these incidents usually occur because the operator or another motorist was careless. The legal term for this concept is “negligence.” To prove your case, you must show that the responsible party breached the duty to exercise reasonable care when driving. Examples of breach, i.e., negligence, in a school bus accident include:

  • Speeding, running a red light, or failure to yield to children;
  • Insufficient bus operator training or licensing;
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
  • Neglect supervision of children getting on and off the bus; and,
  • Failure to properly maintain or inspect the bus.

Parents’ Rights in Claims for a Child’s Injuries

Alaska personal injury laws protect children under 18 years old, but these cases proceed somewhat differently because of the victim’s age. Legally, a minor does not have the capacity to file a claim or seek monetary damages through litigation. As such, a parent or guardian must act on the child’s behalf when negotiating settlement. Plus, the person advocating for the minor must be prepared to use the funds fairly and equitably in the interests of the child.

Recovering Compensation for Your Family’s Losses

Acting on behalf of your child in a school bus accident case, you may be able to obtain damages for such losses as:

  • Medical bills for surgery, physical therapy, pain medications, and related care;
  • Pain and suffering; and,
  • Emotional distress.

As a parent, you may also have the right to seek compensation for your own losses. If you paid any amounts out-of-pocket for medical care or transportation for treatment, you may be eligible for monetary damages. In addition, if you had to take time off work to care for a child who was hurt in a school bus accident, you may be able to recover for your lost wages.

Set up a Free Consultation with an Alaska Child Injury Lawyer

Though school bus accidents occur with alarming frequency, it is good to know that state law protects your family’s interests. For more information on your rights and remedies, please contact Power & Power Law to set up a no-cost case evaluation. We can meet with you at our office in Anchorage, Alaska to review your circumstances.