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The Risks Associated With School Bus Rollover Crashes

October 13, 2015 | Category: Vehicle Rollovers | Share

A school bus transporting at least 33 students home from a Florida high school was struck by a dump truck recently, causing the bus to roll over.  At least 18 of the passengers aboard the bus sustained injuries that necessitated transportation to the hospital. CBS 12 reported that two of the passengers aboard the bus were in critical condition and that students were “shaken up and bleeding” after the incident occurred. 

Rollover accidents often cause serious injuries, whether they occur in a school bus, big-rig, SUV or any other vehicle. SUVs, vans, trucks and buses are especially prone to rolling over because these vehicles tend to be top-heavy.  Rollover accidents can happen when a vehicle is struck, going around a curve or traveling too fast. These types of accidents happen in both single-vehicle crashes and multi-car accidents and the consequences are often tragic.

Rollover collisions cause more than 10,000 annual deaths in the United States and four out of five fatal crash deaths in heavy SUVs occur in rollover accidents.  When a rollover collision happens, determining who is responsible is essential. Randall Spivey, a Ft. Myers personal injury lawyer, can provide legal help to victims of rollover accidents to ensure they fully understand their rights and options. Victims may be entitled to receive financial compensation for their losses resulting from the crash, but they must take legal action and be able to show the harm they endured.

School Bus Rollover Accidents Endanger School Children

There are federal standards in place to try to ensure school buses are able to withstand rollover accidents and to reduce the risk of serious injury or death that can occur due to the force of a rollover crash. 49 CFR 571.220 describes the requirements for emergency exits, testing of school buses and the amount of force a bus roof must be able to withstand. Even with proper design, however, a school bus rollover is a dangerous situation that creates a significant risk that one or more children aboard the bus could be harmed.

In the case of the recent Florida school bus collision, news reports have not yet indicated why the dump truck hit the side of the bus, causing it to roll over. An investigation into the crash will be necessary to determine if the dump truck, bus driver or both, failed to follow road safety rules or acted negligently. In the event the driver of the truck or bus was found to have been careless or in violation of rules-of-the-road, personal injury claims may result. 

When a school bus driver causes a collision due to negligence or wrongdoing, the district that employs the driver is typically held accountable. Public schools are government entities; thus, Florida sovereign immunity rules provide some limited protection from lawsuits.  Still, injured victims are encouraged to speak with a personal injury lawyer in Ft. Myers who will work to hold the negligent party or parties responsible for bus rollovers. Contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. today to learn more about your options under the law.

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