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Macon Personal Injury Attorneys > Blog > Bus Accident > Who is Liable for a School Bus Accident?

Who is Liable for a School Bus Accident?


School bus accidents involving injuries and deaths are not extremely common, but they do happen and can be devastating. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), there were 108 school bus-related deaths in 2021, which represented a 50 percent increase from the previous year. In most fatal school bus accidents, the parties who suffer fatal injuries are occupants of other vehicles, such as occupants of cars involved in collisions with the bus. At the same time, pedestrians also represent a high number of all school bus accident fatalities — about 16 percent. When school buses are involved in nonfatal injury crashes, about 30 percent of the injured parties are school bus passengers, about 9 percent are school bus drivers, and more than 50 percent are occupants of other vehicles.

When one of these school bus accidents happens, who is liable? Multiple parties could be liable, depending on the facts of the case. And in order to hold one of those parties accountable, it will be necessary to file a claim in a timely manner.

Different Parties Who Can Be Liable for School Bus Accidents 

Often, in school bus crashes, a driver is at fault for the accident or collision due to negligence. Driver negligence usually involves a form of distracted driving, aggressive driving, fatigued driving, or intoxicated driving. At the same time, it is important to know that other parties could also be liable depending on how and where the accident occurred. Potentially liable parties include but are not limited to:

  • Negligent school bus driver;
  • Negligent driver of another vehicle involved in the crash;
  • Negligent pedestrian or bicyclist;
  • Negligent property owner where the accident occurred;
  • Employer of a negligent school bus driver;
  • Designer or manufacturer of a defective school bus part or a defective part of another vehicle involved in the crash; or
  • Negligent mechanic who worked on the school bus or another vehicle involved in the accident.

In some cases, multiple parties could be liable, such as a negligent school bus driver and the school district that employed them.

Role of the Statute of Limitations in Your Claim 

It is important to know that a party who is at fault, or otherwise liable, for injuries in a school bus accident can only be held accountable if a claim is filed within the period specified by the statute of limitations. Under Georgia law, there is a two-year statute of limitations for most personal injury claims, including general bus accident lawsuits. Accordingly, most claims need to be filed within two years from the date of the bus accident.

Since school bus accidents frequently involve child injuries, it is important to know that the statute of limitations is paused for minors until their 18th birthday. What this means is that a minor who is injured in a school bus crash will have two years from the date of their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit.

Contact Our Macon Bus Accident Attorneys 

Liability for a school bus accident will depend on the facts of the case, and an experienced Macon bus accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Buzzell, Welsh & Hill is here to help you. We can speak with you today to assess the facts of your case and to discuss the party or parties who may be liable for injuries that occurred in the crash. We can also assist you with a civil lawsuit through which you can seek compensation for your losses. Contact us today to find out more about how we help individuals and parents with school bus accident cases in the Macon area.




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