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Who Is Responsible for School Zone Crashes?

By Jason Bottlinger on September 12, 2021

School zones are designed to help keep our children safe, along with their teachers and parents. Nevertheless, children walking, biking, or riding buses to school are at risk in school zones. Some drivers fail to follow school zone traffic rules, which can lead to serious collisions. Negligent drivers can be held accountable for the injuries they cause. If you or your child has been injured in a school zone wreck, you may have a claim for compensation against the at-fault driver.

 

How Can Traffic Crashes Happen in School Zones?

Speed limits are significantly lowered in school zones during school hours. Road signs are posted warning drivers of reduced speeds. In many areas, fines are enhanced for speeding in school zones. So why are hundreds of children being killed and thousands injured in U.S. school zones every year? Factors contributing to school zone wrecks include:

  • Speeding: Some drivers fail to notice posted speed limit signs and fail to slow down when entering a school zone. The faster a vehicle is traveling, the more distance it requires to stop for a child.
  • Driver distraction: With the prevalence of smartphones today comes an increase in distracted driving. When they slow down or come to a stop in a school zone, some drivers may be tempted to check text messages, email, or social media. A distracted driver is more likely to fail to stop in time to avoid hitting a child, an adult, or another vehicle.
  • Failure to obey school bus stop signs: When a school bus is about to load or unload children, the driver activates amber warning lights. When the bus driver opens the door, it activates a stop sign arm and red stop lights. Other motorists should stop at a reasonable distance from the bus and remain stopped until the stop sign arm is retracted and the red warning lights go off. Failure to do so creates a risk for children entering or leaving school buses.
  • Bus driver error: Like other drivers, school bus drivers can make mistakes that can lead to crashes and injuries. If bus driver negligence causes a wreck or a pedestrian injury, both the driver and the school system or the driver’s employer may be liable for the collision.

How Do You File an Injury Claim Against a Negligent Driver for Speeding?

If you or your child has been injured by a driver who was speeding in a school zone, exchange information with the at-fault driver, get contact information for eyewitnesses, document the crash as best you can, and speak with an experienced Omaha personal injury attorney about pursuing a claim for compensation. Your lawyer can investigate the crash, secure evidence, assess your damages, negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, and fight tenaciously for the compensation you deserve in court, if necessary.

How Do You File an Injury Claim for a Negligent School Bus Driver?

If you or your child was injured in a collision caused by a school bus driver, the situation may be more complicated. If the bus driver was distracted, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or otherwise negligent, the driver may be liable for your injuries. The school system may also be vicariously liable as the driver’s employer. If the school system outsources its busing services to a bus company, that company may be liable. Our Omaha personal injury attorney can investigate the crash to determine fault and liability and prepare and file a claim on your behalf.

Bottlinger Law L.L.C. was founded in 2013. Jason Bottlinger is licensed in three states and has been practicing law since 2006. We provide dedicated representation to people who have been injured through the negligence or wrongdoing of others. If someone in your family has suffered injuries in a school zone crash, call us at (402) 505-8234 to find out how we can help.

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