Needless to say, when a child is hit after getting off a school bus, it is a very serious situation.
Pedestrian accidents ordinarily occur due to the negligence of a motor vehicle driver who does not properly observe the right-of-way to allow pedestrians to cross the street safely. The driver could recklessly run a stop sign or red light and crash into a pedestrian when they are the ones who should be crossing the street. Another situation where a negligent driver could cause a pedestrian accident is when a school bus picks up or drops off children.
When a school bus stops for a pickup or drop-off and puts out its stop sign, drivers behind and in front of them must stop until the drop-off or pickup is complete. They also must wait for all students that need to cross the street to do so before continuing their commute. Failing to do so and proceeding to pass the school bus can lead to a driver striking a student crossing the street, resulting in severe injuries or possibly death.
Drivers Must Stop for a School Bus Dropping Off or Picking Up Kids
Victims of pedestrian accidents can file personal injury claims with the at-fault parties and their insurance companies to pursue compensation for damages caused by the liable party’s negligence. One negligent act that can cause a pedestrian accident is a driver passing a stopped school bus dropping off or picking up students.
Students need other drivers to yield the right-of-way when crossing the street to reach their bus or crossing the street to walk back home. A bus will come to a complete stop and put out a stop sign to warn other drivers that pedestrians could cross the street to board or leave the bus. Failing to yield to a stopped bus is a negligent driving behavior that can cause an accident, exposing pedestrians to severe injury risk.
Penalties for Passing a Stopped School Bus
Passing a stopped school bus qualifies as a misdemeanor that can lead to several penalties. These penalties are enforced to ensure that a negligent driver does not pass a stopped school bus again, as it can expose children to significant injuries. The penalties a negligent driver could incur from passing a stopped school bus can vary based on the state and whether the driver has committed this negligent driving activity in the past.
The following are some penalties incurred from passing a stopped school bus:
- Driving citation
- Points added to their license
- A possible license suspension for multiple instances
- A fine of at least $100
- Required to take a basic Driver Improvement Course
How Can a Driver Passing a Stopped School Bus Cause a Pedestrian Accident?
When a driver passes a stopped school bus, they may just try to get around to avoid waiting for students to board or get off. They may not realize that some students must cross the street to board the bus or walk home. The driver could pass the school bus while students are crossing the street.
The driver will likely not have the time to stop their car before they crash into the students as they cross the street. Crashing into a pedestrian going fast speeds can cause a severe injury, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), bone fractures, or a spinal cord injury. In some cases involving smaller children, the impact of the collision could be too much for their body to take, leading to a pedestrian accident fatality.
What Can Cause a Driver Passing a Stopped School Bus?
Drivers can commit this negligent driving behavior when they are in a hurry to get to their location, such as work, school, home, or a meeting. They may be frustrated by heavy traffic and commit this reckless driving behavior to get to where they want to go faster.
Passing a stopped school bus can also occur when the driver was already committing a negligent driving action, such as distracted driving, speeding, or drunk driving. They may have been too distracted or moving too fast to notice the stopped school bus and passed without realizing students were crossing the street.
Damages in a Pedestrian Accident Resulting from the Negligent Passing of a Stopped School Bus
A driver that causes a pedestrian accident by passing a stopped school bus can be held liable for damages in a pedestrian accident claim. Victims can file claims with the liable party’s insurance company to pursue compensation for economic damages that affect their financial situation. They can also seek non-economic damages to recover compensation for adverse effects on their quality of life.
The following are some damages you could pursue through a pedestrian accident claim:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of society
How Can a Pedestrian Lawyer Help You Pursue Compensation for Damages?
Students injured when a driver negligently passed a stopped school bus can file a pedestrian accident claim to pursue compensatory damages. Their best chance for recovering compensation for damages is by hiring a pedestrian accident lawyer with significant experience helping other pedestrian accident victims.
They will know the best path to seek damages and can use their experience to help you craft a sound legal plan. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can help negotiate a fair settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company and ensure they cannot deny, delay, or devalue your settlement.
Contact The Russo Firm for Help With Your Pedestrian Accident Claim
The pedestrian accident lawyers at The Russo Firm can help you hold a negligent driver accountable for causing injuries by failing to yield to a stopped school bus. They have decades of experience helping victims of pedestrian accidents across the United States and can apply that experience to your case.
Our pedestrian accident lawyers can help calculate the value of your pedestrian accident claim, gather evidence to prove your case, and negotiate a fair settlement. Contact us for a free pedestrian accident consultation today at (561) 270-0913 or leave a message on our online contact page.