Wisconsin Bus Accidents and Liability

According to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), the school bus is by far the safest mode of transportation for children travelling to and from school. In fact, it is about 70 times more likely that a student will get to school, as opposed to having a parent drive him or her. Only about four to six children die each year riding on school buses, which is less than one percent of all traffic fatalities nationwide. Nonetheless, the NHTSA maintains higher standards for school transportation vehicles, in a continuing effort to keep kids safe from harm. Due to strict regulation, school buses essentially are the safest vehicles on the road.

School buses also have certain features that make them safer, including high visibility in color, flashing lights, cross-view mirrors and stop sign arms. Buses have protective seating and anti-crush designs, as well as built-in protections against rollovers. The law in Wisconsin in every state further protects children who are getting on and off school buses by making it illegal to pass a school bus when its arm is extended and lights are flashing, which indicates a child is entering or exiting the bus. This is the case no matter whether a driver is approaching the bus from behind or traveling in the opposite lane; both lanes of traffic must stop when the stop sign arm of the bus is extended. On smaller buses, seatbelts are a key safety feature, and on larger buses, the design of closely spaced, strong, impact-absorbing seats both helps protects children in case of an accident and eliminates the need for seatbelts.

Despite these protections, however, accidents involving school buses and other motorist do occur. If a crash occurs as a result of the negligence of either a bus driver or another motorist, anyone who is injured in the crash may have a personal injury claim against that driver. If fault lies with the bus driver, then there may be additional parties in terms of liability, such as a school corporation in the case of a school bus, or a private transportation company in the case of a private charter bus.

When a bus accident or any other type of vehicle accident occurs as a result of a driver’s negligence and causes injury to you or your loved one, you may have a claim for damages under Wisconsin law. However, there are strict time limits on personal injury claims in the state of Wisconsin, and you can lose your right to compensation if you do not consult an experienced lawyer in time. Don’t delay in contacting the Madison personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan, and set up your free consultation today.


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