Is A Lack Of Seat Belts Relevant In A School Bus Accident Case?

Posted on: 26 October 2021

Buses usually do not have seat belts and school buses are no exception. However, some legislators have proposed making it a requirement that all buses have seat belts. If your child is injured on a school bus that did not have a seat belt, you may be able to use this as evidence that the school was negligent.

Why School Buses Often Don't Have Seat Belts

The common justification for why school buses don't have seat belts is because buses are considered safer than passenger vehicles. They are much larger and heavier. This allows the bus to absorb the collision of another vehicle without causing the passengers to become injured. Buses have also been designed to be much safer than buses in the past because they have extra padding that is designed to absorb an impact. However, this doesn't mean that seat belts cannot increase safety for passengers.

A school bus collision can still be strong enough to cause the passengers to become injured and a seat belt can make a difference in the accident. This is especially the case with smaller school buses. Oftentimes, schools do not have seat belts simply as a way to save money. However, this is not an option when the state legally requires the school system to install seat belts.

Find Out Whether the Lack of Seat Belts Is Relevant to Your Case

Speak to a personal injury attorney about the lack of seat belts on the bus. You may not be able to use a lack of seat belts in your case unless seat belts are required by law in your particular state. By violating the law, the school will be demonstrating that they were negligent. Otherwise, the defense might argue that a seat belt would not have made your child safer during the accident.

However, even if seat belts are not required, there are other ways that the bus driver might have been negligent. Your personal injury attorney will investigate how and why the accident occurred so that you can then make a solid case for why you deserve compensation for your child's medical bills and pain and suffering.

Taking legal action against a government entity such as a school is difficult but not impossible. You will need to file a claim within the statute of limitations and you will be limited in the amount of compensation that you will be able to receive, but you may still receive some compensation from the state to go toward your child.

Talk to a personal injury lawyer to learn more about your options.