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School Bus Accidents

School Bus Accident Attorneys in Philadelphia

Who Is Liable for School Bus Accidents in Pennsylvania?

Every day, thousands of parents place their trust in school bus drivers to transport their children safely to and from school. While many bus drivers are careful to observe all traffic laws and to drive carefully and responsibly, accidents still can and do happen. Tragically, many school bus accidents result in serious injuries that are painful, debilitating, and expensive to treat. Fortunately, the negligent parties, which can include the school bus driver as well as the school district, can be held accountable for their actions.

If your child was recently involved in a school bus accident, it is critical to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you file the appropriate claims. Call us at (215) 486-0123 today.

Governmental Immunity in School Bus Accidents

Pennsylvania school districts are generally immune from liability for injuries suffered by students on school property. However, there are exceptions to this rule that allow the parents of injured students to file claims for damages against the school district.

According to Pennsylvania law, the government has waived its immunity to particular civil actions, including those that involve:

  • The care or custody of a student’s personal property;
  • The care or control of school grounds and other property owned by the school district;
  • Vehicle liability; and
  • Sidewalks and streets on school property.

If a civil action falls under one of these categories, a child’s parent may be able to file a claim in court as long as:

  • The child was injured as a result of the actions of a school district employee; and
  • Damages would be recoverable under common law if the injury were caused by someone who was not protected by immunity.

Establishing Negligence

Whether a bus is operated by a school district or a private company that has been contracted by the school, these entities have the responsibility of ensuring that reasonable care is taken to keep students safe. This means that to collect damages from a bus driver or school district, the plaintiff must demonstrate that those parties failed to take reasonable care, which contributed to or caused the accident.

This could include a number of different types of negligent acts, including:

  • Driver error, such as fatigue, intoxication, or distraction;
  • Failing to maintain the bus in accordance with federal and state regulations;
  • Negligent hiring;
  • A failure to provide adequate training; and
  • A failure to supervise.
  • For example, bus drivers are required to conduct regular preventive maintenance, which includes:
  • Pre-trip inspections;
  • Operational inspections; and
  • Post-trip inspections.

If a driver fails to conduct this type of maintenance and a preventable mechanical error later leads to an accident, he or she can be held accountable for any resulting injuries. Furthermore, if the school district failed to implement training or failed to oversee such inspections, it too could be held liable in court.

Notable Case Results

Always Pursing the Best Possible Outcome
  • Motorcycle Accident $35.1 Million
  • Truck Accident $10 Million
  • Bicycle Accident $4.8 Million
  • Truck Accident $4.3 Million
  • Truck Accident $3.3 Million
  • Pedestrian Accident $2.4 Million
  • Car Accident $1.7 Million
  • Car Accident by Drunk Driver $1.4 Million
  • Premises Liability $1.3 Million
  • Assault by Club Employee $1 Million
In the Media

Throughout the years, our firm and our individual attorneys have been recognized in both local and national media for our extensive legal knowledge, experience, and record of success. Our attorneys frequently appear in the media to provide insight and information on various legal matters, including high-profile cases.

Choosing the Right Firm Can Make All the Difference

  • Unrivaled Record of Success
    We have won tens of millions of dollars for injured victims, and have achieved countless "not guilty" verdicts for clients faced with criminal charges.
  • No Challenge too Big
    Our firm has handled some of the biggest cases in country, including representing the President of the United States.
  • Personalized Representation

    We understand that every case is unique. Therefore, we tailor our approach based on the facts of the case and the needs of our client. 

  • Uncompromising Passion
    Our competitive nature is one of our strongest qualities. You can be confident that no other firm will outwork our team.
  • Holistic Approach
    Not only do we want to excel legally for the client, but we also want to make sure we are strengthening their mind, body and spirt.
  • Supporting the Community
    Our team engages in many community events and regularly donates time and resources to many charitable organizations in Philadelphia.
Talk to Our Experienced Team

Home to Philadelphia’s most accomplished attorneys, van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin pairs diverse practice experience with a passion-driven, comprehensive law practice—all for the client’s benefit.