Eleven children were injured in a San Diego school bus accident after the bus they were in crashed into a light pole in East County. According to a news report in the Union-Tribune, 10 children were transported to hospitals with minor to moderate injuries. The students, who are fifth graders from a school in Yuma, Arizona, were on their way to a field trip at Balboa Park. The collision occurred the morning of May 18, 2010 in the main parking lot of the Golden Acorn Casino on the Campo Reservation where the bus had stopped so the students could stretch their legs. California Highway Patrol officials are trying to determine what caused this crash.
My heart goes out to these children who sustained injuries in this crash. I sincerely hope none of the injuries was serious. I wish all the injured victims the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. Please keep them in your prayers.
San Diego Traffic Accidents
According to CHP’s 2008 traffic accident statistics, 90 fatalities and 2,252 injuries were reported as a result of traffic collisions in the unincorporated areas of San Diego County. Also, countywide, 246 deaths and 13,527 injuries were reported as a result of car accidents during the same year.
In this case, although the article states that students suffered “minor” injuries, the students and the driver would be well-advised to get a complete physical check-up to make sure that they have not suffered any internal or other non-obvious injuries. Often in traffic accidents, injuries do not become apparent until days after the incident. Although people walk away from the scene of a bus crash, they feel the effects of the accident days later when the adrenaline rush wears off and the aches and pains set in. Injuries could include internal injuries, concussions, contusions, whiplash or other neck and back injuries.
Based on this news report, it is not quite clear how or why this bus accident occurred. There are more questions here than answers. Officials said no other vehicles were involved. Was this the result of driver error? Was there a mechanical malfunction or defect in the bus that led to this crash? Was the bus driver impaired, distracted, fatigued or otherwise negligent at the time of the crash? I trust CHP officials are looking at all these issues and more in order to determine what exactly occurred here.
Claims for Compensation
If this accident was the bus driver’s fault, then the bus company and the school district could be held liable for the personal injuries caused to the students. Buses are considered “common carriers” and that includes school buses, city buses and charter buses. Common carriers have an “utmost duty of care” to their passengers.
The injured victims and their families in these types of accidents could claim compensation to cover medical expenses, injuries, financial losses, pain and suffering. In such cases, it is highly advisable to wait a full year before settling a claim. Students have at least two years to file a lawsuit to preserve their legal rights. Students under 18 years of age have two years from their 18th birthday. However, please remember that any claim against a California governmental agency such as a city or a school district must be filed within 180 days of the accident, under state law. An experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer will be able to advise victims and their families about their legal rights and options.
What concerns do you have as a parent about school bus safety?
The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.