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Representation for School Bus Accidents


North Carolina children should be able to cross the street to their school bus safely. However, even when parents take all the proper precautions, school bus-related accidents can sometimes happen.

More students are killed entering or exiting a school bus annually than are killed as passengers of a school bus. School bus crossings, while seemingly routine, can turn dangerous in only a matter of seconds. When your kids ride the bus, you expect them to be safe, but unfortunately, that is not always the case.

North Carolina School Bus Driver Responsibilities

The North Carolina school bus driver handbook mandates drivers to make passenger stops only in safe places. Motorists approaching from both directions should have a clear view of the bus for a distance of 500 feet. If a school bus stop is unsafe, the school bus driver must report the unsafe stop to their supervisors.

Bus drivers should also activate their amber warning lights 300 feet before the passenger stops. Other tasks a school bus driver must do when loading and unloading include checking for danger, only opening the door when it’s safe, and signaling to children when it’s safe to cross.

Multiple things can lead to a child getting hit and injured while crossing the road after exiting a school bus. Sometimes, a driver doesn’t turn on their warning lights or pull their stop sign to give other drivers time to stop. In other cases, the county’s board of education poorly designed the bus route, putting the children in vulnerable scenarios. For instance, the board of education may require a child to cross a dangerous street to board the bus, even if the bus will pass by on the side of the child’s home later in the route.

Settlement of School Bus Accident Claims

The first party to typically offer to settle a personal injury or wrongful death claim after a child is struck while crossing the street to board the school bus is the automobile insurance company for the driver who hit the child. When the at-fault driver’s automobile insurance is insufficient, your attorney will evaluate whether the bus driver or board of education acted negligently.

Maginnis Howard has handled multiple high-publicity school bus accident cases. In 2014, 11-year-old Michael Burgess Jr was hit by a car while crossing the road to get on the school bus. Our lead injury attorney, T. Shawn Howard, settled a case against the driver who hit Burgess and against the Wake County school board. Similarly, Shawn Howard has been recently retained as trial counsel on a wrongful death case regarding a child who was struck and killed by a car while crossing the road to board her school bus in 2013. The claims against the school board may need to be filed in Superior Court and the North Carolina Industrial Commission.

Representation for School Bus Crash Cases

The North Carolina attorneys of Maginnis Howard handle school bus wreck cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you and your child pay no attorneys’ fees unless and until we recover a settlement or verdict. We offer reduced attorneys’ fees for most cases involving children. Our personal injury attorneys have decades of experience handling complex school bus accident cases. We have been at the forefront of children’s’ rights when the school system forces them to cross dangerous roads. Call Maginnis Howard at (919) 526-0450 to schedule a free consultation or visit the contact page.