School Bus Accident Lawyers in Washington State
For every family, their most precious cargo is their children. When you send your children off to school on the school bus, you want to know that they are safe and that the school district is doing everything possible to prevent needless injuries to children. From the selection of the location of the bus stop, the decision to close bus routes in extreme weather, carefully screening bus drivers, preventing physical assaults by other students, to the operation of the school bus on the road or freeway, serious injuries and even deaths can occur if the school district fails to follow accepted safety standards and its own internal policies. With over 65 years of combined experience as personal injury trial attorneys, our lawyers know how to find truth and accountability following a school bus accident. We have the resources to see that justice is obtained and fair compensation paid for the needless harm caused by school bus accidents.
Whether your child was injured on a school bus in Seattle, Bellevue, Olympia, Tacoma, Bellingham, Kent, Renton, or some other school district, we can help you determine if you or your child have a claim against the school district for the school bus accident. In Washington, there are important time deadlines for bringing claims against the school district. Before any lawsuit may be filed against the school district, the person bringing the claim must file a tort claims notice at least 60 days before bringing the lawsuit. All lawsuits must be brought within three years of the school bus accidents. Because school districts are public entities, you may also be able to collect documents and other evidence from the school district in advance of the lawsuit by filing a public disclosure request to identify key records and other information.
While not every bus accident can be prevented, it’s important that you consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to investigate the facts of the accident. Is the school district trying to hide facts from you? Is this school district trying to avoid giving you important information about the accident? Does the school district try to blame the accident on your child? Our lawyers offer a free consultation for families coping with injuries in the wake of a school bus accident. We have the experience and resources to carefully investigate these accidents and determine whether a claim exists against the school district or some other at-fault party. Sometimes the facts are straight-forward, but other times the full facts require months of investigation.Special Safety Rules for Bus Stops and School Buses
The Washington Administrative Code provides special rules for the operation of school buses at Chapter 392-145. School district boards are required to adopt written policies or rules for passengers riding school buses that are consistent with state law and rules. A copy of these policies must be provided to each student. School bus drivers must have training in school district rules and regulations pertaining to bullying, harassment, and for reporting sexual misconduct on school buses. On highways divided into separate roadways as provided in RCW 46.61.150 and highways with three or more marked traffic lanes, school districts are required to design bus routes that serve each side of the highway so that students do not have to cross the highway. School districts are prohibited from locating bus stops on a curve or a hill where visibility is not at least 500 feet.