School buses are a common sight on Florida roads. Every day, these large vehicles transport children to and from school. Are school bus accidents common in Florida? While the vast majority of bus trips are without incident, there are occasional accidents.
If your child is injured in a bus accident, you may be wondering what to do next. This guide will provide information on bus accident insurance and how to file a claim.
Bus accidents can happen at any time, and it is important to be protected. Insurance policies can help you receive compensation for the school bus injuries you sustained. However, oftentimes, insurance companies try to bring down the value of your claim for various reasons.
This is why if you or your child gets into a school bus accident in Hallandale Beach, get in touch with a personal injury attorney from Jared Spingarn, P.A.’s law offices. Jared’s law firm has knowledgeable personal injury and accident lawyers who can provide you with excellent legal services to ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve.
Are school bus accidents common in Florida?
School bus transportation is used for getting children to and from school. School buses are owned or contracted by school districts. These buses are equipped with safety features such as seat belts to ensure the safety of the passengers riding the bus.
Every year, school bus accidents in Florida still occur due to various reasons. However, the number of bus accidents in Florida is significantly less than other motor vehicle accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 282 Florida school bus accidents in the three-year period between 2019 to 2021. Of this number, nine involved the school bus directly while 273 were school bus-related accidents involving other motor vehicles.
Although school buses are seen to be much safer than private passenger vehicles, a bus accident can be deadlier than a car accident. This is because more persons are involved in a bus crash compared to a car accident.
Previous data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) shows that 1,080 school bus-related crashes occurred from 2010 to 2019. Of this number, 1,199 fatalities were recorded. Of the total fatalities, 126 were riding in the school bus when the accident occurred, while 203 were pedestrians.
Why do bus accidents happen?
What are the most common conditions under which bus collisions occur? Traffic accidents happen due to several factors. Even though school bus drivers are required to follow certain safety regulations to ensure the safety of their passengers, fatal crashes can still occur.
The following are the most common causes of school bus accidents in Florida:
- Failure of the motorists and/or pedestrians to abide by traffic rules, such as disregarding stop signs and bus stops
- Inferior road conditions
- Poor weather conditions
- Driving under the influence of illicit drugs or alcohol
- Operating a school bus that is in poor condition and lacks safety features
- Negligence by the school district in hiring a bus driver and scheduling the school bus for service
What will happen after a school bus accident?
School bus accidents can happen because of the reasons listed above. In Florida, Broward County, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale record the most number of school bus accidents annually in the Sunshine State.
In most cases, bus passengers are relatively safer than the passengers of other vehicles involved in the crash. However, minor injuries can still be sustained after a school bus accident.
School bus injuries may need immediate medical treatment which can then lead to a pile-up of medical bills. If your child is involved in a school bus accident in Hallandale Beach, make sure to get a free consultation from Jared Spingarn.
Jared can provide you with a free case review of your personal injury case. Their team of lawyers has handled numerous personal injury cases and can help you receive a financial compensation claim or personal injury claim.
Who is liable after a bus accident in Hallandale Beach?
School bus accidents can lead to personal injuries and property damage. If you or your child is injured in a school bus accident, the first thing you must do is to get medical treatment for your injuries.
You can then file a personal injury claim with your own insurance company. If you suffered severe injuries, you can opt to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover compensation for your injuries and other losses.
Depending on the cause of the accident, several parties can be found to be at fault. The school district, bus driver, other motorists involved in the crash, or the government entities responsible for road maintenance.
Will my insurance cover a Hallandale Beach school bus accident?
Florida is a no-fault state. This means that using your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance after an accident is mandatory. The no-fault law is designed to reduce the number of lawsuits being filed. Your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance will cover your medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
You can only file a lawsuit against the at-fault party if you suffered severe injuries that resulted in permanent disability, significant and permanent scarring, or disfigurement. Again, Jared has a team of experienced personal injury lawyers who can help you file injury claims and receive the compensation you deserve.
Personal Injury Protection Coverage
Personal injury protection is also called no-fault insurance. If you were involved in an accident, your PIP coverage should cover any medical costs that you incurred. An advantage of having PIP coverage is that it travels with you. This means that whether you are driving a car, riding a bus, or cycling around town, you are entitled to file a personal injury claim with your insurance company.
But what if your child was riding on the school bus when the accident occurred? Will he or she be covered by your PIP insurance? In this case, yes, your child can still be covered by your PIP policy. This is because PIP coverage extends to family members residing in the same household as the policy owner.
PIP insurance policies should cover up to 80% of medical costs and 60% of lost compensation. The minimum coverage required by law is $10,000. If your injuries exceed your policy limits, you will need to pay out-of-pocket to settle the expenses.
To ensure that you have sufficient coverage in case of an accident, you can opt to purchase additional PIP coverage to extend the $10,000 minimum amount. Additionally, you can also opt to purchase other types of insurance policies such as health insurance.
A health insurance policy will cover your medical expenses in case you are injured in an accident. This is important because PIP insurance only covers a limited amount of your medical costs. If you have a health insurance policy, your insurer will pay for the remaining balance of your medical bills.
There are two types of health insurance: private and public. Private health insurance is provided by your employer or you can purchase it on your own. On the other hand, public health insurance is provided by the government and is only available to those who are eligible such as persons with disabilities and those coming from low-income communities.
Private health insurance is more expensive than public health insurance but it can provide better coverage. If you can afford it, you should get private health insurance. This way, you will be covered in case of an accident and you will not have to worry about being underinsured.
Bodily Injury Liability (BIL)Coverage
Bodily injury liability insurance is a type of insurance that is designed to protect you from lawsuits. If you are sued for causing an accident, your BIL coverage will pay for the damages.
The minimum amount of bodily injury liability coverage required by law is $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident. However, this may not be enough to cover all the damages. If you want to be fully protected, you should purchase a higher amount of coverage.
If you were injured in a bus accident due to the fault of the other driver, you can file a claim against the driver’s BIL policy. However, this type of coverage is not required in Florida, so not all drivers will have it.
Recover Compensation After a Florida School Bus Accident with the Help of Jared Spingarn, Accident Attorney
Are school bus accidents common in Florida? Although not as common as passenger car accidents, school bus accidents still occur, putting passengers at risk of injuries. If you or your child is in an accident involving a school bus, you can file a personal injury claim with your insurance company.
Often, seeking compensation from an insurance company is a difficult process. Insurance adjusters will try to reduce the amount of your claim to save money. It is recommended to get legal representation immediately after a school bus accident. Jared Spingarn’s law firm can provide you with a free case evaluation to go over all the details of your case. Aside from providing excellent services, Jared’s team can also establish a healthy attorney-client relationship with you so you are assured to be in good hands.
>> If you’re involved in a bus accident in Florida, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jared Spingarn, Accident Attorney at 1-954-781-2316 for a Free Case Review or drop a message on their Contact Us page.