School buses are a common sight on the road, and for good reason – they help keep our kids safe while they’re traveling to and from school. Similarly, ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft are safe and practical modes of transportation that many people use today. But what happens if a bus gets in an accident with an Uber vehicle? Who is responsible for injuries in school bus accidents involved with Uber? In this article, we will explore who is typically held liable in a school bus-Uber accident, and what you can do if you are injured in one.
If you or your child has been injured in a school bus accident involved with Uber, get in touch with the law offices of Jared Spingarn, P.A. They have experienced lawyers who can help you recover compensation after the accident.
How rare are bus accidents and Uber accidents?
School bus accident statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that bus accidents happen less frequently than car accidents from 2010 to 2019. However, this type of motor vehicle accident can cause more damage, and more people can get injured in a school bus accident.
From the data of the NHTSA, 1,080 crashes occurred related to school buses or other school transportation vehicles that function as buses. In these crashes, 1,199 people were killed. Of the total number of fatalities, 126 were riding in the school bus – 58 drivers and 68 passengers. The majority of fatalities were people riding in another vehicle. Pedestrians were also involved in a bus accident, with 203 fatalities.
In the same 10-year period from 2010 to 2019, 240 school children were killed when a crash occurred. These included children riding in the bus, in another vehicle, and as vulnerable road users (cyclists and pedestrians). Most bus accidents occurred from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., and from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Many fatalities happened when the school bus driver was going straight.
As for Uber accidents, according to the 2019-2020 Uber Safety Report, Uber vehicles traveled more than 16 billion miles in these two years. Per 100 million miles traveled, there were 0.62 motor vehicle fatalities related to Uber. This is lower than the national rate of 1.22 fatalities per 100 million miles traveled. The number translates to one fatality in 20 million Uber trips.
Common Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents
Although a school bus driver and Uber driver are required to follow certain safety standards, accidents can still happen. A motor vehicle accident occurs due to several factors.
- Poor road conditions
- Driving in bad weather conditions
- Reckless driving by the drivers involved in the crash
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs
- Failure to follow traffic rules such as stopping at a stop sign or intersection
- Distracted driving
- Operating a vehicle that didn’t pass safety regulations
- Operating a vehicle that is not in proper condition
- School bus drivers with insufficient training
School bus accidents involving Uber vehicles may occur due to any of these causes. A personal injury attorney from the law firm of Jared Spingarn, P.A. can offer a free case evaluation if you were in a bus accident involving Uber. Jared’s team of attorneys will provide you with several legal options so you can seek compensation for your personal injuries.
What happens if a bus gets in an accident with an Uber vehicle?
School buses are responsible for transporting children to school safely. When a school bus accident occurs, those involved in the crash can sustain serious injuries. As school buses are large and wide vehicles, a collision with a bus can cause severe damage to other vehicles involved.
When a bus accident occurs, injuries sustained by the victims may need immediate medical attention. Several parties may be held liable for the accident. It is best to immediately contact Jared Spingarn, P.A. for a free consultation. Jared’s team of attorneys can identify the liable party and take the necessary steps to provide you with legal help in your case.
Who can be held liable for a school bus accident involving Uber?
In a school bus accident, several parties can be held liable. Often, there is negligence on the part of the responsible parties, be it the school district, bus company, bus manufacturer, Uber driver, bus driver, or Uber itself. Any of these parties can be held liable for the accident.
Florida’s no-fault laws help ensure that accident victims can seek compensation under their personal injury protection coverage, regardless of who caused the accident. Additionally, accident victims can file a personal injury lawsuit if they sustain serious injuries. If the accident was caused by the Uber driver, accident victims can file a claim with Uber’s accident policy. If it was caused by the school bus driver, they can file a claim under the driver’s insurance, if applicable. Your accident lawyer from Jared Spingarn’s law firm can help determine who was at fault and who must be held accountable.
School transportation vehicles are owned by the school system. It is the school district’s responsibility to make sure that all the vehicles are in good condition and are regularly serviced.
Thus, the school district may become the liable party if the accident occurred due to a malfunction of the buses. In this case, school districts are liable if it is found that the vehicles were not scheduled for regular maintenance.
School Bus Driver
The bus driver’s negligence may have caused the accident. However, this liability is often placed on the schools that own the buses, a term called vicarious liability. Since the driver was operating a vehicle owned by the school system, the school can also assume responsibility even if the driver was responsible. This can be due to negligent hiring by the school – meaning that they hired a driver without the proper qualifications to operate a school vehicle.
However, because of Florida’s comparative negligence rule, the driver will also be held liable for his actions. The comparative negligence rule works by determining the percentage of fault of each person involved in the accident, even the injured party. But in cases where the school was found to have done its duty, your accident attorney from Jared Spingarn’s firm can prove negligence of the driver and take up a claim from the insurance company of the at-fault party.
Uber can be held liable for the accident if the Uber driver caused it. This is because Uber’s insurance policy covers the company’s drivers in case of an accident. It must be noted, however, that all Uber drivers are required to have their own auto insurance policy to qualify as one of Uber’s drivers, called independent contractors.
Since Uber has labeled its drivers as independent contractors, coverage will only be applicable once the following conditions are met:
- The Uber driver caused the accident to occur.
- The Uber driver was online in the Uber app at the time of the accident, with or without a passenger; or the Uber driver was already on a trip when the accident occurred.
In these cases, Uber has third-party bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage that should cover the accident. The following are the coverages of Uber when an accident occurs:
- If the Uber driver is online and waiting for a passenger: Up to $50,000 per person or $100,000 per accident BIL coverage; and up to $25,000 property damage coverage. However, this coverage may only apply if the driver’s personal auto insurance denies coverage.
- If the Uber driver is on a trip or on the way to pick up a passenger: Up to $1,000,000 liability plus uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance.
- Comprehensive insurance may also apply only if the Uber driver has a personal comprehensive auto insurance policy. This will require a $2,500 deductible before being applied.
The Uber driver can be directly held liable for the accident. This situation applies when the Uber driver is offline on the app and is not on a trip when the accident occurs.
For example, if an Uber driver is speeding while offline on the Uber app and hits a school bus, then he can be found to be at fault for the accident. In this case, the Uber driver will be held liable for the accident. The accident victims should then take up a personal injury or car accident claim against the Uber driver’s personal insurance to seek compensation for their injuries.
School Bus Maintenance Company
Bus companies in charge of the vehicle’s maintenance may also be held liable for a school bus accident with Uber. If the accident happened due to a mechanical issue, and it was found that the maintenance company failed to fix this issue, they can be ordered to settle the damages caused by the accident.
School Bus Manufacturer
The bus manufacturer can also be the party responsible for the accident. Buses are required to follow safety regulations to protect the children being transported to and from school. Accidents caused by defective vehicles can result in serious injuries and even the death of a child.
Bus manufacturers are required to check all their vehicles before releasing them for use. If it was found that the manufacturer released a defective vehicle, this is negligence on the part of the manufacturer and they can be sued for the damages they caused to the other parties involved.
Government entities are responsible for ensuring that the public roads and traffic signs are operational. This will ensure road safety. In cases when an accident is caused by poor road maintenance, the injured party can file legal action against the government agency responsible.
What do you do after a bus crash in Hallandale Beach involving Uber?
If you get into a bus crash in Hallandale Beach involving an Uber vehicle, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention, even if you think your injuries are minor. Sometimes, injuries are not immediately apparent right after the crash but will manifest at a later time. It’s also important to have a doctor evaluate your injuries so that they can be properly documented.
The second thing you should do is get in touch with Jared Spingarn, P.A., a personal injury attorney who has experience handling similar accident cases in Hallandale Beach. Your attorney can help you navigate your legal options and represent you in a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
The third thing you should do is avoid giving a statement to the other party’s insurance company. Anything you say can be used against you later on. It’s also important that you preserve any evidence related to the accident, such as photos of the scene, eyewitness statements, and your medical records. This will all be helpful in building your case.
Who is responsible for injuries in school bus accidents involved with Uber or Lyft? Many parties may be liable for the accident – the school district, bus driver, Uber driver or Lyft driver, Uber or Lyft themselves, vehicle maintenance company, vehicle manufacturer, and even the government agencies responsible for road safety.
If your child was involved in an accident between a school bus and an Uber vehicle, you should immediately contact the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn, P.A. for a free consultation. Their team of lawyers will establish a good attorney-client relationship with you so you are assured to be well represented if the accident progresses toward a lawsuit.
>> If you’re involved in a school 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.