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Six students treated after school bus crash

If special licensing and training is any indication, drivers who operate commercial and mass transit vehicles are held to a high standard of care.

That duty may be called into question regarding a recent school bus crash. The bus, part of the fleet for the Houston Independent School District, apparently collided with a pickup truck while heading northbound on Highway 288 near the South 610 Loop on a recent morning. It was carrying student passengers on their way to school.

Fortunately, none of the students on board the school bus suffered serious injuries, although six were transported to local medical facilities as a precaution. The exteriors of both vehicles also displayed some damage from the crash. Traffic on the busy highway was not seriously impacted.

As a personal injury attorney knows, there are extra considerations involved when bringing a negligence case against an operator of a commercial or mass transit vehicle. For one, the driver's employer may have an aggressive insurance company that will dispute liability. It may require an experienced personal injury attorney to investigate the crash scene, review any accompanying police records, and gather expert analyses to see if the evidence can establish fault.

As part of the liability phase, an attorney may also have to establish that the driver was on duty and acting within the scope of his or her employment. On the flip side, a claim may also be available against the employer if the driver was improperly trained or the vehicle was defective or not current in its maintenance inspections. An attorney can explore all potential areas of liability to prepare the strongest case for an accident victim. 

Source: Houston Chronicle, "School bus involved in traffic accident on 288," Craig Hlavaty, Sept. 17, 2014

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