Accidents involving children on school buses

Bus accidents can have severe consequences affecting significant numbers of people. Many more people can be injured in a bus crash than in a car collision, which is why bus drivers must go through extensive training before they are given the responsibility of safely transporting passengers.

All bus accidents are serious, but perhaps even more distressing, because of the age of the victims, are instances when the vehicle is carrying school pupils.

While school bus crashes are relatively rare, in 2017 several incidents reported in the news brought the safety of school transport into question.

In February 2017 an incident in Cumbernauld occurred when a bus carrying school children tipped over into an embankment as it attempted to make a tight turn outside their school. And in August 2017, in Dumbarton, a car collided with a school bus, causing the bus to fall onto its side.

Thankfully, there were no fatalities on either of these occasions, but many pupils were injured. In the Cumbernauld crash, 22 children were taken to hospital for treatment to their injuries, while 21 needed hospital treatment after the Dumbarton crash. Although the injuries in these incidents were minor, the impact of the accidents on the lives of the young pupils and their parents could still be significant.

That is why the road traffic accident solicitors at Thompsons are passionate about obtaining compensation for those unfairly injured in school bus crashes.

Thompsons Solicitors – campaigning for a safer school commute

When parents send their children off to school, they should be able to do so in the knowledge that their journeys will be safe.

Unfortunately, as evident from the above events, this is not always the case, and looking at some of the existing regulations for school travel, it becomes clear that improvements could be made to increase the safety of all Scottish schoolchildren.

Of course, there are numerous reasons why a road traffic accident involving a school bus may happen; sometimes a third-party driver may be involved, the poor condition of the road or the bus itself may play a part, or an error made by the bus driver (who has a duty of care to the health and safety of all their passengers) may be evident as a reason for a crash.

In the case of the Cumbernauld crash, for instance, the choice to place the drop-off point on a steep road is thought to have been the main contributing factor. And with no law stating that wearing seatbelts on buses is compulsory, injuries sustained in school bus crashes have the potential to be far more serious that they would be if all the pupils were safely restrained (however, the passing of a new bill – the Seat Belts on School Transport (Scotland) Bill – should mean wearing a seatbelt on school buses becomes law).

Several of the parents whose children were injured in the Cumbernauld crash have started a campaign group to help improve the safety of school buses, and Thompsons is proud to be supporting the Parents For Safe Travel group (PFST).

Making a claim with Thompsons Solicitors

If your child has been involved in a bus accident on their way to or from school and is now suffering from a common road traffic injury, there is a good chance you should be able to claim school bus crash compensation on their behalf. We understand that you're likely to be feeling a lot of fear, anger and upset. We'll guide you through this difficult time, and when you make a claim with us, you can rest safe in the knowledge that we'll only ever act in your best interests.

At Thompsons, we care about helping individuals. As can be seen from our work representing a number of the parents affected by the Cumbernauld crash, we're passionate not only about obtaining redress for those injured through no fault of their own but also about campaigning to bring change where it is needed.

Contact Thompsons today on 0800 0891 331 for expert legal guidance. Our No Win No Fee solicitors will talk you through the process of claiming for someone under the age of 16 (and who therefore lacks the legal capacity to make a claim themselves) as well as answer any other questions you may have.

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