What Happens After a School Bus Accident in Florida Depends on Circumstances
Florida is a no-fault accident state, which means that drivers are responsible for carrying personal injury protection, or PIP, on their car insurance policies. This insurance pays out in most circumstances, but you may need more to cover all of your accident-related expenses.
At Coker Law, we have years of experience handling school bus accidents in Florida. If you or your child were in a school bus accident, contact us today for a free consultation. Meanwhile, here is what you can expect to happen after a school bus accident in Florida.
How Do School Bus Accidents Happen?
School bus accidents don’t always involve traffic accidents or other vehicles. There are a number of ways a student can be injured on a school bus.
School bus accidents can involve:
- Pedestrians struck by school buses
- Bicyclists struck by school buses
- School bus crashing into another vehicle
- Other vehicles crashing into school buses
- Students loading and unloading from the bus
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), students on school buses only account for about 9% of fatalities involving a school bus each year. About 20% of fatalities are pedestrians, and the majority, 72% of school bus accidents, involve fatalities of drivers of other vehicles.
A Recent Example of a Pedestrian School Bus Accident
Recently, a 15-year old boy was struck by a school bus and died at the hospital due to his injuries. According to the report from Channel 6, the boy was crossing the street when he was struck by a moving school bus.
The exact cause of this accident is unknown. An investigation is currently underway to determine why the bus driver did not stop for the pedestrian. Once the investigation is complete, the surviving family of the boy can sue for damages not covered by their PIP insurance.
Who Pays After a Bus Accident?
Because Florida is a no-fault accident state, one must first file a claim with their own insurance company. Anything above and beyond the limit of coverage would need to be compensated through a personal injury claim. In the recent example, if the parents did not have personal car insurance with a PIP policy, they would simply seek compensation from the bus driver or school system.
However, Florida is also a pure comparative negligence state. This means that if you, or the pedestrian in the example, acted negligently, compensation could be reduced in a personal injury claim. You are only entitled to compensation proportionate to your degree of fault.
Know Your Rights to Compensation
In short, what happens after a bus accident in Florida is that you file first with your own PIP insurance company, and then seek further damages from the negligent party. That negligent party could be the bus driver, the pedestrian or cyclist, the school system, or another driver.
At Coker Law, we are dedicated to providing experienced legal representation in all bus accident cases. If you or your student were injured in a bus accident, contact us today at (904) 356-6071 for more information or to schedule a free consultation.