Statistically, letting your child ride to and from school in a bus is the safest form of commuting. Your vehicle, as well as walking or biking to school, would all have higher rates of injury and fatality, overall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that children are 70 percent more likely to arrive safely at school when traveling in a bus instead of a passenger vehicle. Bus drivers have special education and laws intended to protect them and the children they transport.
Each year, only four to six children die as a result of an accident on their school bus. However, many others can end up injured after a collision or accident involving their bus. It only takes a second for another driver to make a mistake that can result in serious injuries or worse. Kids on buses generally do not wear seat belts, so the potential for many kinds of injuries exists.
Children can sustain life-altering injuries on the bus
Most children involved in a crash while on their school bus will have bruising, cuts or minor injuries. Some could sustain broken bones, often as a result of the impact of collision or due to falling from their seat because of a lack of restraints. It is also possible for children in a bus accident to sustain spinal cord injuries or even traumatic brain injuries.
Some minor injuries will heal with minimal medical intervention. Traumatic brain injuries, facial contusions and broken bones, however, may require expensive trauma care, physical therapy or even plastic surgery every few years until your child stops growing. Even when the physical injuries heal, your child could still have serious fears, anxiety or post traumatic stress stemming from the accident on the school bus. That could require months or even years of therapy to correct.
Any injury that leads to lifelong symptoms or compromises your child's ability to grow, thrive and learn is a serious issue. You should carefully consider how these injuries will impact the future your child wanted, as well as your family as a whole.
Bus accidents can prove to be financially devastating
Costs associated with these injuries will vary based on their severity. However, many families may find themselves paying substantial amounts out-of-pocket for care, due to high deductibles, co-insurance and co-pays for each procedure or medication. One parents may need to take time off of work to support your child during recovery, which could also have a financial impact on your family.
Your family shouldn't have to bear the burden of the medical expenses related to the crash on its own. If your child sustained serious injuries as the result of a school bus crash or collision, you should seek guidance about your legal rights and options.