It seems that with each passing month, New Jersey sees new school bus crashes. The latest incidents have caused numerous injuries and fatalities – causing concerns among parents, students, and the general public. Why are these buses crashing in such high numbers? What can we do to stop these tragedies from recurring? How could it be that vehicles designed specifically for the transport of small children are more dangerous than others? While all of these questions are valid, there is another question that is perhaps more important – a question that many parents ask themselves after hearing about these crashes: How can I get compensation after a school bus accident in New Jersey?

Three Deaths Confirmed After School Bus Crash in South Brunswick

Shocking School Bus Crashes Continue in New Jersey

On February 1, 2024, it was reported that three people had lost their lives after a school bus crash in South Brunswick. All three victims were riding in a Toyota Camry at the time of the collision. Although two children were traveling on the school bus, neither suffered injuries. The circumstances of this crash are extremely unclear, although police say that it occurred after the Camry attempted a left-hand turn at an intersection. 

Highlighting this lack of clarity, police have asked any witnesses to come forward with more information about the crash. Generally speaking, cars attempting left-hand turns must yield to oncoming traffic – and the Camry driver may have failed in this regard. However, this is not always the case. For example, oncoming traffic may speed through an intersection despite the presence of yellow lights before crashing into drivers legally attempting left-hand turns. 

All three occupants of the Camry were senior citizens above the age of 85. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, their families may have the opportunity to file injury claims on behalf of the deceased seniors. If this is the case, then family members may file wrongful death claims against the school district responsible for operating the school bus. 

Fourteen Children Injured After School Bus Crashes in Medford

About two weeks after the crash in South Brunswick, another school bus crashed in Medford – causing 14 children to suffer various injuries. This collision also involved a left-hand turn, but this time it was the school bus driver who attempted the maneuver before colliding with a utility bucket truck in the intersection under unclear circumstances.

Based on photos from the crash scene, it seems that the intersection did not feature any traffic lights. Two stop signs indicate that one road had the right of way, but it is not clear which vehicle was supposed to stop. The crash is still under investigation, according to local police. 

One child reportedly suffered serious injuries to the head and ribs, and these injuries were enough to warrant quick emergency treatment at a local hospital. 10 others were hospitalized with what police only described as non-life-threatening injuries. In addition, three children suffered what seemed to be minor injuries, and they were released to their parents after the crash. However, the parents later drove these children to the hospital as well – suggesting that the injuries may not have been quite so minor. 

Why are Bus Crashes Becoming So Common in New Jersey?

In many ways, the root cause of bus crashes in New Jersey is irrelevant. For injured victims, it makes more sense to pursue compensation rather than ask why these crashes occurred. That being said, victims often need to determine fault in order to pursue compensation, so a personal injury claim may eventually address both of these concerns. 

One possible explanation involves the hiring practices of school boards across the Garden State, and many schools have been accused of hiring bus drivers who are clearly unfit to drive. The problem is that this is a rather low-paying job, and it is often very difficult to attract qualified, responsible people who want to drive school buses for a living. 

There have been numerous reports of school boards hiring elderly individuals with serious issues regarding vision, physical health, cognitive decline, and other concerns. An elderly individual may suffer a medical emergency behind the wheel, such as a heart attack or stroke – causing them to lose control and crash. 

Other reports point to drivers with questionable driving records, substance abuse issues, and other concerns. School boards may be tempted to dismiss these glaring issues during hiring processes, potentially putting hundreds of students in danger as a result. 

Find a Bus Crash Attorney in New Jersey

If you have been searching for a qualified bus crash attorney in New Jersey, look no further than Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured plaintiffs in the Garden State – including those who have been harmed by bus accidents. If you are a parent with a child who has been injured by a school bus accident, an injury claim may help you pay for medical expenses while providing compensation for your family’s emotional distress. To discuss potential legal options in more detail, be sure to book a consultation at your earliest convenience. 

The firm’s principals, Gabriel R. Lependorf and David E. Silverstein, have each been representing injured victims in the State of New Jersey for over thirty years.

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