ou have been having a rough couple of months from a financial perspective. Your income has decreased for one reason or another and you are unable to pay your bills on a timely basis. In addition to being extremely overwhelmed, you are just trying to put your best foot forward and keep your head above water. You are consumed with worry and fear about the future, but you also need to provide for your family and assure them that everything is going to be okay. Then, out of nowhere, you are served with a foreclosure complaint from your mortgage company. You are frustrated, scared, and maybe slightly embarrassed. Don’t be. This situation happens to thousands of Floridians every year.

The worst thing to do in this situation is to ignore the legal paperwork hoping that the situation will resolve itself. This is where we can help you. Our attorneys have spent decades prosecuting and defending mortgage foreclosure actions. Even though you missed a payment or two, that doesn’t relieve the lender of the obligation to follow state and federal laws associated with a foreclosure action. Additionally, the lender also needs to comply with the default provisions of the loan documents. The fact that you had a couple of difficult months doesn’t lessen the Plaintiff’s burden to do things the right way.

With that being said, the attorneys at Lucas, Macyszyn & Dyer have the expertise to analyze your case for potential defenses to foreclosure and aggressively litigate on your behalf to make sure that you are treated both fairly and in compliance with the law. The longer that you wait to reach out to an attorney, it is often more difficult to defend the foreclosure action than if you acted immediately after being served with the complaint. We are here to walk you through the process and fight for your rights. If you are one of the thousands of Floridians that needs our help, please pick up the phone and call us today in order to schedule your free consultation. We are here for you and look forward to your call.

Responsibility for School Bus Accidents

School bus accidents in the Tampa region are an unfortunately all-too-common occurrence. Each year, over 33 percent of all traffic fatalities are school transportation-related.

Some recent news reports have shared some disturbing findings of recent school bus accidents—including that some school bus drivers continue to transport students despite having numerous prior driving offenses on their record. Some of these drivers have even caused prior crashes, yet school districts still let them get behind the wheel of a bus with young children as passengers.

Bus Drivers

Several individuals and entities might be responsible for a bus accident. First, the bus driver may be liable for the crash. Bus driver negligence is one of the most common causes of school bus accidents, and negligence can take several forms. Often, negligence involves a driver who violated a traffic law or regulation, engaged in distracted driving, or operated the bus while they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

School bus drivers owe their passengers a higher duty of care than other motor vehicle drivers because they transport young school children to and from school daily. They must maintain a special driver’s license, and as such, they must abide by a higher standard of care than the driver of a non-commercial vehicle. A bus driver should handle each situation as a “reasonable bus driver” would, and if they depart from this standard and cause harm, they are negligent.

Violating Traffic Laws

School bus drivers often violate this reasonable duty of care when they violate various traffic laws. For example, they might operate their buses far over the posted speed limit, fail to use a turn signal when necessary, fail to maintain the bus, or fail to yield the right-of-way at a stop sign or traffic light. When school bus drivers violate these standard traffic laws, they significantly increase the chances of an accident that leads to passenger injuries.

Distracted Driving

School bus accidents also happen when drivers engage in distracted driving. This occurs when a driver pays attention to something other than driving. A school bus driver can become distracted when they text and drive or use another electronic device.

Even having their head turned to discipline a student on the bus can divert their attention away from the road, leading to a severe collision. Even when the driver looks away for a second or two, it can be long enough for them to miss an oncoming motor vehicle or another road obstacle.

Driving Under the Influence

Finally, school bus accidents happen when bus drivers operate their vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Since bus drivers are professional drivers, they have stricter rules about impaired driving than the drivers of passenger vehicles. When a driver operates a bus while intoxicated or impaired, they significantly increase the chances that they will cause a collision.

Alcohol, in particular, can significantly impair a bus driver’s physical abilities and prevent them from seeing clearly. In addition, alcohol can delay a driver’s reaction time. As a result, the driver might not stop their bus in time to avoid a severe impact with another vehicle.

School Districts and Bus Companies

School districts are responsible for making sure they employ capable drivers who have good driving records without a history of prior driving infractions, accidents, or crimes. When school districts do not do their due diligence when hiring drivers or when they retain a problem driver, they increase the chances of an accident.

Depending on the circumstances of an accident, a school district can be on the line for negligent hiring, negligent retention, or negligent supervision over a school bus driver who later causes an accident.

School districts also might have vicarious liability if they employed the bus driver. If a separate bus company employed the driver and contracted with a school, that business might be on the hook for vicarious liability.

Repair Facilities

Entities that perform repair work on a bus must complete their job properly. When they fail to do so and a bus malfunctions in the middle of the road, a serious accident with another vehicle can occur. In many instances, it takes expert testimony at trial to prove that negligent repair work caused or contributed to a school bus accident.

Bus Part Manufacturers

Bus part manufacturers must ensure that they manufacture their products safely and they properly test their products before selling them. Steering devices, transmission systems, and braking components are especially susceptible to malfunction if manufacturers and designers do not do the necessary work beforehand.

If a bus accident victim can demonstrate—usually through expert testimony—that a collision occurred because of a defective part, the accident victim might file a claim against the responsible product manufacturer or distributor.

If your child has suffered injuries in a school bus accident that resulted from someone else’s negligence, you have legal rights and options. The skilled team of bus accident lawyers at Lucas, Macyszyn & Dyer Injury Firm can help you explore these options and can file a claim against all potentially responsible parties in your child’s case. We can then work to get your child the compensation they deserve to recover for their injuries.

Common Injuries from Bus Accidents

Bus passengers have very little protection at the time of an accident. Many buses do not have seat belts, so a collision can severely jar a passenger around – especially a young child. Passengers commonly strike the inside of the bus, including windows, walls, and floors, which can lead to several traumatic injuries. Some passengers might fall through windows or on top of one another if a bus rolls over.

Passengers are not the only ones who might suffer injuries, as a bus might collide with another car, injuring the occupants. Buses are much larger than passenger cars, so they often cause serious injuries and damage in a collision.

Common injuries that victims sustain in bus crashes include:

  • Soft tissue contusions
  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic head and brain injuries
  • Lacerations and abrasions
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Crush injuries

ollowing an accident, the injured victim may require significant medical care. Some injuries might heal after a few weeks or months, but they still leave behind costly medical bills. A child might miss school and fall behind if they have severe injuries. An injured adult might miss work and lose income.

Other injuries have lasting effects, and a victim might have their entire life changed by the bus crash. In tragic scenarios, bus accident victims do not survive their injuries.

If you or your child has sustained any of these injuries in a bus accident, the Tampa bus accident attorneys at Lucas, Macyszyn & Dyer Injury Firm are here to help. Our team can handle all of the legal aspects of the case while your child focuses on getting better and fully recovering from their accident-related injuries.