Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

Bus Accidents and the Law

As a personal injury law firm in Missouri and Kansas, we have handled several bus accident cases. These can be devastating collisions because the victims are often children. Even when the collision involves a passenger bus rather than a school bus, the injuries and damages can be significant because of the size of the bus, and passengers often are unbuckled.

Through our experience with bus accident cases, we’ve learned it’s important to find out if state or local law was broken in the collision. This helps establish liability on the part of the at-fault driver. Here are a some important laws in bus accident cases.

Drivers must stop for school busses loading or unloading children.
Section 304.050 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri requires drivers stop for school busses loading or unloading children.

It states, “The driver of a vehicle upon a highway upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus which has stopped on the highway for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school children and whose driver has in the manner prescribed by law given the signal to stop, shall stop the vehicle before reaching such school bus and shall not proceed until such school bus resumes motion, or until signaled by its driver to proceed.”

I once investigated a case where someone drove around a stopped school bus picking up children and ran into several of them. Such an action was certainly negligent, but we wanted to show that the at-fault driver also committed a crime.

School busses must use crossing arms and warnings.
In the same section of the Missouri statutes is a subsection that requires school busses have and use crossing arms and warnings.

It states, “Every school bus … shall be equipped … with a crossing control arm. The crossing control arm, when activated, shall extend a minimum of five feet six inches from the face of the front bumper. The crossing control arm shall be attached on the right side of the front bumper and shall be activated by the same controls which activate the mechanical and electrical signaling devices described in subsection 2 of this section.”

This subsection can be used in bus collision cases where the driver fails to use the crossing arm or the bus doesn’t have one.

These are but a couple of the laws that could establish liability in bus accident cases. If you have questions about a Missouri or Kansas bus collision case, you are welcome to contact our firm at 816.867.8611.