An eight-year-old girl arrived at a Seattle hospital in critical condition after being hit by a car while crossing the street on September 30. According to reports, the pedestrian accident took place after the girl disembarked from a school bus and was hit by a Dodge Durango. At last report, it remained unclear whether the driver of the Durango violated traffic laws.
Although drivers are normally required to stop for a school bus in the process of unloading passengers, a police officer involved with the accident investigation reported that the school bus was an older model not equipped with flashing lights or an extendable stop sign. The officer noted that a pedestrian crossing the street bears a responsibility to exercise due caution, but also advised that drivers should err on the side of caution when it comes to passing a school bus.
Although the injured child was transported to Seattle for medical care, the accident took place more than 600 miles away in Great Falls, Montana. The investigating police officer pointed out that state law does not require drivers to stop for a bus that is not displaying flashing lights and a stop sign. The same rule of law applies in the state of Washington, but drivers should nonetheless exercise additional caution when passing a stopped bus.
Washington law requires school and private carrier buses to be equipped with modern safety signals. If this accident had taken place in the Seattle area, the parents of the injured child might have a good case for liability against the bus owner.
When a pedestrian accident is caused by the negligence of another, the victim may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party for medical expenses and other losses arising from accidental injuries. An experienced personal injury professional can help accident victims understand their rights under the law and work to obtain fair compensation on victims’ behalf.
Source: KFBB, “Eight Year Old Struck By Vehicle Remains in Critical Condition,” Rachel Ousley, Oct. 1, 2012