Aniah Rivera Clovis: Clovis East High School Student Aniah Rivera Injured In Clovis School Bus Accident By Belmont Avenue and North Fowler Avenue
CLOVIS, CALIFORNIA (September 17, 2019) – A Clovis East High School student identified as Aniah Rivera was injured in a school bus accident that took place by the intersection of Belmont Avenue and Fowler Avenue.
Video of the school bus accident shows a car crashing into the back of the school bus. Aniah Rivera sustained a broken shoulder blade and the accident and spoke with reporters about the collision.
According to Aniah Rivera, the school bus is regularly overcrowded, forcing some students to sit on the floor. A number of other Clovis East High School student said that it’s an ongoing problem.
If you’re one of the last people on the school bus there simply isn’t enough room to seat everyone. Aniah Rivera was forced to keep her legs in the aisle because there was not enough room with two students sitting in the same isle.
The force of the impact threw her forward causing her to sustain a shoulder blade injury. She remains at home resting and has been told by doctors that football season would be over for her.
California Highway Patrol are looking into the possibility of overcrowding and safety violations by the Clovis Unified School District.
Liability In School Bus Accidents Caused By Overcrowding
School buses are considered “common carriers” under the law and their drivers as well as the school districts that operate them are held to a very high standard. According to Squaw Valley Ski Corporation v. Superior Court, “The elevated standard of care for common carriers is “based on a recognition that the privilege of serving the public as a common carrier necessarily entails great responsibility, requiring common carriers to exercise a high duty of care towards their customers.” Overcrowding on school buses is not only dangerous it is illegal.
According to one report by the Teamsters, “Transporting students over the maximum capacity is against the law and also counter to many school transportation contracts. Overcrowding is obviously dangerous, involving students standing on the bus while it is in motion, sitting on the bus floor or crowding in a single seat.” As with many other issues in schools, the source of the problem often comes down to money. School districts may try to save money through under-staffing and insufficient bus fleet size.
Bus drivers are supposed to look for signs that school buses are overcrowded and take action. Students kneeling on the floor or standing are at a substantially higher risk for serious injury in the event of an accident. School buses typically have a standard carrying capacity of 72 with 3 children seated in each row of seats. This may be enough for small children, but in many cases this is not enough for high school students. It often leads to students kneeling in the isles or standing.
When school districts fail to take adequate measures to protect students from overcrowding they may face civil liability in the event of an accident. School districts are typically held vicariously liable for the negligence of the school bus drivers that they employ. Under the legal doctrine of Respondeat Superior municipal entities are typically held liable for their employees negligence – insofar as those employees were working within the course and scope of their job duties. Victims of school bus accidents often sustain a wide variety of injuries including:
- Broken bones
- Head trauma
- Soft tissue damage
Federal regulations require school buses to maintain insurance policies commensurate with the number of students they are carrying. Based on FMCSA regulations, school buses that carry 16 or more passengers are required to carry at least $5,000,000 worth of liability coverage in the event of an accident. It’s important to document your injuries in the event of an accident and keep track of your medical bills.
Victims of school bus accidents will typically have legal recourse through a bodily injury claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. Unfortunately, school districts will often try to deny liability for an accident or downplay the extent of a person’s injuries. The smart thing to do after an accident is to contact an experienced bus accident attorney. An attorney can examine all of the facts of your case free of cost and let you know what your legal rights are.
Getting Help After A Clovis School Bus Accident
We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our thoughts and prayers to Aniah Rivera as she continues to recover. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened for the sake of all of those that have been affected. The school district board should be held accountable if their were safety violations leading up to this accident. It is our sincere hope that measures will be put in place to eliminate overcrowding in the Clovis school district. No parent should ever have to worry about their children’s well-being due to unsafe conditions on a school bus.
Have you or someone that you care about been injured in a Clovis school bus accident? There are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We’ve successfully resolved thousands of accident claims. We are committed to making sure that accident victims are aware of their rights so that they can make informed decisions. Whether you need a free, independent investigation into the actions of school district officials or just have questions about the law we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.