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Bloomington, IL — January 2023: A recent Big Rock school bus crash has likely heightened parents’ concerns about their children’s safety to and from classes each day, according to Bloomington accident attorney Josh Rohrscheib of personal injury firm Onward Injury Law.

“Thankfully, no injuries were reported. This could have been so much worse,” Rohrscheib said. “Still, it’s going to be a long road to mental recovery for these children and their families after something so traumatic.” 

Six students and one driver were onboard a Dekalb County school bus when it collided with a truck in the early morning hours of January 10. The accident happened at the intersection of Somonauk and Shabbona Grove roads, leaving the bus tipped over on its side. 

The bus driver was cited for failing to yield at a stop intersection, causing the bus to crash into a Ford pickup truck driver who also reported no injuries. The bus was carrying two Hinckley Big Rock-High School students, one middle schooler, and three students from the district’s elementary school. 

“Unfortunately, it’s negligence that fuels many of these bus accidents. Today, it’s failure to yield. Tomorrow, it could be texting and driving. While I’m relieved that no one was hurt this time, that’s not always the case, and parents should be aware of what to do if their child is in a bus accident, ” Rohrscheib said.

In light of recent events, Rohrscheib added, there are three simple but crucial steps parents can take to protect their children in the event of an accident.

3 Steps Parents Can Take After a School Bus Accident

#1 Get Medical Attention Immediately

Even if your child says they’re not injured, get medical attention immediately. They could have injuries they don’t realize, and internal injuries that have gone unchecked could be serious. 

“Most Illinois school buses don’t have seat belts,” Rohrscheib said “So a serious crash could seriously hurt them, and not getting treated right away could prolong the healing process and cause additional complications down the road.”

#2 Preserve Evidence

Retain all evidence from the school district regarding the accident, Rohrscheib advised. Get a copy of the police report to see if the bus driver received a citation or was negligent in any way. 

“Documentation will go a long way in proving your case and getting compensation for your child’s medical bills and other damages,” Rohrscheib said.

He also encourages parents to monitor their child’s mental state.

“Keep track of your child’s healing process. Look out for signs of PTSD, nightmares, and depression. Accidents are traumatic; imagine trying to process that as a child,” he noted.

#3 Contact an Illinois Personal Injury Attorney 

When you send your children to school, you reasonably expect them to return to you safely. When they don’t, and your child is injured in a school bus accident, Rohrscheib said you have the right to hold the school district accountable. 

“When your child has been hurt, it’s crushing,” he said. “A personal injury attorney can help you seek damages for your child’s injuries and expenses. They’ll file a claim against the district’s insurance company, prove negligence and negotiate with the adjuster to get you fair compensation for what you and your child have been through.” 

Onward Injury Law has five office locations throughout Central Illinois:

About Onward Injury Law

Onward Injury Law is an Illinois law firm with an experienced team of personal injury lawyers. Serving clients in Bloomington, Decatur, Springfield, Champaign, and other areas of Central Illinois, we handle a range of personal injury practice areas, including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, bike accidents, bus accidents, and catastrophic injury cases.

If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, book a free case review with one of the highly-rated personal injury lawyers at Onward Injury Law. Our office is at 308 E Washington St., Suite C, Bloomington, IL 61701, or visit one of our other four offices.