The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports around 450,000 school buses transport 23.5 million students every year. Children ride school buses throughout their childhood from school, field trips, sporting events or when going home. Parents should be able to trust the drivers of those buses with their kids on these daily trips, but they do have reasonable fears about school bus transportation. Unfortunately bus crashes can impact a child in the worst ways.
November 2016 saw tragedy when six elementary school- aged students were killed and 23 were hospitalized after a school bus crash in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The bus driver was alleged to have been speeding 20 mph above the winding road’s limit and was reportedly off the bus’s designated route.
Who Can Be Held Responsible?
A number of individuals or parties can be deemed liable for the results of a school bus crash including the bus driver, the school district, the bus company, a bus manufacturer, or a motorist who contributed to the crash. Whoever is deemed liable has to be responsible for compensation for the afflicted victims. According to the NHTSA, more than half of all school bus accidents involve two or more vehicles. In accidents involving only the school bus, there are four primary reasons for a crash:
- Collisions with non-stationary objects
- Colliding with stationary objects
- Falls from bus.
School Bus Accident Injuries
Children are far more susceptible to injury on a school bus because they don’t have seatbelts which makes these injuries particularly anxiety-inducing. Common injuries resulting from a bus accident include serious issues:
- Severe dental injuries
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Head and brain and head injuries
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Multiple limb and spinal fractures
- Broken noses and facial fractures
The Law of Negligence
A majority of bus accident lawsuits can claim law of negligence. To show negligence, the claimant must prove a few things:
- The defendant owed the claimant a duty of care.
- The defendant did not perform that duty of care.
- The breach lead to the accident.
- Injuries were caused by the accident.
- The victim(s) sustained legally recognized damages from the injury.
Legally Recognized Damages
The nature and amount of damages are determined by case but a person or entity liable for the damages must be responsible for them. A school bus accident might include damages such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of a normal life
- Past and future medical bills or funeral and burial costs
- Permanent disfigurement or disability.
Notice of Intent
In the case that liability is attributed to a governmental entity or school district, a notice of intent to sue or a claim must be filed recently after the accident or the lawsuit may be dismissed. Contact an attorney, like a personal injury lawyer Baltimore MD trusts, immediately for a free consultation and case evaluation on your bus incident claim. Consulting one of our attorneys can help recover the maximum compensation for your injured children. Know your rights, determine liability and take advantage of that short window. Considering a lawyer can help pay for those damages and help your family move on.
Thanks to authors at Greenberg Law Offices for their insight into Personal Injury Law.