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Can You Sue if Your Child is Injured in a School Bus Accident?

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Can You Sue if Your Child is Injured in a School Bus Accident?

If you or your child were involved in a school bus accident, you may be able to sue if you can prove that the accident was the result of negligence and that it caused your injuries. School bus accidents can be caused by driver error, school district negligence, school bus manufacturing defects, or poor roadway design.

Because of high standards in school bus safety, children riding school buses are less likely to get injured in an accident than passengers in other vehicles. In spite of this, four to six children are killed each year while traveling in school vehicles. In addition to children, pedestrians and other motorists are also at risk for injury from school bus collisions.

If your accident was caused by bus driver error or school district negligence, you may be able to sue the school district directly. Unlike accidents involving public transit buses or private buses, however, there are special rules affecting school bus accident compensation.

Suing the School District

In the U.S. there are “sovereign immunity” laws that protect government agencies (including school districts) from lawsuits. This lawsuit protection varies from state to state.

For example, Texas statutes recognize that a school district can only be held liable if the following conditions are met:

  • The damages or injuries were caused by the operation or use of a motor vehicle.
  • The employee responsible was on the clock and was performing duties for which he or she was hired.
  • The employee would be considered personally liable under Texas law.
  • The school district would be found liable if it were a private citizen or business.
  • The school district receives a notice about your claim within six months after the incident.
  • You file your lawsuit within two years after the incident.

If you’re considering filing a lawsuit, a lawyer can tell you about your state’s laws. Also what the statute of limitations is in your state. This is the period of time in which you are allowed to file a lawsuit. Once it passes, in most cases, you will not be able to sue. Click here for a consultation with Pintas if you’d like to learn more about your legal options.

Suing Other Parties

If the accident that caused injuries to you or your child does not meet the conditions listed above, there may be other avenues you can use to pursue compensation.

The Driver

If the bus driver’s negligence caused the crash, he or she may be held personally liable. It is also possible to pursue a civil case against the bus driver directly if he or she is not employed by the school district or if it is determined that the school district is not responsible for the accident.

In some cases, an accident involving a school bus may be the fault of a driver in another vehicle. For example, if your child was struck by a car that failed to stop for the red flashing lights as required by law. That driver could be sued for damages. Visit here to learn more about the state laws for school bus stopping to learn more about the laws where you live.

Other Negligent Parties

Other parties may be found liable for a school bus accident including:

  • The bus manufacturing company — If mistakes occurred when the bus was being built, you may be able to sue the bus manufacturing company. These issues could include design flaws, negligence to follow legal safety standards or faulty equipment.
  • Other government agencies — When an accident is caused by poor road design or maintenance, the party responsible for the roadway could be held liable for damages. This could be a state, county, or local government agency.

If you or your child was involved in a school bus accident, contact a personal injury attorney to review your options. Above all you could be entitled to compensation for any property damage. Or injuries you may have suffered. An experienced attorney can help guide you through the process.

 

 

 


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