School Bus Accident Settlements – Fact From Fiction
Parents who send their children to school often have several things running through their mind. There is the usual, did you send them with money for lunch? Did they do all their homework? Did you sign the permission slip that was needed?
While these are everyday worries, there are also those more serious worries that parents have.
The main worry being whether your child is safe while at school. And for parents who let their children ride the bus, they often worry about this bus being involved in an accident.
This worry is even more evident when it seems that when you turn on the television there is always a report of a bus being involved in some type of accident, sometimes these are the fault of the driver, but other times it is the fault of another driver.
When a Bus Accident Happens, Who is Responsible?
One of the main questions that parents have is who is responsible for their children when they are on the bus? This is a common question simply because you think of your child being on a bus, yet not on the school grounds.
However, this does not mean that the school is not responsible, as they are. Even if the children are on the bus for their morning commute and have not stepped foot inside the school building, the school is still responsible for their safety while on the bus. This is due to the bus being an extension of school property, so the same rules apply.
While the school may be contracting their bus service and the drivers, ultimately the school is responsible for how these bus drivers are driving. In many cases, drivers are asked to leave their service if the school feels that the driver is endangering those children.
It is the responsibility of the school to ensure that each driver is one that is going to be safe with the children and who does their best to avoid accidents.
When a Bus Accident Happens…Then What?
What happens when a bus accident occurs? When parents are informed that their child was involved in a bus accident, they automatically worry.
They are more worried about the health of their child, rather than who is responsible. This is understanding. However, when your child is at home and is fine, you may start to wonder what happens now.
In June of 2016, a school bus had an accident that involved hitting a tree and the bus caught on fire. The students were not seriously injured, and the bus driver was not either. However, once the accident was investigated, the bus driver was charged for careless driving.
The authorities had determined that the accident was due to the bus driver’s careless driving. This implies that if the driver had taken more care, then this accident could have been avoided.
Those kids who were on this bus would not have future issues with riding a bus since their foundation of trust has been broken, and parents would not have to worry as much about their children being on the bus.
This is just one case that shows what happens when a bus accident occurs.
Can You Sue the School?
For many parents, especially those who have a student that is injured when they were on this bus, they may wonder about filing a lawsuit against the school. This is an option, and many times this is the only way that parents feel as though they get some justice for their child.
Since the school is responsible, they are the person that needs to be sued. There can be secondary lawsuits against the driver, but this is not as common as most people think.
In most cases, you are suing the school for negligence. When a bus driver is involved in an accident and they are found to be at fault, this is showing negligence on behalf of the school. Did they have prior knowledge that this driver was not that well in these situations?
Perhaps there had already been complaints about how this driver was driving? These are issues that the lawyer will have to discuss to determine what type of negligence has taken place in order to cause this bus accident.
Remember, that a school can try to dismiss these charges. However, in order to do this, they are going to have to prove that they were not liable for this accident. For example, they had no idea that the bus driver was a bad driver.
They cannot be held liable for a bus accident that was not their fault. This is important to remember, which is why you have to wait for an investigation to prove who was at fault before filing a lawsuit.
School Bus Accident Settlements
When it comes to suing a school or a bus driving company for this bus accident, they are more than likely going to offer a settlement. Not many schools want to go to court over this. Instead, they will offer a cash settlement that often takes into consideration the pain and suffering, medical bills and other damages.
Is this settlement something that you should take? This is something that you will have to discuss with your personal injury attorney.
Your attorney will take into consideration the damages that you are claiming and the money that you have paid for any injuries that resulted from this accident. Once this has been calculated, this will give you a better idea of whether this settlement is one that you should accept or not.
Remember that settlements can go back and forth for some time before both parties are satisfied with the end result. This is not going to be something that is over within a few days. What happens if you decline each settlement?
If you do decline the settlement offers that are given, you do have the option of going to court. When this type of issue is taken to court, both sides will present their case and a judge will decide on the outcome.
A lawyer can give you a better idea of whether taking the settlement or risking court is the best option for your particular case.
For example, if a person were to get hit by a school bus, they probably have a case that could go to court and could win, as there is no reason that a school bus driver should hit someone on the road. In other situations, if the driver was not responsible and no kids were hurt, it could be harder to get the judge to side with you.
For those who are dealing with a school bus accident, we understand the frustrations that you are feeling. This can be heartbreaking, devastating and simply stressful. You may feel as though you are trying to climb a mountain with no end in sight.
However, we can make it easier.
At Conte Jaswal, we have helped thousands of clients who are suing for a personal injury case. And we can also handle any type of school bus accident and holding those who are liable so that justice is brought to the case. Just call us today to talk about your options.
Contact us today for a FREE Consultation.