Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that students are 70 times more likely to get to school safely when being transported by school bus, the reality is, an accident involving a bus can occur at any given time. While some incidents happen when a child is being driven on a school bus, others occur when they are exiting or entering their bus. If your child suffered an injury in any type of school bus-related accident, you are likely wondering what your legal rights are as a parent—and Ballard Law, PLLC is here to help you understand them.
Filing an Injury Claim After a School Bus Accident
If the injuries your child suffered has led to them having to make adjustments in their lifestyle (i.e. they are restricted from playing sports or engaging in other activities they once enjoyed doing), they may be entitled to recover compensation. If their injuries require them to undergo medical care, therapy, etc., then you may also be entitled to recover compensation to cover these expenses as well.
But, before you can file a claim and ask to be awarded money to make up for you and your child’s losses, you must first identify who the liable party(ies) is and whether they were engaging in negligent behavior at the time of the accident. It is important to understand that there could be more than one party who is responsible for causing the accident so it is best to identify all potential parties. And this is something Jackson, MS personal injury attorney William E. Ballard can help you with.
To give you an idea as to who your claim may need to be filed against, below we have outlined a few parties who may have contributed to the accident.
- The school district.
If the bus your child was riding on was being operated in Hinds County, then your claim may need to be directed to the Hinds County School District. While the bus driver may have contributed to the accident occurring, the school district is typically the one that is held responsible for covering incidents that involve school buses. The school district may also be held liable if a bus driver was permitted to operate a school bus without undergoing the proper exams.
The Hinds County School District requires that all school bus drivers pass a physical exam, which includes a drug screening, prior to them being hired and thereafter. In the event the school district failed to test the bus driver to ensure he/she was physically able to operate a school bus and the driver caused an accident as a result of the medical condition they suffered from, then the school district may be who your claim needs to be filed against.
- The bus driver.
In some cases, it may not be the school district that is liable for the accident but instead, the bus driver. If the driver was engaging in negligent or reckless behavior that was ultimately the reason for the accident, then the district may deny liability. In this case, your claim might then need to be filed against the school bus driver.
- Another motorist.
Now, if another motorist caused a collision with the school bus your child was riding on or struck your child while they were getting on or off their bus, then your claim may need to be filed against the driver. In some cases, you may be able to recover the compensation you are entitled to from the driver’s insurer, however, if their policy limits aren’t enough to cover your expenses, then you may need to go a step further and file a personal injury lawsuit. This is something that will need to be discussed with a Jackson, MS personal injury lawyer who has experience with handling bus accident cases.
Contact a Jackson personal injury attorney in your area today.
School bus accidents are complex matters that often require assistance from an experienced attorney. Aside from identifying who the liable party is, you are also going to be responsible for proving in what ways the liable party was negligent. And if more than one party is found to be responsible for causing the bus accident, then this can become extremely complicated to do.
Therefore, if you are seeking compensation for your child’s pain and suffering, medical bills, loss of enjoyment of life, etc., we encourage you to contact our office to learn more about how we can help you successfully do this. Our accident law firm located in Jackson, MS has handled many types of injury cases and we understand how life-altering an accident can be for you and your child. That is why we are here to help you understand your rights and how you can go about exercising them.
To find out more about what our firm can do for you, contact us now at 769-572-5111.
You can reach Ballard Law, PLLC at:
108 S. President Street
Jackson, MS 39201