All parents worry about their kids when they lose sight of them. Many parents depend on the state’s school bus network, especially if they live in the outer suburbs or in rural parts of the state. The school bus regularly picks up kids, takes them to school safely and brings them back again at the end of the day. This allows parents to organize their working lives and avoids the natural congestion that can occur at the school gate before and after school if parents do the shuttling in their own vehicle.
Parents naturally worry about what happens if the school bus is involved in an accident and their child is injured. This isn’t common, but it certainly does happen from time to time. It’s not just about blaming someone for the accident. There are very real financial concerns when a child or children are injured. Bus accidents can lead to serious injuries and families may not have insurance or enough insurance to pay for the medical treatment needed. The injuries may mean that one or another of the parents may have to take time off work to look after their injured child. There may be long term expenses if the child is badly injured. All this costs money the parents may not have.
For these reasons it is important that the cause of the accident and therefore any injuries is carefully investigated. If negligence was involved, then a personal injury claim may be pursued so that compensation can be recovered to help pay for the financial cost of the injury.
Bus accidents are never exactly the same. A complicating factor is that the bus driver is often the only adult on the bus. Parents, who would normally be responsible for filing a claim on behalf of their injured child, would not have been present to act as witnesses to the accident. In many bad bus accidents, it is often the bus driver who is seriously injured or killed as a result of the accident, removing the only adult witness on the bus from any subsequent investigation.
If your child or children were injured in a bus accident, it is vital that you talk to an experienced personal injury attorney about the accident and the possibility of filing a claim. A good attorney will ensure that the crash is carefully investigated so that the cause is examined and any negligent party identified. Successful personal injury claims depend on proving negligence.
Two recent school bus accidents in Tennessee reveal the need for a proper crash investigation.
The most recent incident happened in Greene County. It involved three vehicles: a mini school bus carrying two school children and an aide in addition to the driver; a van with a single occupant and a truck, again with only the driver inside. The cause of the accident, according to an initial investigation, appears to be a failure on part of the school bus driver to yield the right of way to the truck on turning. The bus hit the truck, causing both vehicles to be thrown over to the road side. As the two vehicles moved out of control, they hit the lighter van, which rolled and ended up upside down. The bus driver, one child and the aide were all taken to hospital with injuries. The van driver died. In this case, a preliminary assessment would suggest that the bus driver was most at fault.
Another serious bus accident happened in Meigs County last October. This time the school bus involved was larger with many more school children onboard. The bus was traveling on Highway 58, when it was hit by a truck coming from the opposite direction. The bus driver and one of the school children were killed and several other children injured, one critically. The truck driver escaped with minor injuries. In this accident, the investigation was carried out by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The report released suggests that the truck driver momentarily lost control of the truck, apparently when he was looking at one of the truck’s mirrors. As he attempted to get the truck back in control he crossed the center line and struck the bus.
There are many combinations and permutations of these sorts of accidents and they are typically multi-factorial. The only major consistent aspect of each school bus accident is that the passengers – the school kids and any adults with them – are very unlikely to be to blame for the accident. Piecing together what went wrong is essential and evidence will be a crucial part of any attempt to obtain compensation to help pay for the injuries sustained by your child. The best advice is to seek legal advice as soon as you can. Choose a firm of attorneys with proven experience and results like Keith Williams in East Nashville.
A serious school bus accident is for most parents a nightmare scenario. Bus accidents are often due to more than one causal factor. If your child has been a victim of a school bus accident, you should contact a dedicated and experienced child injury attorney at the Keith Williams Law Group in Nashville. You can contact Keith Williams at (615) 313-3999.