A school bus is one of the ways your child can get to school and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it's one of the safest.
And while this may be true, however, school bus accidents happen. Sometimes the accident may be caused by other drivers, poor weather, the bus driver themselves, or any other reason. No matter how the accident happened, children injured in such accidents have the right to collect a settlement for their past, present, and future losses.
In situations like these, parents often wonder if they can sue if their child gets injured in a school bus accident.
To put it shortly, yes, parents can sue on behalf of their child.
There are many rules for such cases and it's best if you start the process with a New Mexico personal injury attorney
. Make sure they have experience with school bus accidents.
Rules for Suing a School District
School bus accidents can happen because of the negligence of the district that may be responsible for the operation of the bus. If you're a parent of a child injured in a school bus accident, you should be aware that bringing a legal claim against a state agency like a public school district, will be different than bringing a claim against a private party (another driver or a school bus manufacturer, for example).
There are limits on how long victims have to file a claim. Parents need to act fast after the school bus accident to protect their child's right to recovery.
School Bus Accidents Can Cause Severe Injuries
School bus accidents involve enormous physical force that results in severe injury. This mainly happens when the school bus rolls over or gets significant damage to the exterior parts.
The following are common injuries that students may sustain in a school bus accident:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Crush injuries
In most cases, these injuries that children suffer in a school bus accident can have long-lasting effects that may impact their lives into adulthood and their future. In some cases, the child may develop a long-term physical or cognitive disability that may stop them from live independent lives and work.
The child should get proper medical care. However, medical care may be long and expensive, and these expenses will be covered by a compensation claim.
Who Can You Sue?
Here are some people and organizations parents can sue after a school bus accident:
- The other driver - If the accident happened between a school bus and another vehicle, in most cases the other driver is at fault for the accident.
- The bus driver - You can also sue the bus driver if they were negligent. Negligent bus drivers can also cause the accident; the driver might be legally responsible if any child gets injured while getting on or off the bus.
- School bus company - You can sue the company; they are responsible to maintain a high standard of care.
- School district - The school district's negligence can cause or contribute to the accident, so parents may sue them as well. Talk to your attorney about this decision, since this is a complex area of the law.
- Bus manufacturer - If the bus had faulty parts, parents may sue the manufacturer.
Don't Let Time Go By After The School Bus Accident
Once the accident happens, it's natural that the parents worry and can't think of anything else but their child's health and recovery.
However, parents must act fast. Since such accidents involve school districts, the physical evidence may get lost quickly after the accident. To protect your child's rights, consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
For children involved in such accidents that sustained severe injuries, there's always a chance that they may need lifelong medical care and treatment. This may affect the child's future life.
The last thing you want is to face these huge expenses. Act fast and let an attorney review your case, and help you file a compensation claim.
These cases may take a longer time and filing a claim against a government agency may be a complex thing to do without an attorney.
Trying to get the claim by yourself may be stressful; all the rules in the legislature that are put in place to protect the State are often at the expense of the injured child.
Get your case reviewed by our team at FBD Law