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Child Hurt in a School Bus Accident: Who Pays the Bill?

Posted on: February 10, 2017 by Edwards & Patterson Law

school bus accident

When a child is hurt in a school bus accident, who pays the bills will depend on liability. First of all, it is important to look at what role the school plays in keeping children safe. The role of the school is, as you would expect, to provide a safe environment for children. That responsibility extends to all school related facilities, including school buses.

However, the school must be shown to have been negligent is some way, in order for liability to be established. The fact that a child is injured in an accident, alone, does not mean that the school is liable. It is therefore the job of the court to decide whether the school was negligent, before they can be held liable for damages.

Negligence in School Bus Accident

When your child is at school, the school has a duty of care towards your child. By extension, that means that all members of staff also have a duty of care. As such, it is important that the school has reasonable measures in place to prevent accidents from happening. However, the word “reasonable” is very important here.

If your child slips and falls in the cafeteria, for instance, you do not automatically have a case for negligence. If the spill just happened prior to the slip, that would not provide a reasonable timeframe for someone to clean it up. However, if your child trips over a broken floor tile, which has been reported but not addressed, the school has been negligent through inaction.

Assigning negligence, essentially, comes down to proving that one of three factors existed. First and foremost, the school should have sufficient supervision and protection in place for students. Secondly, teachers and other members of staff should exercise reasonable care, so that students aren’t injured. Lastly, if it is established that the potential for an accident was foreseeable, the school has acted negligently.

Claiming Against the School

Assuming that the school is in some way responsible for your child’s school bus accident, it is important to understand how pursuing a claim will work. Claiming against a public school means that you are essentially suing a school district. Bringing a claim against a public school is not the same as claiming against a private school. The statute of limitations – or the time you have to launch a claim – is two years.

If you are claiming against a private school, however, you can pursue a personal injury claim. In many cases, your personal injury lawyer will negotiate directly with the school’s insurance provider. In either case, you may receive a settlement without bringing the case to litigation.

Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

Due to the complicated nature of claiming against a school, whether public or private, you should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer. The personal injury lawyers of Edwards-Patterson are experts in getting to the bottom of who was negligent, when a child is involved in a school bus accident.

Don’t allow the statute of limitations to run out, before you seek the compensation you deserve. You should not have to foot the bill for medical costs which resulted from the negligence of the school. Give us a call and we will get the ball rolling before the statute of limitations runs out.

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  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
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