What To Do In The Event Of A School Bus Accident

By Peter DePaolis

One of the worst fears a parent has is that his or her child will be injured. With school back in session in Washington, D.C., buses are everywhere and the risk of an accident is always present. Parents deserve to know their legal rights in the event their children get hurt while riding on a school bus. Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP fights every day for the victims of school bus accidents and their families.

Steps Parents Should Take After A School Bus Accident

One of the first and most important steps that parents must take after a school bus accident is to try to understand why it happened. Knowing the reasons behind the accident will go a long way in establishing negligence, which is a key component of any personal injury claim. School bus accidents can happen for a number of reasons, including:

  • The driver or a motorist was speeding or violating other traffic laws
  • The driver or a motorist was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Rowdy or disruptive children on the bus created a distraction for the driver
  • Too many children on the bus (overloaded)
  • Poor weather or other conditions like heavy traffic or bad roads
  • Inadequate training or experience of the bus driver
  • Poor maintenance or defective parts used on the bus

Understanding these reasons, and others, can also help the child’s parents identify potential parties to bring into the lawsuit. School bus accidents can involve these and other possible defendants:

  • Bus drivers
  • School districts and other governmental entities
  • Bus repair or maintenance crews
  • Road construction crews

Sometimes multiple parties will share responsibility for an accident. However, your case may be complicated by the fact that a governmental unit such as a public school entity may be liable. Suing the government for a personal injury is different from suing a private party, so be sure your attorney understands the unique challenges that come with these cases.

Another important step will be quantifying your child’s damages. Primarily, that will include medical bills. Depending on the severity of your child’s accident, the medical bills could be substantial. And they may not be totally finalized by the time your case goes to trial or settlement.

Your child may need future medical treatments such as surgeries, rehabilitation, or even physical therapy. These expenses could stretch months or even years into the future. But you only have one chance to either settle for an appropriate amount or take your case in front of a jury. If your case settles or is decided and it turns out medical expenses were much higher than anticipated, you won’t get to ask for more compensation for your child.

Hiring the right attorney, therefore, means hiring someone who understands how to estimate these and other future damages your child may suffer. This is where expert witnesses come in. Expert witnesses are professionals in various fields related to personal injury lawsuits. For example, a medical expert witness can explain to a court, based on your child’s current injuries, what sort of treatment he or she will likely need in the future. Our law firm has an extensive network of expert witnesses we rely on for testimony concerning medical and other damages.

Contact Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP Today

If someone’s negligent actions have caused a school bus accident that hurt your child, it’s time to talk to an attorney. Quick action can help you effectively demand the compensation your child needs to recover. Turn to the experienced personal injury attorneys of Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP. We can schedule your consultation today.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.