Can I Sue if My Child Is Hurt in a Houston School Bus Accident?
As a parent, your heart is filled with warmth when your child is grown up enough to take the school bus to school. However, when you hear news of a school bus crash, your heart skips a beat, hoping against hope that your child is safe.
In the unfortunate incident that your child gets hurt in a Houston school bus accident, you can sue the responsible party. Our bus accident lawyers at McDonald Worley can help you with this. This article explores who you can sue, how you can do it and what steps to take after a school bus crash.
Who Is Liable for a School Bus Crash?
Many people can be held responsible for a School bus crash. Sometimes, you can sue one person for the collision. Other times, you can sue more than one party for your child getting hurt in an accident. You would need to determine who to blame for the crash. This will help you figure out who to file your lawsuit against.
The following parties can be held liable for a School bus accident:
The Bus Driver
In some cases, the school bus driver is responsible for the auto accident, and you can sue them. There are several ways a driver can cause a crash. They could have driven recklessly or driven under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The driver could also have driven distracted.
In any of these cases, you can sue the driver for the crash. However, many times, the driver cannot afford to pay economic damages or compensate your family for the injury. In such cases, you can find out who owns and operates the school bus and sue them as well.
The School Bus Company
To sue the bus company, you need to prove that the bus company owed you a duty of care to your injured child and breached it. So, did the bus company ensure that the bus was safe enough to convey passengers? Was there something that needed fixing, and it wasn’t?
You also need to prove that your child sustained a bus accident injury. To prove this, you need to have medical records on hand. Finally, to sue the bus company, you need to verify that the child’s injuries resulted from the crash. If a third party were not involved, this would not be hard to prove.
The Other Driver
Sometimes, the accident is not the fault of a reckless, distracted, or intoxicated school bus driver. It could also be the fault of another negligent driver on the road. For example, someone could have run a red light and crashed into the school bus. Or they could have been driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and hit the school bus.
In such cases, you can sue the at-fault driver and claim damages from them instead. If you hire a personal injury lawyer, you can claim compensation for your child’s injuries and even claim non-economic damages for pain and suffering.
The Other Driver’s Employer
Just like the school bus driver’s company, you can also sue the at-fault driver’s employer for a school bus accident. The driver might not have enough to cover the damage sustained. Also, the at-fault vehicle could have caused the accident because of a malfunctioning part. As the employers have a duty to ensure that their vehicle is roadworthy, they might have to take on responsibility for the accident.
This usually happens when the other vehicle is commercial. It could be a commercial bus, a commercial truck, or a government-owned truck. In such cases, your lawyer can help you claim compensation from them.
Can I Sue the Government for a School Bus Crash?
Suing the government for a school bus crash is a complicated process. You should be able to sue the school district for the damage the crash caused to your child and family. This is because the school or the school district is the bus company’s employer. So, even though they might not have been directly involved in the accident, they bear some liability.
However, because the school district is a government entity, filing a lawsuit against them might prove hard. There are several steps you need to take. This includes filing a Notice of Claim that you have intentions to sue them. The school will have to respond to your personal injury claim within six (6) months of filing the claim. You should hire a personal injury attorney to help you through the process.
How To Sue for a School Bus Accident in Texas
School bus accidents are very unfortunate incidents. A large number of people get injured or killed during these crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 71 percent of the people killed in school bus crashes were not bus occupants. This means that it is likely that many other people who are not parents will also be trying to file a lawsuit because of the crash.
As such, the court might try to make all the claims just one lawsuit to enable them to handle it at once. You would need to contact a personal injury lawyer to help you sort through any issues that might cause. Your lawyer will represent the best of your interest.
Furthermore, you could sue on your child’s behalf if your child sustains a severe injury or died in the crash. However, if you would like to wait for your child to get older and sue the other party themselves, Texas law provides for that.
Some people decide to file an insurance claim instead of a lawsuit. While this might be an easier process, it might also mean that you need to accept a smaller compensation from the insurance company. If you’re unsure what legal action to take, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. An experienced attorney will advise you on the best steps to take.
What To Do if Your Child Was Hurt in a School Bus Accident
It is one of the most heartbreaking things in the world to get a call that your child got injured in an accident. We see all of these stories on the news, but we hope it does not happen to us or the people we know. But ultimately, it is sometimes inevitable.
Thus, if your child gets hurt in a school bus accident, there are a few steps you need to take.
- Seek Medical Attention for Your Child: Firstly, you need to make sure that your child is fine. Ensure that a doctor examines your child for any injuries. This is important because they could look physically fine but have internal injuries. You should also ensure that you keep all medical records from the examination as they will come in handy for your suit.
- Document the Incident: To do this, you might need to make a police report. Reach out to the school district, the bus owners, and anyone you can get information from. Ensure that you get as accurate details as possible.
- Contact a Personal Injury Attorney: To ensure that you receive compensation for any out-of-pocket expenses you make, you need to contact a lawyer. An experienced personal injury lawyer will evaluate the case and help you understand if you have a rightful claim.
Hire an Experienced Injury Lawyer in Houston
If your child gets hurt in a school bus accident, it can be a heartbreaking incident. This is why you should contact a professional injury lawyer in Houston. At McDonald Worley, we have experience handling helping countless families deal with traumatic incidents. We will review your case and help you work through the basics.
Our entire family of attorneys will help you understand what steps you have to take and what kind of compensation you can demand. We will represent you against the other party’s lawyers and ensure that you get a fair settlement. Are you ready to get started? Contact us today for a free consultation.