It’s the phone message no parent wants to hear: “There’s been a school bus accident.”
Your chest pounds and your mind races. Whether your child is preschool age or a teenager, as you dash out the door to the crash site, you fear the worst. You may try to remind yourself that school buses are the safest way to transport students. But what if your child is the unlucky statistical outlier who suffers an injury in a school bus crash?
When the dust settles and your child gets the medical treatment he or she needs, your thoughts may turn to holding the at-fault parties accountable for the incident. That’s when an experienced Jackson, MS school bus accident lawyer can help.
Contact Derek Hall P.C. as soon as possible for a free claim review and discussion about your legal options.
Types of School Bus Accidents
School bus accidents include more than just traffic collisions. They can take other forms as well. For instance:
- Falls while getting on or off the bus
- Trips and falls while onboard the bus, perhaps due to a dangerous condition like a defect in the flooring
- A pedestrian or bicyclist struck by a school bus
The reason school buses are so safe compared with other forms of transportation is because they’re the most regulated. In addition, they’re designed with safety features other vehicles don’t have. For this reason, the greatest risk involving a school bus is not while riding the bus. It’s’ when approaching or leaving one.
Can I Sue the School if My Child Was Injured on the School Bus?
The answer may be yes, and it depends on the circumstances. A public school district is considered a government entity. This provides immunity or protection from lawsuits in many instances. In the event of an injury related to a school bus accident, how the crash itself happened will dictate whether you can file a claim against the school district.
In the event that another car or truck hit the bus and your child was injured, the other driver is may be considered at fault depending on what happened. If so, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver.
Statute of Limitations Is Shorter When a Claim Is Against a Government Entity
Most personal injury claims and lawsuits have to be filed within two years of the date of injury. When filing a claim against a government entity, such as a school, the process is different. First, you must file a notice of a claim with an official from the school, usually within 60-90 days. Once you have done that, then a formal personal injury claim can be filed.
There are only certain instances when a claim can become a lawsuit. This occurs if the school denies the claim, or if they fail to take any action within three to six months. The length of time varies from state to state, and even city by city. This is an important consideration.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Child’s Personal Injury Claim?
A school bus accident involving your child can leave you in shock. The first priority is your child’s safety. Focus on obtaining the best medical care for your child. It’s wise to have your child see a doctor, even if there are no apparent injuries right after the incident.
Some injuries may not be visible immediately. Note any symptoms that may need further evaluation.
Make careful notes about all information provided to you by the school district, police department, or other sources. Keep copies of any documents you receive.
As soon as possible, contact a school bus accident attorney for guidance. An attorney can take immediate, high-priority steps to protect your child’s legal rights. This involves investigating the accident scene, evaluating liability and placing parties on notice of injury claims.
Going up against a public school district, government agencies and large insurance companies call for an attorney with relevant experience and solid skills in negotiation. It’s important to hire the right personal injury attorney.
Our Lawyers Are Ready to Help Your Family After a School Bus Accident
Accidents that cause serious injuries can make it extremely difficult for your child. In fact, it may have consequences for your whole family. You need an attorney who understands what you and your child are going through and the impact it’s having on your quality of life.
The locals know Derek L. Hall, PC will stand by your side whether the accident occurred in the Jackson area or elsewhere in Mississippi.
We have the resources and the passion to address your child’s immediate and long-term needs, with the goal of making them whole again for the rest of their life. Call now for your free consultation with experienced professionals who care.