Can I Sue if my Child was Injured in a School Bus Accident?
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on Oct 16, 2017 in Bus Accidents
If your child was injured in a school bus accident, you might be wondering if you can file a lawsuit against the school, the driver of the bus or another party that could be liable for the crash.
This is one of the reasons you should strongly consider meeting with a trusted Milwaukee car accident lawyer. An attorney can help determine whether you can file a lawsuit over your child's school bus accident and pursue fair compensation for medical expenses and other damages. A lawyer can also manage every aspect of your case, if you are able to pursue one.
Below, the car accident attorneys at our firm discuss some of the main aspects of a school bus accident claim, including who to file a claim against to state laws affecting these cases.
Liability for a School Bus Accident
There are many different parties that could be held liable for the bus accident your child was involved in, including the:
- Driver – Wisconsin classifies school buses as common carriers, which means bus companies and drivers are legally obligated to exercise the highest degree of care to ensure the safety of passengers and others outside of the bus. This means these entities could be held responsible for injuries to children that occur when they are getting on or off the bus.
- Owner of the school bus – The common carrier law also holds school bus drivers liable for exercising a high degree of care to help prevent accidents.
- School or school district – If the school or school district owns the bus, it could be held liable for accidents caused by failing to properly maintain and repair the bus. The school could also be held liable for hiring an unqualified driver.
- Manufacturer of the bus – Manufacturers have a legal duty to ensure the bus is manufactured so it is safe and does not create an unreasonable risk of harm to the occupants and other vehicles on the road.
- Any other drivers involved in the crash – Drivers can be held liable for injuries they cause by not following the rules of the road or engaging in reckless driving, such as drunk driving or distracted driving.
Deadlines for Filing a Claim
You have a limited amount of time to pursue a school bus accident lawsuit because of Wisconsin's statute of limitations. This is a deadline for a filing a claim, and once it passes, you will not be able to file one.
The statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is three years from the date of the accident. This means that if you do not file a lawsuit within three years of the accident, you will be prohibited from doing so.
However, filing a school bus accident lawsuit against the school district is a little bit more complicated than filing a claim against another party. This is because school districts are considered to be political subdivisions. This means these claims are subject to notice requirements under Wisconsin law.
The law states you cannot file a claim against any state officer, employee or agent unless your attorney provides a notice of claim within 120 days of the accident. The notice of claim must state the time, date and location of the event giving rise to the injury claim.
The law also states that the amount of damages recoverable from a state officer, employee or agent cannot exceed $250,000.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney about a School Bus Lawsuit
Parents expect their children to be safe on the bus they take to and from school. Unfortunately, this is not always the case as the negligence of the driver or another party could lead to an injury.
If this happens, you should contact an attorney right away to discuss your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses and other damages suffered by your child.
The Milwaukee car accident lawyers at our firm have decades of combined experience in a wide variety accident cases. We are prepared to aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries.