School Bus Accidents
School buses are some of the most recognizable vehicles in the United States, and “school bus yellow” stands out to people of all ages. With the school year stretching from August until May, there are countless opportunities for school bus accidents to occur. If you or your child has been injured in a school bus accident, contact our office today to discuss a bodily injury claim with a bus accident lawyer. Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz is the largest plaintiff’s personal injury law firm based in Tennessee, and our Memphis school bus accident attorneys have the experience and resources to properly investigate automobile accidents and leave no stone unturned in pursuit of fair compensation for our clients.Seeking Recovery for Injuries Suffered in a School Bus Crash
Absent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulations, the federal government essentially leaves it up to the individual states to determine the requirements for school bus drivers. In Tennessee, for instance, the requirements to drive a bus are much more lenient than one might think. In fact, a person must only be 21 years of age and possess a commercial driver’s license (CDL) with a P (16 or more passengers) and S (school bus) endorsement to drive a school bus. School bus drivers must also take four hours of driver training each year in order to maintain their licensure.
School districts typically determine transportation for their students. For example, Shelby County Schools contracts with Durham School Services, a private company, to transport over 23,000 students back and forth to school and home each weekday. These 330+ school buses travel approximately 30,000 miles each day. Bus safety inspection standards are typically set at the state level.
School bus accidents occur almost on a daily basis during the school year, in spite of special driver and safety requirements. The party responsible for your child’s injuries after a bus accident will first depend on whose negligence caused or contributed to the accident. A school bus accident lawyer in Memphis can help you determine what happened. Did the school bus driver commit a driving error? Was the bus driver unfit for a job transporting students? Was the bus being operated in an unsafe condition? Answers to all of these questions will be necessary to determine the responsible party or parties.
First, let’s suppose the bus driver’s excessive speed caused a collision. In this scenario, you should be able to show that the bus driver acted negligently and should be held responsible for the accident. If so, you can pursue the bus driver directly. In many cases, the employer may also be vicariously liable for any injuries caused by the negligent bus driver if the bus driver was acting within the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident. This means that you may be able to pursue a claim against the bus company or the school system directly.
Next, let’s suppose the bus driver did not complete the required four hours of training and his inexperience or poor training contributed to him to losing control of the vehicle. In that situation, the employer may be responsible for compensating you. The bus company or the school system will typically be held responsible for not properly training its drivers in accordance with state law. Now let’s suppose the brakes failed on the bus, which caused the crash. Suppose that further investigation revealed the bus had not been inspected in over three years. In that case, the school system or bus company could be held responsible by our Memphis school bus accident lawyers for any crashes caused by inadequate maintenance.
Bus accidents can result in dozens of injured students. In any of the above scenarios, a school bus accident victim will be entitled to seek compensation for his or her losses, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and loss of enjoyment of life by asserting one or a combination of the theories of negligence above. In determining damages, relevant information could be how much school the victim missed, whether the victim’s grades suffered, and whether he or she was unable to participate in extracurricular activities. An experienced school bus accident lawyer in the Memphis area can assist you in developing the damages portion of the case.Discuss Your Claim with a School Bus Accident Attorney in Memphis Today
When parents send their children off to school, they expect their children to return back home safe and sound at the end of the day. If your child has sustained injuries in a school bus crash, call Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz today so that one of our attorneys can investigate potential claims against the bus driver, the school system, the bus company, and the driver of the other vehicle, depending on the facts. Our firm has been handling personal injury cases for more than 25 years, and we have a skilled team of more than 30 lawyers and 120 support staff members assisting injured parties in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Jackson, Meridian, Tupelo, Columbus, Grenada, Starkville, Oxford, Hayti, and Caruthersville, as well as other cities across Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Kentucky. Call us toll-free at 800-529-4004 or complete our online form to set up a free consultation with an automobile accident lawyer today. NST is the way to go.