Child Hit by School Bus Critically Injured
A six-year-old boy was rushed to Norton Children’s Hospital with serious head injuries after being hit by a school bus. The accident happened Thursday, September 19, 2019, at Girard Drive and Girard Court near the Watterson Expressway.
According to police, the boy got off at the wrong stop and then walked in front of the bus to cross the street when the bus hit him. It’s not clear if he knew he was getting off too soon. Officials say that he was awake and talking to officers when he was transported.
Other children were on the bus and were released to their parents. The accident is still under investigation, and it’s unclear if any charges will be filed.
School Bus Accidents
Each year, around 130 kids die in school bus accidents, with the majority of the fatalities occurring outside the bus. When inside the bus, the kids are relatively safe because of the size of the bus. A typical school bus weighs between 25,000 to 30,000 lbs., and will absorb a significant impact form a passenger car.
However, once outside, the size and weight become deadly as even a slight bump can severely injure someone. According to a study from Stanford Children’s Health, around 17,000 kids are treated in trauma centers each year from school bus accidents.
Of these, around 40 percent happen outside the bus and 60 percent happen inside involving another motor vehicle. However, of the serious injuries, most of these happen while the child is getting on or off the bus.
School Bus Accident Liability
So, who pays when a child is injured or killed in an accident involving a school bus or at a school bus stop? As in all personal injury cases, the driver or person who was negligent will have to pay for the damages.
There are significant penalties for motor vehicle drivers who fail to stop for a school bus when its lights are activated and stopped at a drop off or pick up spot. However, even with those, some drivers get distracted or attempt to get by and end up injuring a child. When this happens, the driver’s insurance will pay for the damages.
Can you Sue the Bus Driver?
When the fault is the bus drivers, then the child’s guardian or representative can sue the school district on behalf of the child. Even though the fault was the driver’s, the school district is ultimately responsible for the actions of their bus drivers. Typically, the state of Kentucky has legal protection against lawsuits, however, there are exceptions, and a child getting hit by a school bus is one of these.
Making a claim against the school district is more complicated than a typical personal injury lawsuit. In Kentucky, the law that allows some lawsuits against the school district limits the damages to $200,000 and doesn’t allow for pain and suffering damages.
There are also different forms to fill out depending on the county, city or school district. So while suing the school district is possible, it should only be done by someone with experience in such suits.
Contact a Louisville Personal Injury Attorney
Accident victims often wonder if they need an attorney, and the answer is almost always yes. The insurance company agents have years of experience and are good at their job which is to pay you as little as possible or nothing at all. You need someone just as experienced to help you level the field. Talk to someone you can trust to be on your side and get you what is yours under the law.
The attorneys at Kaufman and Stigger, PLLC, have that knowledge and a combined 100 years’ experience in helping clients get the results they deserve. To discuss your case, call Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC today, at (800) 937-8443 or click here to contact them online.