Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”
School buses are transporting our future generations, which is why it is no wonder that drivers of such buses have a heightened duty of care compared to other motor vehicles. The bus driver is not the only potentially liable party in auto collisions involving school buses, however. Every day, over 25 million children ride on school buses across the United States. Determining fault in a school bus accident is not always straightforward because most school buses in North Carolina are owned and operated by public or governmental agencies.
Personal injury claims brought against the government in North Carolina are subject to stricter guidelines and a shorter statute of limitations. That is why you need a Charlotte personal injury attorney to identify potentially liable parties and obtain compensation if someone you love has been injured in a school bus accident.
Three people suffered injuries in a school bus accident in northwest Charlotte. No children were aboard when the wreck happened just before 8:45 a.m. on Valleydale Road, according to WBTV. The bus was not servicing a school at the time of the collision.
When such accidents occur, establishing fault may be challenging because:
- Most school buses in North Carolina are owned and operated by public agencies
- There may be multiple at-fault parties
Liability could extend to the school entity as well as a local public entity under the following circumstances:
- There were maintenance issues
- The school bus was defective, or its equipment was faulty
- The lack of safety measures on the bus
- The bus was not operated with due care
- Traffic signs were inadequate or missing in the area
- Background checks were not appropriately conducted when hiring the driver
Operators of school buses that carry children and operate in North Carolina owe a heightened duty of care. State law recognizes the need for special protection of students and small children, which is why drivers of school buses must use extreme caution to protect their passengers from harm.
Potentially At-Fault Parties in School Bus Collisions
The list of parties who could possibly be held responsible for a school bus collision include:
- The school bus driver
- The school entity
- The bus manufacturer
- Parts manufacturer
- The driver of another vehicle
- A pedestrian who darted out into traffic
- Contractors for bus repair and maintenance
- A governmental agency responsible for roadway design and maintenance
- The school district
- Other parties that own or operate the bus
A lawyer will have to investigate whether all safety measures were followed by the driver and bus company. If the bus was overloaded or there was a lack of safety rules (e.g., students were allowed to stand or move between seats while the bus is in motion), then you may be able to sue the at-fault parties for aggravating your child’s injuries or failing to prevent them altogether.
Liability for a school bus crash depends on the specific laws and local ordinances in the area where the accident happened. You may want to discuss school bus accident liability with a Charlotte personal injury attorney. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to discuss fault in your case. Call us now at 704-370-2828 to speak with our lawyers to explore your legal options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and our new location in Monroe.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.
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