On the morning of October 4, 2013, there was an accident between a school bus bringing special needs children to school and a car at an intersection in Clearwater. According to witnesses, the driver of the school bus ran a red light, hitting the car. The driver of the car was seriously injured, but the passengers and driver of the bus were not apparently injured. At this time, police are thinking about bringing charges up against the bus driver.
It is accidents like this that may leave you wondering who would be responsible if your children are passengers on a school bus that is involved in an accident and are injured as a result. Because Florida is a no-fault state, the responsibility for paying the expenses caused by a school bus accident are actually a few different parties and insurance companies, including the parent’s insurance company if they own a car.
Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that when someone is injured in an accident involving a vehicle, their insurance has to pay for medical bills, lost wages, replacement services such as house cleaning or pet care, and other direct bills related to the accident. This is the case even if it is a child riding in a school bus, as in the accident in Clearwater. The bills would be paid by that child’s parent’s insurance company. However, if the parent of a child does not own a car, the insurance company that insured the school bus, i.e., the school district’s insurance, would be the one that would pay the medical bills and other expenses of the child.
However, this changes when it comes to expenses such as pain and suffering damages if the child gets severely injured. If the child has a serious injury such as a broken bone or disfiguring scar, the parents would be able to sue whoever was at fault in the accident for damages such as pain and suffering. In the case of the accident in Clearwater, it looks like the school bus driver is going to be charged in the accident. This means that if one of the children in the bus were seriously or permanently injured, their parents will be able to sue the owner of the bus, most likely the school district in this case, along with the driver of the school bus personally. It is highly likely in this case that the school bus driver would be covered by the school district’s insurance because she was in the process of working for the district when the accident happened.
If, however, the driver of the other car was at fault, they would also be liable for injuries to students in the school bus as a result of the accident. In many cases both the driver of the bus and the driver of the car would be liable for pain and suffering damages in an accident like this. Determining fault in a school bus accident involves a thorough investigation done by an attorney’s office.
If your child has been injured in an accident while a passenger in a school bus, it is important to contact Brooks Law Group right away. Failing to contact an attorney can mean that evidence can be lost and deadlines could be missed. Call the Brooks Law Group today at 1-888-WE-MEAN-IT for a free consultation.