Many people rely on school buses for transportation to and from school. Parents also rely on school buses to get their children to and from school safely. Unfortunately, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), from 2007 to 2016, there was an average of 128 school transportation-related fatalities.
If you or your family member was injured or killed due to a school bus accident, you can sue for a school bus accident. New York school bus accident lawyers can help you start your claim today. These cases can be complex, but we will guide you through each step.
You Can Sue Multiple Parties for a School Bus Accident
While you can sue for damages if you were in a school bus accident, it can sometimes be difficult to determine who to sue. Therefore, it’s critical that you and your lawyer accurately determine who was responsible for the school bus accident before filing a lawsuit.
There are multiple at-fault parties that you can sue in a school bus accident claim. These include:
The Bus Driver
The bus driver has a duty to protect students throughout the bus ride. If the driver’s negligence caused the bus accident to occur, you can sue them for damages you sustained.
The School District
If the school district’s negligence contributed to the accident, you can file a claim against them. For example, if school should have gotten canceled due to poor weather and poor weather caused the accident, the school district can get held responsible.
The Bus Manufacturer
Vehicle defects aren’t uncommon and frequently happen every year. Vehicle manufacturers have a duty to inform the public of any defects and recall parts promptly. If the school bus accident was due to faulty parts, the bus manufacturer could be held responsible for the damages done as a result.
The School Bus Company
The company that owns the school buses has a duty to maintain the school buses and keep them in good working order. If a lack of maintenance caused the accident, you can sue the company and hold them responsible for any damages.
Recover Financial Compensation for Various Damages
As stated in the New York Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP) §214, you generally have three years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit. Therefore, if you were in a school bus-related accident within the last three years, the law entitles you to file a claim to compensate for your injuries and damages.
You can recover compensation for the following damages in a school bus accident claim:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Wrongful death
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disability or disfigurement
There is also a chance that you can recover an award for punitive damages as well. For example, if the at-fault party was intentionally or egregiously negligent in their actions, you may qualify. A lawyer can help you figure out if you can receive punitive damages when you sue.
Don’t Accept the First Settlement Offer
When you sue for damages, you should always try to pursue the maximum amount of compensation available. However, remember that the defendant and the insurance companies aren’t going to be on your side.
While it may be tempting, you shouldn’t accept the first settlement offer. The settlement they offer you is a low ball amount designed to get you to absolve any responsibility of compensation from them. School bus accidents, while rare, are serious, and you deserve to receive a proper settlement.
How Can I Start Filing My School Bus Accident Claim?
Knowing what to do if you’ve been hurt in a school bus accident can help you protect the value of your claim. After a school bus accident that was caused by negligence, you should:
- Seek prompt medical treatment.
- Gather as much evidence about your accident as possible.
- Speak to an attorney to begin filing your claim.
You should avoid speaking with any representatives from the at-fault party involved or any insurance companies. You don’t want to jeopardize your chances of winning a fair settlement that reflects all of your damages.
Let Morelli Law Firm Handle Your School Bus Accident Case
With more than $1 billion recovered for our clients and many successful cases, the lawyers at Morelli Law Firm can help you fight back and win against the parties responsible for your school bus accident. Our team can help you gather evidence and build a strong case. Allow us to help you today with a free consultation.