The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that school buses are the safest way to transport children to and from school. But when a school bus accident happens, who is liable? Is it the bus driver, the private company the driver works for, the school district or someone else? You may also wonder if you’re able to file a personal injury lawsuit against a public school district.
School bus accidents can also include falls when entering or leaving the bus, falls on the bus possibly due to a defect or dangerous condition, and a pedestrian or cyclist that is hit by a school bus. After a school bus accident, parents may want to file a claim against the school or the school district. Most schools are part of a district or public education system run by a city, town, county or other state government. These entities can have what is known as sovereign immunity and benefit from certain legal protections. As such, if you want to file a claim, you will need to comply with a strict administrative claim process from the beginning.
Commonly, in most states, this means that you will have to file a Notice of Claim with the appropriate government agency. The Notice alerts the entity that you intend to hold the district or government accountable and will file a claim for monetary damages. The Notice of Claim must be filed soon after the accident and should describe the accident, the nature of the government’s role in causing it and how much monetary compensation you are looking for. The government will then have a certain amount of time to respond to the Notice and whether to take any action regarding the Notice. If no action is taken or the claim is denied, the lawsuit can be filed in a court of law.
If the accident was caused by the negligence of a private school or one of its drivers, the Notice of Claim process may not be necessary as you are able to make a claim against the school or company directly. In some cases, if an accident occurs because of defective equipment or a mechanical failure that makes the bus unsafe, the potential lawsuit can become even more complicated.
Don’t attempt to handle a personal injury lawsuit on your own. Find skilled, knowledgeable and effective representation at Marvin A. Cooper, PC. We are located at 245 Main Street in White Plains, New York. You can call us at 914-357-8911 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.