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What is a Child is Injured on a Public School Bus? Legal Rights and Responsibilities

By David Wolf, Attorney

School Bus CrashDuring the school year, millions of children are transported to and from school in yellow school buses and similar transportation.  Unfortunately for some of these children, a school bus accident results in serious personal injuries and even death.  Like other driving situations, a school bus driver has a duty of reasonable care while transporting children.  If a school bus driver is negligent, then a case or claim can be pursued against the school district, city, and / or county.   It should be noted that the notice requirements are different for public schools and there may be limitations or caps on the damages recoverable by a child when the child is injured due to the negligence of a public school bus driver.  Because of the complexity of these cases, it is important that a parent contact a Child Injury Lawyer for advice, counsel, and, when appropriate legal representation.
A school bus accident was recently reported in Durrango, Colorado in which personal injuries were reported. The school bus was traveling southbound when the driver veered off the side of the road and rolled down an embankment.  You can read more about the school bus crash at Durrango Colorado School Bus Rolls Over – Children Suffer Personal Injuries. 
When evaluating a personal injury case or claim, it is important to review the four essential elements of a case as follows:
1. Duty;
2. Breach of Duty;
3. Causation; and
4. Damages
When evaluating a personal injury case, it is important to pay close attention to each of the four elements including the element of damages.   Let’s say a child is injured in a school bus accident and sees his pediatrician one time.  There were no permanent scars or injuries and treatment was limited to that one visit.  Under this fact pattern, the damages are quite limited and the value of the case would then be quite limited.  Here is another fact pattern to consider. Let’s say a child suffers a fractured leg from the school bus accident.  The child ultimately needs surgery and undergoes 6 months of physical therapy.  This case would be valued much differently than the one pediatrician visit case.  Whether the injuries are minor or more serious, a parent should contact a Child Injury Lawyer to discuss the facts of the case and potential courses of action.   The book titled – When the Wheels Stop Spinning – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Parents Need to Know After the Accident – has chapters on Automobile Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Wrongful Death, and other topics. You can get this book for free at When the Wheels Stop Spinning.