By David A. Wolf, Attorney – Child Injury Lawyer Blog
In Tennessee and other States, parents rely upon bus transporation for their children during the school year. Most bus rides to and from school are quite uneventful which is a good thing. There are days in which a school bus accident results in serious personal injury and even death to innocent children riding a school bus. From a legal standpoint, a school bus accident case can be quite complex. If a public or government entity is involved, there can be procedures to go through and caps or limits on the amount of damages that can be recovered. In addition, a school bus crash often involves multiple victims and families who may be arguably competing for a limited pool of money or insurance. It was recently reported that there was a deadly school bus accident in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In multiple media outlets, the crash involved a single school bus that turned over on its side after hitting a tree. There were 35 students on the bus with 23 individuals transported to the hospital for medical care. Tragically, initial reports indicated that there were 6 fatalities / deaths resulting from this school bus crash. Due to the nature of the crash, serious personal injuries, and deaths, local and state police officials will conduct a detailed investigation to determine the cause, manner, mechanism, and preventability of this Tennessee school bus crash.
In the State of Tennessee and other states, government entities are protected some extent from lawsuits and personal injury claims. The manner in which a government entity can be sued is typically proscribed by statute. In Tennessee, a claim or case can be pursued against a government entity for the negligent driving of an employee, official, or agent of the government. While a claim or case can be pursued, there are caps or limits to recovery in Tennessee. An individual or surviving family member can recover up to $300,000 incident; however, there is an aggregate cap of $700,000 per incident. As such, the amount that a government entity can be held liable for in a school bus crash in Tennessee can be quite limited if there are more than a couple of claims. Certainly, the financial recovery in a wrongful death case against a private entity or individual can easily exceed the $300,000 as provided in Tennessee law.