Can You Sue for a School Bus Accident in Texas?
We hope that our children will get to school safely when we put them on the school bus. When bus accidents happen and children get injured, it is natural to want justice and to seek compensation for their injuries. Accidents involving school buses could also involve injury to the driver or injury to other drivers and bystanders, many of which could be innocent victims in the crash as well. The Queenan Law Firm’s Arlington, TX bus accident lawyers explain how you can often sue for injuries and get the compensation you need after a school bus accident in Texas.
Can You Sue for a School Bus Accident in Texas?
School bus accidents, like other auto accidents, can lead to lawsuits and insurance claims. However, when you file a claim for injuries in a school bus crash, it is vital to sue the right party or parties. Depending on who caused the crash, your case might progress a bit differently, so it is important to determine which parties to sue and how to proceed.
Suing a School Bus Driver
If your child was injured on a school bus because the driver caused a crash, you can usually sue the driver. However, the driver might not be able to afford damages to cover the injuries and medical costs for all of the children injured in the crash and for other people they might have injured. Fortunately, you can often sue their employer as well.
Suing the School Bus Company
A transportation company, such as a bus company, is usually responsible for any injuries their drivers cause while working within the scope of their duties. This means you can often sue the bus company for an accident one of its drivers caused.
Suing the School or School District
Since the school or the school district is ultimately the one who hires the bus company, the school/school district might also be responsible for the driver’s errors and mistakes. This could entitle you to file a lawsuit against the government.
Usually, lawsuits for negligence are limited when they are filed against the government in Texas. However, there is an exception for auto accidents where a government employee committed negligence while working within the scope of their duties. If that negligence that led to injuries that the victim would normally be able to sue for, then they can sue the school or the government for their employee’s negligence.
Suing Another Driver
If your child was injured in a crash caused by another driver outside the bus, then, you can usually sue that at-fault driver. This is also true if you are a school bus driver who was injured because another driver hit the school bus.
Drivers are responsible for any negligent driving that causes someone else injuries, and it doesn’t matter if they hit another car or a school bus: they must pay for the injuries and damage they caused. Usually, their insurance company will be the one to pay damages instead of the individual driver, helping cover more injury victims’ needs.
Suing Another Driver’s Employer
If the vehicle that hit the school bus was a commercial vehicle, you can often sue that driver’s employer. This is common in cases where the accident is caused by a public transit bus, a charter bus, or a commercial truck.
How to Sue for a School Bus Accident in Texas
In many cases when you sue for injuries from a school bus accident, there will be potentially dozens of other people injured as well. To file your case, you will file the proper paperwork with the courts and serve the defendants with the proper documentation. Because there could be multiple plaintiffs in the case, the court might try to consolidate the cases into one lawsuit, and your Arlington and Dallas bus accident attorney can help you handle any awkward outcomes or legal issues that might result from that.
If you were the victim yourself, you can sue on your own behalf. Parents of children injured in auto accidents can often sue on their child’s behalf. Alternatively, Texas law may allow them to wait until the child is older to file the case or allow the child to file the case on their own when they are older. Talk to a Dallas school bus accident lawyer about suing on behalf of an injured child.
If you do not want to sue for injuries, you might be able to file an insurance claim instead. However, this often means taking lower damages since the insurance company will usually exclude damages for pain and suffering.
Damages in a School Bus Accident Lawsuit in Texas
As mentioned, insurance claims and lawsuits often result in different damages. When you take a school bus accident injury lawsuit to court, you could be entitled to claim damages for any injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages resulting from the crash.
The damages for medical bills and lost wages are considered “economic damages” because they cover monetary harms. These harms are documented through medical bills, financial records, pay stubs, and other records.
Usually, children do not have wages to lose, but some injuries could result in permanent injuries or disabilities. This could cause your child could lose wages in the future because of the injuries. Future damages can also be calculated and claimed in many cases.
On top of these economic damages, you can also claim noneconomic damages for things like physical pain, mental suffering, emotional distress, lost enjoyment, and other harms. Talk to a Houston bus injury lawyer about calculating damages in your case.
Call Our Arlington School Bus Injury Attorneys for a Free Case Consult
If you or your child was injured in a school bus accident in Texas, call The Queenan Law Firm. Our Arlington, TX personal injury lawyers represent auto accident victims and fight to get them the compensation they need from the at-fault parties. For a free case consultation, call our attorneys today at (817) 476-1797.