When children take the bus to school each day, their parents expect them to arrive safely. However, accidents do occasionally happen and the results can be catastrophic. A lawsuit against the transportation company or school district that is responsible for the bus is the best way to receive payment for medical expenses and injuries.
A severe school bus accident in Mississippi became national news as several students on board were injured.
School bus flips off of highway in Mississippi
The Benton County school bus was in the process of transporting students on a Tuesday morning when the crash occurred. The Mississippi Highway Patrol believes the vehicle was traveling on Highway 72 and the driver lost control at some point. The bus went off of the road and rolled over several times before coming to rest in a ditch.
At least seven passengers were injured, two of them critically, and the driver was killed. It is unknown whether the driver died due to injuries sustained in the crash or if there was some kind medical condition that caused the driver to lose control. Benton County is approximately fifty miles from the city of Memphis, Tennessee.
The process for filing a lawsuit after the accident
Bus accidents can be more complex than other car accidents from a legal standpoint because there are multiple passengers, a driver, and a school district or transportation company that owns the bus. For the purposes of a lawsuit, the company or government body that owns the bus will usually bear the burden of most or all of the liability because they are responsible for the actions of the driver. In most civil lawsuits, an employer will be strictly liable for the actions of an employee acting within their job duties when the injury occurs.
Whether a private company or the school district is responsible for the bus either can be taken to court. An attorney who specializes in accidents can argue that the negligence of the driver was the cause of the accident, therefore they must pay for any injuries that resulted from their mistakes.
Suing the government
When lawsuits are against a government entity like a school district, a special set of rules applies. This is because governments had traditionally been immune from lawsuits under a doctrine called sovereign immunity. However, each state eventually replaced this doctrine with certain limitations for suing any agency that is funded by tax dollars.
In Mississippi, The state created a law called the Mississippi Tort Claims Act which gives more details about when the government can be sued in the state and exceptions that apply to this rule. Your lawyer can explain the specifics of this law in more detail and give advice about how it may affect a lawsuit against the state or municipal government.
Talk to an attorney after a bus crash
If you have recently been injured due to the poor driving habits of a bus driver, it is possible to file a lawsuit. There are lawyers who specialize in filing lawsuits related to bus accidents in your area.