Every weekday morning, without fail, school buses pick up young students and take them to school. Parents place a lot of trust in bus drivers and school districts to keep kids safe, but what happens when a bus is in an accident? Talk to a lawyer about legal options for school bus accidents.

One of the most important parts of a bus accident case is determining who is responsible. Negligent bus drivers frequently cause bus accidents. Depending on who they work for, we can sue their employer. This might include a lawsuit against the school district. If you sue the school district, talk to your attorney about how to handle the case. School districts are governmental entities, and certain legal immunities and procedural rules often protect them. You might have to file a notice of your claim with the school district shortly after the crash, so time is of the essence. Damages in school bus accident cases might be substantial, with economic and non-economic injuries on the line.

For a confidential case assessment for no charge, call (732) 838-9769 and talk to our New Jersey car accident lawyers at Legal Care New Jersey.

Who is Responsible for a School Bus Accident in New Jersey?

School bus accidents tend to be a bit less common than regular car accidents, likely due to the size of the bus. They are often so large and high off the ground that people on board the bus are often unharmed in a collision. However, this is not always the case. The bus driver, their employer, and possibly the school district may be held responsible for the crash and injuries to your child.

The Bus Driver

Let’s begin with the bus driver. To drive a school bus, a person must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and be properly trained to ensure the safety of students. After a crash, the bus driver must know the proper safety protocols for evacuating the bus and getting kids to safety. If bus drivers are not trained or worse, not licensed, they may be responsible for the accident.

Other examples of school bus driver negligence might include being distracted behind the wheel. Bus drivers must know how to focus on the road while keeping an eye on rowdy schoolchildren. If drivers remove their focus from the road for any reason, they might cause a bad accident.

The Bus Driver’s Employer

If we sue the bus driver for the accident, we might also be able to sue their employer. Who employs the bus driver might vary from case to case. Some drivers are employed by private businesses that have contracts with schools and school districts. Others work directly for the school district itself.

For private companies, our New Jersey bus accident lawyers can sue them under the legal theory of respondeat superior. Under this theory, an employer may be held vicariously liable for injuries caused by an employee’s negligence within the scope of their normal job duties. Negleince from the bus driver, like being distracted, speeding, or reckless driving, are often covered by this rule.

The School District

We might also sue the school district. Many bus drivers are hired by the school district and considered district employees. This also makes them government employees, as public schools are governmental entities. Suing a governmental entity is no easy feat, and you should speak to an attorney about it as soon as possible. Public school districts might enjoy a certain degree of legal immunity, and there may be tighter deadlines for plaintiffs looking to take legal action.

Time Limits on Suing for New Jersey School Bus Accidents

When suing a public school district, you must do so according to strict laws regarding lawsuits against governmental entities. The government and many of its employees enjoy a certain degree of legal immunity and protection. One such protection is the short deadlines imposed on plaintiffs. Our team can help you make sure you meet these requirements so you get the compensation you and your child rightfully deserve.

According to N.J.S.A. § 59:8-8, you must submit a formal notice of your claim to the school district no later than 90 days after the bus accident. If this notice is not submitted, you might lose your right to sue the school district for the accident. This is an extremely tight deadline of only about 3 months. It is crucial that you speak to an attorney immediately to better protect you and your child’s legal rights and interests.

Damages Related to School Bus Accidents in New Jersey

After a school bus accident, you and your child may be able to claim damages related to your economic expenses from the crash in addition to your child’s pain and suffering. The damages might be quite substantial depending on how bad the accident was and the extent of the injuries.

Economic losses are often related to medical costs. If your child is hurt, they need medical attention right away. Even minor medical treatment can cost a lot of money, and many families simply cannot afford to foot the bill. More serious injuries might require even more treatment, and the hospital bills might be off the chart.

Many kids are traumatized after a bus crash. They might have been hurt or seen their friends get hurt. They might be too afraid to return to school and experience deep emotional and psychological distress. These experiences are not connected to money, but they should still be financially compensated.

To Begin Your Case, Call Our New Jersey Bus Accident Lawyers Now

For a confidential case assessment for no charge, call (732) 838-9769 and talk to our New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Legal Care New Jersey.