Las Vegas School Bus Crash - What Next?

Posted on behalf of Henness & Haight on May 08, 2017 in Car Accident News

yellow school bus

Sixteen children were sent to the hospital and one person was killed after a school bus flipped over on its side after being struck by a Ford Taurus in Las Vegas early Thursday morning.

The middle-school aged children and the bus’s driver were sent to University Medical Center (UMC) to be treated for non-life threatening injuries after the Las Vegas bus accident.

The 70-year-old driver of the Ford Taurus was pronounced dead on the scene, and a 10-year-old passenger in the car was taken to UMC with critical injuries, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Police estimate that 36 of the 48 students in the bus, ages ranging from 11 to 15, were injured in the collision but were not in need of immediate medical attention.

The collision occurred at the intersection of Nellis Blvd. and Carey Ave. around 8:30 a.m. on May 4. The Ford Taurus is believed to have ran a red light while traveling eastbound and crossing Carey Ave. when it crashed into the school bus.

The collision resulted in the Ford Taurus’s front wheels being crushed under the bus’s back wheels. The bus dragged the car with it for some time until the car detached.

The bus then traveled off-road and crashed through a chain-link fence, continuing into an undeveloped desert area until it tipped over, according to police.

The students and the bus driver then escaped the vehicle through emergency exits on the side, rear and back of the vehicle.

Can I Sue if My Child was Injured in a School Bus Accident?

While school buses are presumed to be the safest way to transport children to and from school, it is always possible for an accident to occur.

If a child is injured in a school bus accident, he or she may be entitled to recover damages for past, present and future suffering.

As a parent, you are also able to file a lawsuit on behalf of your child against the at-fault party, such as the bus’s driver, the manufacturer of the vehicle or its owner.

However, most school buses are owned by the school district and operated by its employees. School districts are an entity of the local government, which makes it difficult to file a lawsuit against them.

Government entities are protected by legislation that makes filing a legal claim against one much different than bringing a claim against a private party like the bus’s driver or its manufacturer.

For example, if you are filing a claim against the Clark County School District, you will need to follow the rules and procedures for filing a claim against Clark County.

You will also need to follow Nevada’s two-year statute of limitations for filing a claim against a government entity.

Our Las Vegas school bus accident lawyers can help you file a civil claim against Clark County and ensure that all deadlines and proper procedures are effectively met.

Who is Liable for a School Bus Accident?

Like any auto accident, there may be several reasons as to why a school bus crashed. Liability for the accident can be determined by identifying the negligent party.

However, buses are a form of common carrier transportation, which means multiple parties could be involved in owning, operating or staffing a bus.

The School District and School Bus Driver Was At Fault

School bus drivers are often employed by the local school district, which means the district assumes responsibility for the driver’s actions.

If a school bus driver employed by the school district was to cause an accident because of his or her reckless or negligent behavior, the school district would be named as the liable party in a claim or lawsuit.

A school district can be directly liable for the following actions regarding a school bus driver:

  • Failing to complete a background check or negligent hiring of the driver
  • Failing to train a driver
  • Failing to maintain buses or neglecting to fix any hazards or make any necessary repairs

A school district can also be vicariously liable for a school bus accident if the driver is found to be:

  • Distracted
  • Intoxicated
  • Fatigued
  • Reckless
  • Negligent

You will need to prove that the school bus driver or the school district’s negligence directly caused the accident that injured your child. This can be achieved by collecting physical evidence from the accident, such as:

  • Police reports
  • Photographs of the accident scene
  • Surveillance video
  • The bus’s maintenance records
  • Past record of complaints against the driver
  • Personnel files detailing the driver’s history

Any evidence you collect can be used to build a case that supports your claim.

Another Driver Was At Fault

If a school bus accident was caused by the driver of a passenger vehicle, you may need to file a claim against that driver to seek compensation for your child’s injuries.

You will need to prove the at-fault party was driving in a negligent or reckless manner and that this lack of regard for safety caused the accident and injured your child.

Proving the other driver was at fault can be achieved by gathering evidence, such as surveillance footage or eyewitness testimonies that prove the other driver was behaving recklessly.

Poor Road Maintenance Caused the School Bus Crash

If your child’s school bus accident was caused by a poorly maintained road or a hazard that should have been removed, you may be able to file a claim against the agency responsible for the road’s maintenance.

In Las Vegas and the Clark County area, the Road Division is responsible for maintaining the safety and condition of roadways.

Our Las Vegas bus accident lawyers will handle all communications and negotiations with Clark County or the City of Las Vegas if your child’s school bus accident was caused by of a negligent government agency.

Qualified Legal Help for Victims of Bus Accidents

Our attorneys have helped numerous victims of personal injury claims and are well-versed in state laws concerning commercial transportation accidents.

If your child was injured in a school bus accident caused by another’s negligence, we will review your case during a free, no obligation consultation.

We understand the seriousness of this time and that your main focus is on your child’s recovery. We attempt to make this process as easy as possible by only charging for our services on a contingency fee basis, and only require payment if we recover damages for your claim.

Call 844.613.6275 or complete our Free Case Evaluation form today.