Schools have a lot of responsibility over the lives of their students. Many school are increasing their program offerings to cater to the demographic of children who attend their schools. One aspect of this responsibility is in transporting children safely to and from the school campus. Schools typically purchase their own buses or, in some cases, contract with a private company take over the service. When an accident happens with a school bus it is even more devastating due to the number of innocent children that may be injured as a result. An average of 33 children die each year from accidents with school buses. Some of them were pedestrians struck by their own bus. In some instances, these accidents were the result of the children trying to get on or off the bus and crossing into the danger zones around the vehicle.
It is important to check with the laws of your particular state for guidance on how to deal with any personal injury claims children may suffer at school. It is imperative to see an attorney as soon as possible after an injury for advice. In Illinois, such claims are governed by the Tort Liability of Schools Act, 745 ILCS 25. The goal of the Act is to prevent school funds from being diverted to litigating cases instead of being spent on school needs. There are specific requirements that must be met before a case can be brought against a school. First of all, note that the statute of limitation may be reduced from the standard time for personal injury claims. Also, notice may be required before a lawsuit can be filed. There are specific instructions that must be followed to give notice to the correct individual to put the school district on notice of a lawsuit. There may also be limits on recovery depending on when the accident happened and the type of accident.
In 2012, the Governor of Illinois signed new legislation that clarified the insurance limits that must be carried on school buses versus other types of buses. These new policy limits ensure that in the event of an accident Illinois school buses are adequately insured to compensate victims better. This will also reduce the burden on school districts to have to pay out personal injury settlements with school funds.
Federal laws and regulations dictate the safety standards that buses must use for transporting children. They must be conspicuous, have better seating, crash protection, mirrors, and exits. The enhanced regulations make the risk of injury to children in a crash less likely.
Even with all of these safety precautions, nothing beats common sense when avoiding accidents. Parents and bus drivers should watch for children. The school should provide drills and training to teach children how to enter and exit a bus. Parents should team up to ensure that someone is available at the bus stop to monitor the children.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Your case may be different. In considering the statute of limitation this firm is not giving an opinion on when the statute of limitation expires. The statute of limitation requires a claimant to file a lawsuit by a certain date. Failure to file a lawsuit before the expiration of the statute of limitation bars a claimant from filing a claim and from being compensated. Hiring an attorney immediately will protect your rights.
Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance. If you were injured by someone who was negligent, please call one of our attorneys at David K. Kremin & Associates, and we will give you a free consultation. We never charge unless we collect for you. Please call 1(800) ASK-A-LAWYER or 1(800)275-2529.