No parent wants to imagine their child might get hurt because of the negligence of anyone involved in their education, especially the people transporting them to and from school. Unfortunately, far too many traffic accidents involving school buses happen every year in the Lone Star State, and many of those incidents have serious repercussions for multiple kids and families involved.
Filing a claim over damages sustained in a school bus accident in Houston can be a legally and emotionally complex process. Guidance from experienced legal counsel can make a tremendous difference. By working closely with a compassionate bus accident lawyer, you could protect your child’s best interests more proactively. Call Roberts Markland LLP today for more information.
As with any other motor vehicle driver, a person driving a school bus has a duty under state law to act responsibly. This means following traffic rules, watching for nearby vehicles and other obstacles, and reacting reasonably to any conditions they encounter while in motion. As “common carriers,” bus drivers also have an enhanced duty of care that requires them to ensure passengers do not get hurt while getting on or off the vehicle or seated on a bus in motion.
Any school bus driver that causes a traffic accident, drives recklessly, or does anything else irresponsible while on the job could be considered legally negligent if their actions result in a child getting hurt. The school district that employs them may also bear vicarious liability for their employee’s misconduct or even direct liability for subpar hiring practices.
In other situations, the fault may lie partially or entirely with a third party, such as a careless mechanic, a manufacturer that produced defective bus parts, or another driver that collided with a bus due to their negligence. A capable attorney could provide vital assistance in determining who bears liability and could be held accountable for damages for a particular school bus wreck in Houston.
While the Texas Tort Claims Act expressly allows government entities to be held civilly liable for injuries caused by public bus and school bus accidents, this legislation also imposes restrictions on claims of this nature. For example, a local government unit can only be made to pay $100,000 at most for any single person’s injuries and $300,000 for all injuries for a single accident. The respective caps for claims against municipalities are $250,000 and $500,000.
Furthermore, anyone intending to sue over a school bus incident in Houston must file a formal notice of their claim with the city within 90 days of the accident. This is an exceptionally short period compared to the statute of limitations for other personal injury claims. Contacting legal counsel should be a top priority as soon as possible following this type of incident to ensure your claim is filed within the required time constraint.
Children deserve to be safe at all times while attending school. That safety should extend to the bus ride at the beginning and end of each day. If anyone’s negligent conduct led to your child being injured while riding the bus, taking prompt legal action on their behalf could be vital to preserving their prospects.
A conversation with qualified legal representation could help you understand your rights and pursue the best strategy for your family after a school bus accident in Houston. Call Roberts Markland LLP today to schedule a consultation.