If your child has been in been in a school bus accident, you are likely livid at those responsible as well as worried about your child. You put your trust in a school bus driver to be the absolute safest person on the road to protect all the children within. Yet, even if they are, accidents do happen. If you child was injured in one of these accidents in Wisconsin, you may think to seek compensation for their injuries to best take care of them as a parent. Unfortunately, legal action in a school bus accident is not quite as straightforward as your standard car crash personal injury case.
Finding Fault in Wisconsin School Bus Accidents
Auto accidents, and indeed any personal injury case, is all about proving that someone was at fault and then seeking compensation from them. However, in school bus accidents, it is not always the driver’s fault automatically. As there is such a strict statute of limitations to file for these cases in Wisconsin, you need to be able to find fault quickly in school bus cases so you can effectively move the case forward.
Fault in school bus accidents most often falls to:
- The Driver of the Bus – The state of Wisconsin classifieds school bus drivers as common carriers. This means they are responsible for exercising a high degree of care for their passengers, and that includes when they are getting on and off the bus. If they did not allow their passengers to board and disembark the bus in a safe area and under safe conditions, even if your children were hurt in an accident off the bus, they can be held at fault.
- The School or School District – Was the bus accident caused due to reasons caused by poor maintenance or lack of repair? That certainly isn’t the driver’s fault, but rather falls to the owner of the bus. This, in most cases, is the school or the school district.
- Manufacturer of the Bus – Not all school bus malfunctions are the fault of poor maintenance. Manufacturers have the responsibility to make sure the bus is manufactured so that it can be safely driven. If even a single part of the bus was malfunctioning and caused an accident, the liability may fall solely on the company that made the bus.
- Other Drivers – Not all school bus accidents are caused by the school bus. Some driver may blow through a stop sign or otherwise disregard the rules of the road. If this caused the accident, then that driver will bear the full brunt of liability.
Once fault has been determined, your lawyer will help you pursue a case against them in order to receive compensation for your child’s injuries. As school bus accidents are often considered particularly egregious considering the usual age of the passengers, typically the court’s will look more in favor of the young victim, but that doesn’t mean those held liable won’t try to fight back against paying.
How Long Do You Have to Pursue a Claim?
The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim in Wisconsin is three years. You have three years after the date of the accident to pursue a claim, which seems like a long time. However, there is one special stipulations for pursuing a claim against a school district. As a school district is considered a political subdivision, you will be required to file a notice of claim. You cannot pursue a personal injury case against a school district unless you file a notice of claim within 120 days of the accident. This form outlines the time, date, and location of the event and basically states that you intend to pursue compensation.
Have You Been in an Accident?
Has your child been injured in a school bus accident in the Oshkosh area? Don’t just pay for those injuries out of your own pocket when they could have long lasting effects. Contact us today to see what the Harnitz Law Firm can do to help get you the compensation your children’s injuries need.