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School bus crashes can create complex liability questions

A collision between a school bus and a pickup in Brevard County that resulted in injuries to the pickup driver and four of the bus passengers provides an example of how a seemingly straightforward accident between two vehicles can expand into litigation that involves more than just the two drivers involved.

All multi-car accidents that result in property damage, injury or death will raise at least questions if not legal claims of negligence or even reckless behavior on the part of the drivers involved. When a commercial vehicle or a form of public transportation are involved in the crash, then the scope of the factual inquiries must also expand accordingly to ensure than all potentially responsible defendants are identified and joined in the legal claims of the plaintiffs. These factual investigations and legal analyses are important considerations for the plaintiffs to bear in mind when selecting a personal injury law firm to represent them in settlement negotiations or in litigation.

The bus driver was cited for failure to yield the right of way to the pickup driver while turning off of one road and onto another. Fortunately none of those injured in the collision appear to have been seriously hurt, but in any multi-vehicle accident that results in injuries questions of civil legal liability will likely come into consideration. Some of the questions that may be considered in this regard include:

If the bus driver was an employee of the school district or a contractor company engaged by the district, can the school district, the bus company, or both be accused of negligence as well as the driver?
If the driver was in violation of one or more traffic laws when the accident happened, can that lead to a claim of negligence per se against the driver in support of a negligence cause of action?
If the four children who were apparently injured in the crash showed no visible signs of outward injury as a result, then what might be their damages claims in a lawsuit?

Source: Florida Today, "Brevard sees two school bus crashes in one day," J.D. Gallop, April 13, 2015

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