Tennessee School Bus Accidents

School Bus Accident

9/25/2019 Car Accidents John Whitfield

Approximately 23.5 million children ride a bus to school each year, and millions more ride school buses for religious, athletic, and other youth events. Unfortunately, school buses usually do not have seat belts, which will lead to disaster if and when there is a school bus accident. In our own backyard, Metro Nashville Public Schools operates approximately 700 buses responsible for carrying over 50,000 students to and from schools each day. Tragically, 12,000 children are injured in school bus accidents and 11 children are killed every year in the United States.

Recently, a Tennessee school bus crash sent 13 children and another vehicle’s driver to the hospital near Chattanooga. The school bus was involved in a head-on crash with a Jeep. Accidents involving school buses are often extremely serious, due in part to both the lack of seatbelts and the impact trauma involved when a large vehicle collides with something. If a parent of an injured child wants to pursue legal action to recover compensation for their child’s school bus accident injuries, how would they know who is legally responsible for the damage?

Determining Fault

Determining who is responsible if your child was injured while riding a school bus can be challenging because it depends on who caused the school bus accident. The potentially responsible parties for a Nashville school bus accident include:

  • The bus driver
  • The bus owner
  • Another vehicle’s driver
  • The school district or private school operating the bus
  • A service facility that performed faulty maintenance
  • The manufacturer of a defective bus component part
  • The bus manufacturer

Bus drivers must obey all applicable traffic laws, other motorists must follow the law and stop for school buses, and bus companies must screen, hire, and train appropriate workers.  Bus manufacturers and maintenance companies also have a role in keeping kids safe by ensuring all of the mechanical and physical components of the bus are correctly designed and in proper working order.

If your child attends public school, the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act, which provides governmental entities with sovereign immunity, will govern most claims. However, immunity is not provided for claims arising from the negligent operation of motor vehicles, so the school system would not be completely immune to claims arising from a school bus accident in Nashville.

Nashville School Bus Accident Lawyers

A school bus accident can be devastating and often overwhelming. You need a personal injury attorney with experience on your side to help navigate the emotional and complex process of determining who is responsible for your child’s injuries. If you or a loved one needs help a bus accident, Whitfield Bryson LLP provides free, confidential, no-obligation consultations to Tennessee families. Contact us today.