Son injured due to policy of having students stand on school bus...

by Angela
(Marion, MS)

My son told me students must stand on buses due to overcrowding. He was standing on the bus when the elderly bus driver stopped suddenly, causing my child to be tossed toward the windshield, breaking his glasses, and causing cuts under his eye and ear.

The driver never called school to report the incident. He told my bleeding child to have a seat after he dropped off a few more students. I walked into my home a few minutes prior to my son walking in. I saw blood and the broken glasses. The bus driver did not even ask if a parent was home or even if my child was okay.

I immediately contacted the school, spoke to an administrator and was informed that, "Students are allowed to stand because of bus overcrowding." He did state that he would have to speak to the driver upon his return to the school around 4:30pm. I called Northeast High School at 3:38pm after speaking with my son.

My son would usually come in ready to eat, after this incident he laid down for 3 1/2 hours. It took me a minute of restroom time to get it together after he told me that the students were saying, "Dude, you could have gone through the windshield!"

I already lost a daughter to a fatal car wreck, and I acquired problems with blood pressure. I went to my doctor on Thursday and had me to report to the wellness center due to my blood pressure being high. I also had a headache for a couple days, but was better yesterday morning.

My question is, can we pursue the school legally for this incident and our pain and suffering? What if my son has further internal damage other than just the minor cuts? How can the bus driver get away with not doing anything after my son was injured? Thank you for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Son injured due to policy of having students stand on school bus...":

Angela (Marion, MS):

If your are concerned about your son having internal injuries you should have taken him to the local hospital emergency room immediately after he arrived home. Instead, you chose to call the school.

Answer 1. You can ask the school to pay for the repair or replacement of your son’s glasses and the antibacterial and band aids used to treat his minor cuts.

Anser 2. If you son sustained internal injuries as a direct result of the accident, than the school would be liable for his damages. Damages can include your son’s medical and therapy bills, out of pocket expenses, your lost wages (if your have to miss work to take your son to and from medical treatment), and for his pain and suffering.

Answer 3. The bus driver is answerable to the school administration. If the bus driver's actions resulted in personal injuries to your son, more serious than the minor cuts he sustained, you would have the basis of a personal injury claim against the school and the bus driver.

Obviously, the school is aware of the incident. Before doing anything else, take your son to the hospital, or to your local physician and have him examined. Hopefully the results will come out negative. If so, you really don't have the basis of a personal injury claim against the school. No injuries equals no personal injury claim.

The school should be liable for the repair or replacement of your son’s glasses and for the antibiotics and aids used to cover his cuts.

Your increased blood pressure and headaches may have been related to your son's incident, but proving your health problems were directly linked to the bus incident will be nearly impossible. Moreover, parents are not entitled to vicarious compensation for their children’s health problems.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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