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How Protected is Your Child on the School Bus?

Traditional yellow school bus on the streetThe holidays have passed, the New Year has begun and for most of us, today is the day we get back to work after enjoying a couple of weeks of half days and days off. If you have school age children, they could be among the 25 million American kids climbing into a big yellow school bus to return to school.

In general, your child is safer riding to and from school on the bus than in your own car, but accidents do happen, and some are serious. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that school bus accidents account for 137 fatalities and 17,000 hospital emergency room visits each year. If your family is impacted, you’ll want to recover compensation for your current and future medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other damages. But there may be some obstacles in your way.

Georgia law permits school districts to purchase liability insurance, but does not require that they do so. If the district has not purchased insurance it, like other government entities, may be protected from awards of damages in litigation by the doctrine of “sovereign immunity.” If the district has purchased insurance, recovery could be capped at the limit of the insurance purchased.

If you or a family member are injured in a school bus accident, be sure to call us immediately. At Cash Krugler Fredericks, we are experts in school bus related accidents and can help you navigate the complex, winding road to determine the responsible party – whether it’s the bus driver; the owner, manufacturer or maintenance crew of the bus; the school district; other drivers, etc. – and whether or not they have sufficient liability insurance to cover the damages. Your own policy may include uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage that will be able to pay you if the responsible party either has no insurance or not enough coverage. We can also guide you through the scenarios in which the school district and its employees may be protected by “sovereign immunity.”

-Dave Krugler

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