Who’s Liable for a Tennessee School Bus Accident?

Accidents involving school buses are rare, but when they do occur, they can lead to significant injuries and extensive property damage. The question in these cases is who will be held responsible for paying compensation for the injuries and damage that occurred. Here, we want to discuss liability issues after a Tennessee school bus accident and examine some of the types of compensation that may be available to victims.

How School Bus Accidents Occur

School bus crashes can occur in a variety of ways, and they can affect many individuals involved. This includes those inside the school bus, drivers and passengers and other vehicles, as well as pedestrians. Some of the most common causes of school bus crashes include bus drivers or other drivers on the roadway:

  • Operating their vehicle carelessly
  • Operating a vehicle while fatigued
  • Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
  • Following others too closely

In addition to driver-related causes of bus accidents, there are also other issues that could arise and lead to an accident. All school buses should be adequately inspected and maintained, per school district and state requirements. If a bus is not adequately maintained, this could lead to significant mechanical or electrical problems that lead to accidents. This can include problems with tires, steering, suspensions, lighting, and more.

Other causes of bus accidents can include poor road designs, debris on the roadway, poorly maintained roadways, or hazardous weather conditions.

Who Will be Held Liable?

There may be various parties who can be held liable for a school bus accident. If a bus driver is found to be at fault for the incident, then the school district or government entity that operates the bus will likely be liable.

However, these claims will be filed under the Tennessee Tort Government Liability Act, which is different from the typical civil personal injury lawsuit process. Individuals will need to file their lawsuit within one year from the incident occurring, and the total amount of compensation available will face limitations.

If another driver was at fault for the school bus accident, then their insurance carrier will be first in line for liability when it comes to the incident. Additionally, it may be possible to file a civil lawsuit directly against the other driver responsible for the incident.

Types of Compensation Available

There may be various types of compensation available for victims of school bus accidents in Tennessee.This includes both economic and non-economic types of losses, including the following:

  • Complete coverage of medical expenses related to the school bus crash
  • Lost income if a victim involved is unable to work
  • Property damage expenses for vehicles involved
  • Various out-of-pocket expenses that victims incur
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of quality of life damages

There is no set amount of compensation paid to school bus crash victims in Tennessee. As we mentioned above, there will be some limitations if the claim is made against a government entity. You need to work with a skilled Tennessee school bus accident lawyer who can fully investigate the case and work diligently to recover maximum compensation for losses.