A family recently settled a $30 million lawsuit after an 11-year-old girl was killed by a motorist while exiting a school bus. The family will receive a confidential amount from the local school district. The bus accident, which occurred in Wyoming, prompted a state law requiring external video cameras to be mounted on all school buses.
In the aforementioned lawsuit, both the at-fault motorist and the school district were blamed for the girl’s death. However, the liability of the local school district and busing company may be hotly contested. Just because a student is hit while boarding or exiting a bus does not necessarily mean that anyone has legal fault except the passing motorist.
This is why the skill of the family’s attorney can have a huge impact on the success of the case. It may be relatively easy for a lawyer to prove that the passing motorist is liable to the family, but proving fault by the bus company and school district will be much tougher. Unfortunately, the tough part of the case is the one that will best compensate the family.
Unless the child was killed or injured by a millionaire, the amount the family recovers will be restricted to insurance policy limits and the personal wealth of the wrongdoer. If its liability is proven, a school district has much deeper pockets to compensate a family.
In New York, there are special requirements when a victim or family is planning on suing a governmental entity like a school district. If these requirements are not met, the plaintiff will not be able to pursue compensation from the government. It is wise to partner with a lawyer who is experienced in handling municipal liability lawsuits, so you can avoid seemingly minor mistakes that may doom your claim.