Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Georgia School Bus Crash

The parents of a six year old girl who died from injuries suffered in a Houston County, Georgia school bus crash have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the school district and bus driver.

The complaint alleges the bus driver was negligent and reckless in the Jan. 29 accident that left the first grader with serious injuries. She died at a local hospital the next day. The driver was charged with vehicular homicide and reckless driving.

She was driving a 2000 Bluebird school bus on Forest Park Drive in Houston County when she allegedly entered a turn too fast and the bus rolled over. The child was thrown from the bus.

The wrongful death lawsuit alleges the driver was negligent because she did not keep a proper lookout, did not apply the brakes on time, did not make a proper left turn and was driving too fast for conditions.

Our View

As a Virginia personal injury attorney, I often hear about school bus accidents with serious injury and even death. One of the problems with school buses is that children are more susceptible to injuries because most buses do not have seatbelts. The idea behind school bus design is that the high seat backs and close position of the seats will prevent children from being injured. But in reality, a serious impact can throw children around in the school bus interior. And in a roll over, most children are unrestrained, and can be thrown from the bus, with tragic, deadly results.

While nothing can bring back a loved one lost in a fatal accident, at least state laws allow for grieving families to file wrongful death actions against a negligent driver or entity. One of our clients was killed on a tractor trailer accident on I-81 several years ago in foggy and rainy conditions.

This was a challenging case because there were several vehicles involved, and our client had pulled over on the side of the road. One of the ways we won this case was by referring to FMCSA rules that state if there is limited visibility, the truck driver must proceed with extreme caution, which can include pulling over if conditions are too poor. The proper analysis of weather conditions at the time of the wreck was key to winning a confidential settlement in this case.

Our attorneys also determined that some of the equipment on the truck involved was faulty, including poor headlights and balding tires. All of these factors led to a satisfactory settlement that has helped the deceased’s family recover financially from a devastating personal loss.