Earlier this month, an appellate court in Delaware issued an opinion in a personal injury case brought by the family of a young girl who was struck by a car while she was about to board her school bus. The case presented the court with an interesting question: whether the school bus’ insurance company could be responsible for the girl’s injuries when the bus driver was not at all involved in the physical collision, but he told the girl to board the bus moments before she was struck.
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Buckley
The plaintiff was a young girl who was waiting at the bus stop on her way to school. The bus arrived, and the driver signaled for the girl to board the bus. However, as she was about to board, another car – the driver of which is not named in this lawsuit – struck the girl, causing her serious injuries. This case involves the claim made by the girl against the company that insured the school bus.
The defendant claimed that the insurance policy should not be triggered because there was no accident involving the school bus. On the other hand, the plaintiff argued that the young student was merely following the school bus driver’s instructions when she boarded, and this fits within the definition of an accident under state law.
The court made no attempt to hide the fact that it believes many injury victims are out to hold insurance companies liable for claims that are patently unrelated to the coverage of the insured. In these cases, coverage should be denied, the court held. However, the court noted that this was not one of those situations.
The court looked at the state’s laws surrounding school buses and noted that “school buses are different” from most other vehicles out there. Indeed, there are different rules that school bus drivers must follow, and drivers are responsible for telling students when they are able to safely board. Thus, although the other driver who actually hit the student may have also been at fault, the court held that the company that insured the school bus could also be held liable for the accident.
Have You Been Injured in an Indiana Bus Accident?
If you or your child has recently been injured in a school bus or truck accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. There are many issues that you may need to overcome, including potential immunity issues, so it is important that you consult with a dedicated Indiana personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The skilled personal injury advocates at Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse have ample knowledge of the case law surrounding all kinds of accidents, including bus accidents. Call 888-532-7766 to set up a free consultation today. Calling incurs no obligation on your part unless we are able to help you recover compensation for your injuries.
Appellate Court Determines When Evidence of a Party’s Lack of Insurance is Admissible at Trial, Indiana Injury Lawyer Blog, May 2, 2016
Recent Appellate Court Opinion Finds in Favor of Plaintiff in Road Rage Case, Indiana Injury Lawyer Blog, April 1, 2016