Navigating Governmental Protection in School Bus Crashes in Maryland

When a school bus is involved in a Maryland bus accident, plaintiffs need to deal with the additional complication of navigating governmental immunity. In injury claims filed against a public school district, plaintiffs have special considerations.

First, a claimant normally must provide timely notice to the state or municipality, advising the entity of the claim. The Maryland Tort Claims Act generally requires that a claimant first submit a written claim to the Treasurer within one year of the injury. The notice needs to comply with the requirements provided in the Act, which include a statement of facts and specific damages. The Treasurer then has the opportunity to grant or deny the claim. If the Treasurer denies the claim, the plaintiff can file the case in court. A claim generally also needs to be filed within three years of the accident, although this can be extended in certain, limited circumstances.

Second, immunity is often raised as a defense in claims against governmental entities or employees. The doctrine of immunity limits the ability of plaintiffs to proceed with claims against state and local governments in some cases. Immunity normally must be waived in order for the claim to go forward—which usually happens through a statute. In cases against local government entities, such as school districts, Maryland law protects them from suit as long as the entities are carrying out certain duties. Immunity normally functions to protect government employees, as long as they are acting in their official capacity, and the employee’s actions are carried out without malice or gross negligence.

School Bus Overturned After Crash on Highway

According to a recent news report, a school bus overturned after it crashed on a highway on the way to school one morning. Evidently, the crash took place at around 7 a.m., when the bus hit a guardrail on the bottom of a high-rise building. The bus was transporting students to a school for pre-kindergarten to eighth-grade students. According to officials, 15 children were on the bus, ranging from five to 17 years old. Nine children were injured, but none of the children’s injuries was reported as life-threatening.

Reports later surfaced that neither the driver nor the bus was authorized to be on the road that day. The bus driver had been denied a permit by city officials, due to a prior criminal conviction, and the bus never passed an inspection required of vehicles used to transport students. Authorities are conducting an investigation, but at this point, it is not clear why the bus hit the guardrail.

Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer

If you have been injured in a bus or truck accident, contact a Maryland accident lawyer at Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers. Acting fast is crucial, especially in cases involving state or local governments. Failing to follow the strict procedural requirements in these claims will almost certainly result in a dismissal. Our Maryland personal injury lawyers are authorities in the field of auto and trucking accidents. Call us at 800-654-1949 or contact us online to set up a free initial consultation with an attorney.

Contact Information