Student Permitted to Recover for Injuries from School Bus Driver when Struck by Another Vehicle Prior to Boarding the Bus

Earlier this month, an appellate court in Delaware issued an opinion in favor of a young plaintiff who was injured when she was struck by a car as she was about to board a school bus. In the case, State Farm Mutual Insurance Company v. Buckley, the girl’s family sought recovery from the insurance company that insured the school bus. The court allowed the girl’s recovery because, although the physical collision did not involve the bus, the court determined the school bus was “involved” in the accident because the bus driver signaled for the student to board the bus.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was waiting for the school bus to take her to school. When the bus showed up, the driver stopped the bus and signaled for the girl to board the bus. As she began to cross the street to board the bus, however, a car struck the girl. It was determined that the driver of the car was at least partially at fault for the accident.

The girl’s family sought financial recovery through the insurance company that had insured the school bus. The insurance company contested the claim because the school bus was not involved in the physical collision, and the girl was not aboard the bus when she was struck. The girl’s family claimed that the girl was relying solely on the bus driver’s cue to board the bus, which involved the bus in the accident.

The court determined that the girl was covered under the insurance policy, and the claim should not have been denied. The court explained that there is a valid concern regarding injured parties stretching the limits of an insurance policy’s coverage, but the facts of this case fit squarely within what the legislature intended when it defined what an “accident” was. While the bus was not physically involved in the collision between the other car and the student, the fact that the bus driver told the girl she could board the bus was sufficient to establish that the bus driver was involved. In making its ruling, the court relied heavily on the relationship between the girl and the school bus driver, and it noted that such a result may not be appropriate in other similar – but not identical – cases.

Have You Been Injured in a Bus Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland bus or truck accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Bus drivers, as well as other for-hire drivers, all owe a duty of care to their passengers. When this duty is violated, the driver may be held liable. The skilled personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have decades of experience dealing with bus and truck accident cases, and we would be happy to sit down with you to discuss your case. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Case Reversed after Lower Court Allows Jury to Hear Truck Driver Did Not Have Insurance, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published April 20, 2016.

Accident Involving Truck and Minibus Results in 12 Fatalities, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published April 6, 2016.

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