Articles Posted in Bus Accidents

Busaccidentcardonelawfirm-300x201The Louisiana Court of Appeal recently upheld a jury verdict and nearly $500,000 damages award. The injured plaintiff was able to prevail because he had evidence that established clearly that the defendant driver was negligent. In many Louisiana bus accident cases, it is helpful to have proof that will allow a judge or jury to decide in your favor on multiple bases. In this case, the appeals court made the decision to uphold the lower court because the evidence showed that the defendant driver was either inattentive or following too closely, and, either way, his driving fell below the appropriate standard of care.

The plaintiff was a passenger on a bus that narrowly averted a rear-end collision with a pickup truck in New Orleans. The bus’ sudden braking to avoid hitting the truck threw the plaintiff from his seat in the bus. He landed on his right side on the floor of the bus near the driver’s seat. Shortly after the impact with the floor of the bus, the passenger began experiencing shoulder pain.

The passenger sued the bus driver, the transit authority, and its insurance company. The passenger’s case went forward as a “bench trial,” which means that a judge, rather than a jury, decided the case. The judge entered a verdict in favor of the passenger and assessed $695,000 in damages. Even after a 30% allocation of fault to the driver of the pickup truck, that still meant an award of $487,000.

bus injury

A parent’s worst nightmare, “Mom we were in a car accident”. Thirty-four parents received that call Tuesday when the bus carrying T.H. Harris Middle School’s track team plunged into the canal. According to WGNO, three students were taken to a local hospital complaining of minor injuries after a Jefferson Parish School bus driver careened into a canal. After the accident, students were forced to exit the bus through windows and the back door. While no reports have been issued stating the school bus driver was impaired, the school bus driver was cited for careless operation by local authorities.

Unfortunate events like this school bus accident occur all too often. Parents and children are left with the visible and invisible injuries. Some parents are up in arms about the numerous open canals along bus routes, but one of the overarching concerns is whether school bus drivers are receiving effective and adequate driving training.

Accidents are never easy, but when employees are in the course and scope of their employment, their employers are liable for damages. According to Louisiana Civil Code Article 2320, masters and employers are answerable for the damage occasioned by their servants and overseers, in the exercise of the functions in which they are employed. See full text of Article 2320 here. Our previous blog entry on the theory of Respondeat Superior is a great guide explaining the concept.