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Fox Willis Burnette, PLLC Attorneys At Law Michael S. Farley
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First Personal Injury Lawsuits Filed Following Deadly Chattanooga Bus Accident


Every day thousands of Tennessee parents trust bus drivers to safely transport their kids to and from school. That is why people throughout the state reacted with horror on November 21, when a school bus carrying 37 Chattanooga-area elementary school students “slammed into a tree and split apart,” according to one news report. Six children died in the accident and many more sustained serious injuries.

The bus driver was subsequently arrested and charged with six counts of vehicular manslaughter, as well as one count each of reckless driving and reckless endangerment.

Is the Bus Company Liable for Child’s Traumatic Brain Injury?

But for many parents, that is understandably not enough. As of December 6, at least three personal injury lawsuits have been filed against the driver and the private bus company that employed him. It is likely several more such cases will be filed in the coming weeks.

In one of the three lawsuits filed so far, a mother of a female victim said her daughter “suffered a traumatic brain injury and multiple orthopedic injuries as a result of the accident.”

All of the lawsuits assert the bus company is vicariously liable for the negligence of its driver. The lawsuits allege the driver’s “negligent, careless, and reckless” driving was the “proximate cause” of the accident. Among other things, the driver allegedly failed to “exercise due care” and exceeded the posted speed limits at the time of the accident.

The lawsuits further accuse the bus company of negligence in its hiring and training of the driver. This includes allegedly failing to establish appropriate “policies and procedures” governing who drove the company’s school buses. The lawsuits further claim the company “knew or should have known” that the driver involved in the Chattanooga accident was “incompetent or reckless.”

According to news reports, the driver previously crashed a school bus in September 2016 but “was not given a citation by police.” It was also not clear whether that crash was reported to the school district. The bus company itself has been involved in approximately 350 crashes across the country over the past two years–including 142 accidents where students suffered serious injury or death–based on statistics compiled by the federal government.

Have You Suffered a Loss Due to Third-Party Negligence?

The loss of a child is every parent’s worst nightmare. If that loss is due to someone else’s negligence, it can be even more difficult for the family to cope. Of course you want to hold the responsible parties accountable. But that is not a simple process.

Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits are often a difficult and time-consuming process. Even where a settlement is possible, there are a number of legal and factual issues that need to be addressed. A grieving and traumatized parent is not always in the best position to deal with such matters, which is why it is essential to work with an experienced Knoxville personal injury lawyer who understands the system. Contact the offices of Fox & Farley, Attorneys at Law, if you need to speak with a lawyer today.


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