TEXAS SCHOOL BUS ACCIDENT LAWYER
When your child has suffered an injury on a school bus it changes the lives of your family dramatically. It can be confusing and stressful enough for the average family to deal with hospital and doctor bills, let alone navigating the legal issues involved with bringing a claim against a school district. When your child sustains an injury on a school bus, you may not know where to turn for assistance. Understanding the basic legal remedies and rights of school bus passengers can help you learn your own options. There is a deadline to file notice of a claim that varies from thirty days to six months depending on the county where the school district is located. Always consult with an experienced Texas school bus accident lawyer for professional advice concerning your case as soon as possible.
What Damages Can I Recover After a School Bus Accident?
One of the most common questions a parent has after their child suffers an injury on a school bus is in regards to what damages can be recovered. If your child has been injured in a school bus collision, you may have a claim against school district and others for the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life
- Other damages
If your loved one has been killed in a school bus collision, you may have a wrongful death claim for the following damages:
- Lost economic contributions
- Loss of care and companionship
- Funeral expenses
- Other damages
The Law in Texas for School Bus Collision Cases
School bus drivers must obey all traffic laws and Texas Transportation Code. Because school buses are considered “common carriers” the driver must use utmost caution when driving these vehicles in order to ensure the safety of the students on board. The school district must properly maintain school buses. Additionally, the school district must hire, train and supervise qualified drivers.
Notice of a claim against a school district must be brought timely and meet the strict notice requirements set forth under Texas law. Failure to file the timely or proper notice of a claim could result in the loss of the ability to recover damages against the school district. It is imperative that the parent of a child injured on a school bus provide the school district with notice of a claim within the deadlines required under Texas law.
If your child has been in a school bus accident, contact an experienced school bus accident lawyer at the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert. Board Certified Personal Injury attorney Aaron Herbert has recovered millions for accident victims and their families. For a free consultation, call 24/7 to (214) 200-HURT or click HERE to fill out the online, attorney-consultation form. The consultation is free and there is no fee or expense until we win the case.
In the United States alone, people have access to around 35,000 escalators in malls, business offices, airports, and other buildings. Most of the time, riders step on and off escalators without incident. Occasionally, horrific accidents happen, including a 2015 case in China, where a mother fell into the collapsed panel at the top of a mall escalator. Moments before she fell into the shaft to her death, she pushed her small son to safety. When accidents happen, liability laws determine who faces financial responsibility for resulting injuries and deaths.
Causes of Escalator Injuries and Liability
Escalator incidents occur under a variety of circumstances. The cause of the injury often helps investigators understand contributing factors and ultimate liability. Consider the potentially liable parties and common causes of escalator accidents:
- You. Escalator operators, manufacturers, and maintenance crews are only responsible for maintaining equipment according to industry standards, warning riders of possible hazards, and designing/manufacturing equipment that meets safety standards. If you decide to travel the wrong way on an escalator, ignore gated-off equipment, or attempt parkour movements while riding the escalator, you may not be able to hold anyone else responsible for your injuries.
In cases involving rider negligence, the courts may use the state’s comparative negligence rules to assign fault in a case. Under Texas laws, if you are more than half at fault for the incident, you cannot recover damages in a personal injury claim.
- The owner/operator. An escalator is as much a part of a property owner’s premises as the handrails on the second story of the mall or a revolving door. Depending on the nature of the incident, the owner/operator may face liability for resulting injuries. Owners/operators are responsible scheduling and conducting routine inspections, maintaining escalators according to code, and roping off/stopping escalators that pose safety hazards.
- The escalator manufacturer. As a piece of equipment third parties sell, an escalator falls under the purview of product liability law. If the manufacturing process, design, or warnings that come with the escalator contribute to a rider’s injury, the manufacturer may face legal responsibility for the aftereffects. For example, an owner could properly inspect and maintain the equipment but fail to see a design or manufacturing flaw that causes the escalator to jerk, move too quickly, or otherwise malfunction. If both the owner and manufacturer failed, they may share liability for the incident.
Depending on the case and jurisdiction, the courts may impose strict liability on the owners and operators. Courts may use this stringent standard when they define escalators as a mode of public transportation. All so-called “common carriers” must adhere to an increased duty of care to ensure rider safety. In these cases, the plaintiff does not need to prove the defendant was negligent to recover. He or she must only prove the defendant was legally responsible for the incident.
Pursuing Escalator Accident Claims
Escalator incidents can lead to significant physical trauma. When preventable escalator incidents occur, they can change someone’s life in a second. Nobody expects their commute home, shopping trip, or airport terminal travel to result in a severe injury. For children, an accident can alter the future including income generating capabilities and quality of life. For adults, accidents can lead to time away from work, financial struggles, and more.
After an escalator-related injury, report the incident to the operator or manager on duty. File an accident report, and seek medical assistance. Keep as many records of the incident as possible, including pictures of the defect or video recordings of the incident. If you do not recover quickly and fully from the incident, consider speaking to an attorney about your legal options. A personal injury attorney can help you identify the liable parties in your case and pursue appropriate legal action.
Creepy music, dimly lit passages, and eerie décor set the stage for paying customers seeking to feel startled and scared in the classic Halloween-time haunted house. As costumed employees jump around corners and faux guillotines drop right in front of guests, people suffer premises-related injuries every year. In certain cases, haunted house owners bear responsibility for resulting injuries, and parents should take swift action to protect their children’s rights.
Types of Haunted House Injuries
Owners often lay out haunted houses in a way that disorients customers, creates sensations of unease, and directs the flow of traffic. If the owners and operators do not use extreme care during construction and employee training, they can create accident hazards and increase the overall risk of injury. Some of the most common types of haunted houses injuries include:
- Actor-caused accidents. In character, some haunted house employees take their roles too seriously. They may grab guests or run into them with force. These actions can cause a child or adult to fall backwards, into other customers, or into a safety hazard.
- Trampling incidents. In a particularly frightening moment, crowds may run together to get away from the startling image and knock down and/or trample unsuspecting children. Many reputable haunted houses limit the number of visitors allowed inside at one time to prevent these kinds of accidents.
- Unsafe premises incidents. Haunted house operators must use reasonable care when constructing and maintaining the venue for the season. Improper ventilation, poorly secured props, rides, and exposed construction materials can all contribute to preventable injuries onsite. These oversights can result in injuries including carbon monoxide poisoning, lacerations, burns, and broken limbs.
The causes of these incidents are outside a visitor’s control. They can happen despite a visitor’s individual safety precautions.
Scare Related vs. Premises Liability Related Injuries
Haunted house owners are liable for injuries that arise from onsite hazards and negligent actions. However, all haunted house visitors assume a certain amount of risk the moment they walk through the entrance. If your or your child’s injury resulted from normal, safe, and age-appropriate haunted house conditions, the courts will likely side with the haunted house. Anxiety attacks and other fear-related injuries will generally not stand up as fair personal injury arguments in court.
The concept of assumption of risk will only protect a haunted house up to a point. You may want to discuss a scare related claim with a personal injury attorney before writing off legal action.
What to Do After a Haunted House Injury
Always make sure younger children visit haunted houses with appropriate adult supervision and that older children go in groups. As soon as you learn of the injury, take these steps:
- Gather information. If you weren’t present at the time of injury, visit the area where your child was injured and take pictures. If you were with your child at the time of the incident, take pictures/video and ask people nearby for their account of what happened, while collecting names/contact information.
- Report the injury to the haunted house manager or owner. Ask to file an incident report as soon as possible, and record the names of employees who talk to you about the incident. A haunted house employee may even serve as a valuable witness.
- Take your child to a medical provider. Tell the physician about the incident and keep all medical records associated with the injury. A swift evaluation can link the injury to the haunted house and serve as a basis for your personal injury claim.
Most reputable haunted houses carry liability insurance to cover premises liability claims that arise onsite. Before you speak to an adjustor, accept a settlement, or let the case go, speak to an attorney. Your child deserves justice in incidents that involve haunted house negligence or malicious conduct, and taking action can prevent similar incidents in the future.