School is back in session! In addition to new backpacks and pencils galore, another thing that you can be sure of is more kids walking and commuting to school. From school buses to carloads full of little ones to child pedestrians in crosswalks, if you’re a driver in Massachusetts, you’re likely to see kids aplenty.
Unfortunately, kids traveling to and from school means that there may be an increase in the risk of being involved in an accident, whether a pedestrian accident, a school bus accident, or a motor vehicle collision. If your kid is injured in a crash, here’s a look into what you need to know–
Who’s Liable for Your Child’s Injuries?
If your child is harmed in a crash while traveling to or from school, determining liability is critical – if fault cannot be determined, you may not be able to recoup the full amount of damages owed to your child and your family. Liability in Massachusetts is usually based on negligence – the failure to act with a reasonable degree of care. Consider the following examples of potentially liable parties and negligent acts related to an accident on school grounds/when traveling to or from school:
- A crossing guard if the crossing guard failed to direct traffic to stop when a child was crossing.
- A school bus driver if the bus driver’s negligence, such as speeding, operating a bus while intoxicated, etc. led to the crash. Keep in mind that the school district, not the driver, will likely be held liable under the theory of vicarious liability.
- A school district if the cause of the collision was a defective bus that would not have malfunctioned but for proper care and maintenance.
- A vehicle manufacturing company if the accident was the result of a vehicle defect.
- Another parent or driver if your child was riding in this driver’s vehicle at the time of crash (or was struck by the driver) and the accident was due to distracted driving, impaired driving, violating traffic laws, or any other negligent acts.
Steps to Take Immediately if Your Child Is Involved in a Crash
If your child is injured in a crash in Lynn, it’s important that you take action immediately. You should:
- Document as much about the crash as possible. Even if you’re not around when the crash happens, request a copy of the police report, keep copies of your child’s medical bills, talk to witnesses, and take photos of the accident scene and any injuries suffered by your child.
- Get medical care. If your child is injured in a crash, the first thing that you should do is make sure that they get proper medical care, even if they say they feel fine and there are no obvious injuries.
- Notify all relevant parties. You need to notify the school district, the police department, and your insurer(s) about the accident as soon as possible. This will help to ensure that your right to file a claim is preserved.
Call a Lynn Accident Attorney Today
At the law offices of Deborah Gold-Alexander, we know that one of the potential downsides of the back-to-school season is an uptick in accidents involving children. If your child has been involved in a Lynn accident, you need a seasoned attorney on your side. Deborah Gold-Alexander has over 30 years’ experience and is ready to advocate for you! Reach our law office today by phone or online.