Can Roanoke Parents Hold Durham School Services Accountable After Their Child Was Injured in a School Bus Crash?
After a Roanoke Child Was Injured by Durham School Services Bus, What Steps Can They Take to Keep Kids Safe in Roanoke?
ROANOKE, VA — Earlier today, a young girl in Roanoke, Virginia was hospitalized after being struck by a school bus operated by Durham School Services and injured in the accident. This event raises significant questions about legal responsibilities and the rights of parents when a child is injured in a school-related transportation accident – especially privately-owned contractors like Durham School Services.
Details of the Roanoke City Crash with Durham School Services Bus
At approximately 8:50 a.m., Roanoke City Police were dispatched to the scene near the intersection of Cove Road and Lancelot Lane Northwest. They found a female juvenile with injuries, thankfully not life-threatening, and she was promptly taken to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital by Roanoke Fire-EMS Department personnel.
Witnesses at the scene reported that the girl was hit by the school bus after entering the roadway. The bus involved was identified as Bus #29, which was en route to James Breckinridge Middle School. While there were other students on the bus, no additional injuries were reported.
Response from Roanoke City Schools and Durham School Services
The school division administrators and representatives from Durham School Services, the contracted transportation company for Roanoke City Public Schools, were quick to respond to the incident. According to Claire Mitzel, the public relations coordinator for Roanoke City Public Schools, school counselors were made available for students needing additional support in the wake of the accident.
Ongoing Investigation and Legal Considerations
The Roanoke Police Department is currently investigating the circumstances leading to the collision. Their findings will be crucial in determining the next steps, including consultations with the Office of the Roanoke City Commonwealth’s Attorney about potential charges. As of now, no charges have been filed in connection with what is being treated as a motor vehicle crash.
Prior Lawsuits with Durham School Services After Children Injured
This incident brings to the forefront the issue of liability when it comes to school transportation accidents. Durham School Services, the bus company involved, has previously faced lawsuits in other states under similar circumstances. Cases such as the tragic fatal crash leading to a family lawsuit against Durham School Services highlight the potential legal ramifications when a bus company’s actions result in student injuries.
In 2016, a family of a child fatally struck by a Durham School Services driver resulted in a lawsuit against the company for negligence. Durham School Services is an Illinois-based company that provides contract bus drivers to school districts. The lawsuit alleged that Durham School Services “failed to have the correct policies and procedures in place to ensure that all bus drivers were properly trained, supervised, investigated and disciplined.” Durham has the subject of other litigation when a school district terminated its contract with the company and alleged its buses were in disrepair.
Can a Roanoke Parent Sue a School Bus Company?
Under Virginia law, private corporations like Durham School Services can be held accountable for negligence leading to injury, and they are vicariously liable for the negligent actions of their employees, like the bus driver who allegedly struck the child. This legal framework provides a pathway for parents to seek justice and compensation when their children are harmed due to the actions or inactions of such entities.
For parents considering legal action, it is crucial to understand the nuances of Virginia’s laws regarding personal injury and negligence. An experienced attorney can offer guidance through the complex process of filing a lawsuit, including establishing negligence, proving damages, and navigating the intricacies of Virginia’s legal system.
Beyond the immediate legal considerations, this incident underscores the importance of stringent safety measures in school transportation. Ensuring the well-being of students on their way to and from school is a responsibility that falls on both the school districts and the transportation companies they contract.
How Roanoke City Schools Should Respond to Keep Kids Safe
As the investigation into the Roanoke City school bus incident continues, it remains to be seen what legal actions may be taken. For parents and community members, this event is a stark reminder of the importance of vigilance and safety in school transportation. The role of legal intervention in such cases not only seeks justice for the affected families but also serves as a deterrent for future negligence, contributing to a safer environment for all students.