As a Gwinnett County Georgia personal injury lawyer with many years of trial experience representing families and individuals that have been the victims of serious injury, I was particularly saddened by a Carroll County teen’s death in a school bus crash last fall.
And now, the parents of the deceased teen have filed a lawsuit due to the tragic and deadly crash, after the Georgia State Patrol’s report on the accident revealed a problem with the driver, a trainee.
The Atlanta Constitution-Journal reports that the legal action names as defendants the driver, the school system, its former superintendant and the school transportation coordinator. The driver has had problems in the past with his driving and in this accident was recently sentenced at the Carroll County court to probation and received a fine.
Apparently, the driver had consumed cough medicine and was less alert due to the medication. This medication allegedly impacted his ability to drive properly at the time he drove the bus over a culvert. The bus flipped over after this and the victim was thrown from the bus and crushed by it. Other students were injured.
Buses are particularly known to be dangerous vehicles for passengers in a serious accident. Federal authorities have been aware of this issue for decades and is trying to implement recommendations that were made many years ago to improve bus safety. The lack of seat belts and windows that open are often blamed when passengers are thrown from a bus in an accident. Sadly, in this accident the victim was thrown out of the bus.
There are likely several theories of recovery pled in the parents complaint. Although I have not yet reviewed the complaint filed by the student’s parents, Georgia wrongful death laws provide for situations such as this that occur when a person dies in an accident and someone else is at fault.
The legal action for wrongful death is brought by the relatives of the victim who are permitted to seek damages for such things as the physical pain the victim had to suffer prior to death, the expected income the victim would have earned during his or her lifetime had the accident not occurred, and the emotional suffering the family has endured, among other damages.
Another area of damages that can be sought in a wrongful death action are called punitive damages. These are intended to punish the defendants if they are shown to have engaged in such things as reckless or intentionally negligent conduct.
We will keep our readers informed as this case progresses.
About Charles Scholle, Personal Injury Lawyer
Charles Scholle is a Gwinnett County wrongful death and accident lawyer, serving the surrounding area, including Dekalb, Duluth, Buford and all other cities and counties. He provides free consultations to evaluate your legal issues and situation.