A California jury has awarded $36.1 million to a young girl struck by a car on her way to an “unsafe” school bus stop.
The pedestrian accident occurred five years ago in 2012. The 6-year-old girl was crossing a residential street mid-block to catch her school bus when she was hit by a car. After the pedestrian accident, she has suffered a coma, has been in a wheel chair, and has required round-the-clock care.
The family sued the private school bus company, Durham School Services, for failing to provide a safe bus stop for their daughter and other children. According to the pedestrian accident lawsuit, the bus driver failed to notify the school district that the bus stop was notoriously unsafe for children.
The attorney for the girl and her family told the Los Angeles Times that “[the company] is supposed to be the eyes and ears of the school district to monitor all things that are unsafe that occur out at the bus stops. Everyone admitted that bus driver had an absolute duty to report that and get the safety people out there right away.”
During the trial, testimony from other parents on the bus route showed there was a pattern of unsafe stopping and increased risk of pedestrian accidents. Other mothers said they had to walk out in front of the bus to get the driver to stop for the children trying to go to school.
The jury awarded the girl $36.1 million, but also found that the girl’s mother was 20 percent responsible for the pedestrian accident, even though she wasn’t there, because she allowed her daughter to take the dangerous route on other occasions.
After the verdict, the girl’s mother told the Times, “More than anything I don’t want any other little kid to go through what I’ve been going through. We’re trusting the bus companies with our kids, for them to have a better future, and we don’t want nothing to happen to them.”
Catastrophic Personal Injury and Pedestrian Accidents
Individuals, especially children on their way to school, have a right to a safe passage, free from risks of catastrophic personal injuries that can alter their lives forever. Unfortunately, children and others are far too often the victims of pedestrian accidents caused by poorly organized routes that increase the risk of injury.
When another person or organization’s negligence causes an accident leading to catastrophic personal injuries, victims and their loved ones should know that they have a legal right to compensation. It may also take victims coming forward and filing a lawsuit against an organization that has been negligent to get the organization to change its ways and stop others from getting hurt.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you have a legal right to be compensated for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. It can be difficult to navigate the network of insurance, laws and regulations surrounding your legal rights, but an experienced attorney can help.
Obtain a free case evaluation with the pedestrian accident attorneys at Bradley/Grombacher by filling out the form on this page.