What legal action canI take against a school bus company for leaving my 4 year old daughter alone at the wrong bus stop?

UPDATED: Sep 5, 2011

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What legal action canI take against a school bus company for leaving my 4 year old daughter alone at the wrong bus stop?

She was left alone at the other side of town; she standing on a corner for 15 minutes before she was approach by a lady who lives in that area and contacted her school who in turn contact her mother. I know this is the fault of the driver but now my daughter is traumatized from this experience on her first day of school and doesn’t want to get on the bus anymore. I can’t afford to take her back and forth to school everyday and also have gas to get me to work.

Asked on September 5, 2011 under Business Law, Wisconsin


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You could sue the school district and school bus company for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that in this case a reasonable school bus driver would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  An employer is liable for the negligence of an employee which occurs in the course and scope of employment.  In this case, the bus driver is an employee of the school district and school bus company. 

If your daughter receives treatment for her trauma from a psychologist or psychiatrist, obtain the medical bills and medical reports.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of the trauma and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bill.

Prior to filing your lawsuit for negligence, it may be possible to settle the case with the insurance carrier(s) for the school district and bus company.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carrier(s), reject the offers and file your lawsuit for negligence.  You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to sue on behalf of your daughter.  If the case is settled, no lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled, the lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your daughter will lose her rights in the matter forever.



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