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When your child is on the school bus, they should be protected as if they’re still in the classroom. This means that they should be supervised and managed so that no one gets hurt. If the school or bus personnel fail to do this and a child gets hurt, a parent can file a lawsuit against those responsible.  For whatever reason, we’ve been dealing with a lot of these cases lately.

We all know that kids goof around, especially when an adult turns their back. The bus driver is focused first and foremost on the road in front of them, so it can create a dangerous situation for kids in the back who want to cause trouble.

What the bus driver should do is stop any harassment, bullying or fighting that happens on the bus. There’s not much they can be expected to do if one kid punches another completely out of the blue, but if there are signs of a problem the driver should address the issue.

Every situation is different, but generally speaking the bus driver should make sure kids follow the bus safety rules, and they should report bullying to the parents and/or school. If kids are fighting, they should be separated (the driver can’t kick anyone off the bus mid-route), and if the driver knows of other harmful behavior, such as sexual harassment, it’s their job to do something about it.

As a parent, you can file an injury lawsuit if another kid on the bus hurts your child. Like any personal injury lawsuit, you’ll have to prove that the person or entity you’re suing owed your child a duty of care, that they failed to uphold that duty of care, and that your child was injured as a result.

The bus driver is often focused on driving, but this doesn’t mean they can’t see and hear what’s going on behind them. If they know about an incident or bullying or harassment, they have a duty to try and stop it. If they say they didn’t know, you can still hold them responsible if you can show that they should have known. It usually comes down to what a reasonable person would have observed and what they would have done about it.

There are Illinois attorneys who have specific experience in school bus injury lawsuits. These are attorneys who have successfully sued on behalf of parents whose children were injured because of the negligence of the bus driver, the bus company and/or the school. If you have questions or need help getting started, feel free to give us a call.

Written by Michael Helfand