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| Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Norfolk, Virginia police stated on May 1 that a school bus driver was charged in connection with a serious school bus accident that left several students with injuries.

News reports over the weekend in Norfolk stated that the bus driver was charged in the accident with failure to yield, after the bus slammed into an SUV on April 28.

Four students were brought to a local hospital to be checked out, and eight children reported personal injuries after the bus crash.

Forty two children who attend the Academy for Discovery at Lakewood near Norfolk and three adults were coming back from the Virginia International Tattoo Festival when the crash happened.

A spokeswoman for the Norfolk school district stated that it is conducting an investigation of the bus accident. He will be reassigned to other work and will not be allowed to drive while the accident investigation is ongoing.

Our View

School bus accidents are relatively rare, but a bus accident can leave children with substantial personal injuries when they occur because school buses usually lack seat belts. But the NHTSA has stated that it believes the best way to offer protection in school buses is to use compartmentalization.

Compartmentalization provides protection by using a protective space or envelope that has strong seats that are closely spaced and have soft and energy absorbing seat backs. Generally, compartmentalization has helped to minimize bus accident deaths and injuries over the years.

According to USA Today, there were 340,000 fatal motor vehicle wrecks from 2004 to 2013, and 1214 of them were related to school buses. The NHTSA also reports that approximately 134 people are killed in school bus related accidents each year. 

Even though these are small numbers, school bus accidents still do occur and when they do, serious personal injury or death can happen. This is why as personal injury attorneys in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Virginia, we often represent those who have been injured in these accidents.

From the initial reports, it sounds as if the school bus driver may have been at fault in this accident. The families of the injured children may choose to seek justice by filing a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages. They could be entitled to pain and suffering compensation, as well as payment for their medical expenses.

Our personal injury lawyers in Virginia are experienced in handling personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. These cases often results in substantial payouts, such as this $130,000 settlement for a neck injury that occurred when our client was hit at high speed on I-264. 

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