A school bus driver involved in a fatal collision near Wadsworth earlier this month will not face any charges, according to the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office. At least one witness at the scene of the crash originally indicated the bus driver ran a red light, but officials say that witnesses gave conflicting statements thereafter regarding the cause of the collision.
On April 5, the school bus collided with two SUVs at the intersection of Highway 173 and Kilbourne Road, resulting in the death of one of the SUV drivers. A toxicology report on the victim showed what is believed to be prescription drugs in the SUV driver’s system at the time of the crash, adding speculation as to the cause of the collision.
There were 35 children on board the bus that morning which was traveling to Newport Elementary School in Wadsworth. The collision demolished one of the SUVs, caused significant damage to the other, and caused the school bus to roll on its side. In all, 37 people were injured.
In most collisions, people who are injured by the negligence of another driver have a right to bring a claim against at-fault driver’s insurance. The claim may be made to cover things like medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If the deceased driver of the SUV is determined to be at-fault in this crash, the adults and students on the bus may be able to bring claims against the SUV driver’s insurance.
Most individual automobile insurance policies do not have limits high enough to cover all of the people injured in this collision. Illinois law requires drivers to have a minimum of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per collision in insurance coverage though drivers can carry a greater amount. Even with a large insurance policy, there may not be enough money to cover the damages caused by a crash.
If your damages are greater than the negligent driver’s insurance, you may also have an underinsured motorist claim. In this type of claim, your own insurance company will “step into the shoes” of the at-fault driver and provide another source of potential monetary compensation for your claim.
Many people have private insurance policies that provide underinsured motorist coverage in case of a crash with significant injuries and a small insurance policy. In the case of the crash between the school bus and the SUV, the children on board the school bus may be covered by an underinsured provision in their parents’ policy and/or an underinsured provision in the policy covering the school bus. Some buses provide this type of coverage to their passengers, including PACE, while other buses, like the CTA, do not. It depends on the language of the insurance policy at issue.
If your child has been injured while riding on a school bus, you may have a claim on behalf of your child against the at-fault driver as well as a possible underinsured motorist claim. The knowledgeable school bus crash lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to discuss your child’s injuries. To find out what rights your child may have, please call us today at (312) 924-7575 or toll free at (855) 529-2442.
More Blog Posts:
Deadly Illinois Bus Accident Kills 1, Injures 37, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published April 5, 2013.
4 Vehicle Crash Injures 5 in Southwest Chicago Suburb, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published May 2, 2013.
Bus Driver Cleared Following Fatal Accident, NBC Chicago, published April 30, 2013.
Photo Credit: Bus, Image ID 604402, stock.xchng