Every weekday morning and afternoon, thousands of school buses across the state of Illinois transport children to and from school. Naturally, school bus companies, school districts, and local aw enforcement agencies try to do all they can to protect the safety of their passengers. But it’s important that these entities provide the same high level of safety even on weekend school bus trips.
Sadly, that apparently didn’t happen earlier this month. On the afternoon of Saturday, September 14 shortly after 1:15pm, a school bus was traveling south on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. Near the intersection of Balbo Drive (which is just south of Buckingham Fountain), the bus failed to stop in time to avoid striking a vehicle that was already stopped in traffic. In addition, a Chicago Police car struck the back of the school bus. A total of eight children on the bus were injured enough to require transport to a nearby hospital, but no one in the passenger vehicle was hurt.
Certainly, it appears that the driver of the school bus will be held responsible for the rear-end auto accident. However, it’s unclear whether the kids were injured by the initial bus-car collision or by the police car-bus crash. A further investigation may be required to ascertain precisely what happened.
But it’s likely that the parents of the injured kids (since minors cannot file lawsuits) will file a personal injury lawsuit against both the school bus operator and the Chicago Police. Since Illinois law mandates that all employers are responsible for the actions of their employees, both the school bus driver and the police officer driving the cop car have exposed their employers to these potential lawsuits. A jury could award the plaintiffs reimbursement for medical care and perhaps monetary damages for pain and suffering which might have been sustained by the parents.