If a student sustains injuries resulting from a school bus accident, one might want to know if suing the school district would be possible. A parent or guardian may wish to sue the school district to recover damages after the incident. But sometimes, sovereign immunity may prevent litigation from taking place.
Are there special cases when sovereign immunity may be defective? This article provides details that help you understand how sovereign immunity works.
School districts and sovereign immunity
Based on the information provided by the Legal Information Institute (LII), sovereign immunity implies that “the government cannot be sued without its consent.” For example, people injured during military service cannot sue the federal government under the Feres Doctrine. The Westfall Act prohibits suing federal employees for crimes committed while working.
You will need to check for sovereign immunity if you must sue a school district for a student’s injury from a school bus accident. Before taking action, it is critical to understand whether government immunity prevents suing the school for injuries sustained in the incident. The decision to submit an injury claim will be influenced by state and federal regulations governing these circumstances.
When can sovereign immunity be applicable in a school bus accident?
The school system often enjoys immunity from lawsuits related to various potential problems. This immunity precludes legal action against the school bus, the driver, or the district in specific circumstances and under certain conditions. As such, these school buses, school bus drivers, and other school district vehicles may be covered by this immunity during a journey.
For example, sovereign immunity will not allow litigation for incidents in which a student is injured, and no one is to blame or in which the student initiated the issue. It can also include incidents where a worker causes a bus accident without intending to do so.
In a school bus accident, immunity may be applied if there is no evidence of negligence or a violation of the duty of care owed to the students. A lawsuit may, however, be valid if the driver caused the accident through negligence, intentional harm, or breaching the duty.
Also, a lawsuit against a school may be inapplicable if the injuries sustained are minor. Unless the accident victim has suffered a serious injury that necessitates a means of recovering through compensation, litigation for accidents is typically not valid.
Generally, the damages must exceed a predetermined level regarding financial calculations. This may include physical rehabilitation therapy and injury-specific care alongside suffering, trauma, and distress.
Are there any exceptions?
Even though a school system is granted sovereign immunity, some lawsuits may occasionally go forward. For example, riding a school bus that consequently results in injuries. This could be due to the bus’ lack of safety features and the presence of hazards that increase the risk of physical harm.
In such kinds of bus accident cases, sovereign immunity may be unable to restrict filing a case against the school. If that is the situation, there is a possibility for litigation, and one can recover for the injuries sustained in the accident.
Accidents may occur during a school bus trip for different reasons. “While you may be prompted to file a lawsuit for injuries sustained from the accident, those reasons would determine whether you can take legal action or not” says DC Law Texas Injury Lawyers. This article has looked at how immunity can limit filing a lawsuit when applied.