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When parents in Illinois put their children on the school bus each morning, they do so expecting that the kids will arrive at school safely. In most cases, this is exactly what happens. Nevertheless, a school bus was involved in a fatal accident in Lake County recently. The incident sent several kids to local hospitals for medical care. It also caused the death of an adult in another vehicle, and that tragedy may ultimately form the basis for a wrongful death claim against the bus driver and his employer.

The bus versus car accident happened when the school bus driver apparently failed to stop in time for a red light shortly after 8 a.m. The bus crashed into another vehicle, essentially T-boning its passenger side. The driver of that car perished in the incident.

Another vehicle was struck as well. It appears that as many as 23 people had to be treated for injuries. They were listed in good to fair condition by hospital personnel. The number of injured included several young students who were on the bus at the time of the crash.

It is unclear just why the bus driver failed to stop at the red light, and that will likely be the focal point in any official investigation. However, the man may now find that he faces personal injury claims as well as a wrongful death lawsuit for his actions. A wrongful death claim is appropriate under Illinois law when a fatality is deemed to have occurred due to the negligence of others. In this instance, both the bus driver and his employer may face demands for reimbursement of monetary damages occasioned by the tragic death of the man in the vehicle that was struck. In addition, parents of the children injured on the school bus may also seek restitution for the expenses and other damages sustained as a result of the collision.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "1 adult dead, dozens of pupils hurt in Illinois school bus crash," Michael Muskal, April 5, 2013

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Bonifield & Rosenstengel
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Belleville, IL 62220

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