Bus Accident Injuries
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The questions on this page were answered by our team of Virginia Beach & Norfolk personal injury attorneys. The questions are categorized by practice area such as car accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death, etc. If you have specific questions about your situation, contact our firm to set up a free consultation with an actual attorney.

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  • What is the doctrine of sovereign immunity in Virginia?

    Law school textbooks describe sovereign immunity as evolving from the ancient concept that the king can do no wrong. As applied under modern Virginia law, sovereign immunity protects government agencies and government employees from personal and wrongful death lawsuits unless very specific conditions exist.

    Generally, a government employee who acts within the scope of his or her job duties cannot be sued by the victim of an accident caused by that government employee. Similarly, government officials, departments and agencies are immune from personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits when the employee who caused an accident was working within the scope of the law.

    Sovereign immunity can be waived (i.e., removed by a court) when evidence exists that a government employee was acting recklessly or doing something blatantly illegal. For instance, a city bus driver who was driving drunk could not claim sovereign immunity.


  • A Virginia Beach Public Schools bus hit and injured me. Can I sue?

    Virginia law requires all public school districts and private schools to carry insurance on their bus drivers. You will have grounds for filing insurance claims or pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit if you can produce evidence that the public school bus driver caused the crash by acting negligently or recklessly. This is the same rule for liability that is used in crashes cause by car and truck drivers.


  • An HRT bus hit and injured me. Can I sue?

    Virginia law grants public transit agencies sovereign immunity. This means that drivers, pedestrians and passengers on public buses generally cannot file personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits following a crash.

    The sovereign immunity protection goes away, however, when a bus driver causes a crash by acting in a way that Virginia state statutes describe as “gross negligence.” Examples of gross negligence could include driving without a valid license, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or crashing with the intent of causing injuries or deaths.


  • What are some of the common problems that can lead to a hypoxic brain injury?

    A common issue is upper airway obstruction. This can occur because there is loss of muscle tone that happens when the person is put to sleep. That is one reason why it is so important for the anesthesiologist to monitor their patients regularly. 

  • How can a personal injury attorney protect my bus accident recovery?

    A personal injury attorney can do a lot to protect your financial recovery in the lawsuit. They can minimize and monitor points of contact with the defendant, request and review your medical records, and form and file wage verification sheets with your employer. No aspect of your case should be weakened due to legal inexperience so that you can recover as much money as possible. 

  • Is suing a public bus company different from suing a private bus company?

    Yes. Suing a public bus company differs from suing a private bus company in some respects. You can still sue the public bus company for negligence in a personal injury lawsuit, but government entities may get immunity for such things as not adopting or enforcing a law, or negligence regarding licenses and permits. 

  • What are some of the common causes of Virginia school bus accidents?

    School buses crash and hit other vehicles, pedestrians and stationary objects for many reasons: going too fast for road conditions; rollover accidents going around a corner too fast; failure to maintain the bus; tailgating and driving distracted with a cell phone. 

  • What are some types of compensation I can receive for my child being in a bus accident in Virginia?

     Compensation might include pain and suffering; emotional distress; lost wages if your child is of working age; medical treatment expenses; and wrongful death damages. 

  • If my child is in a Virginia school bus accident, who is responsible?

    You can file a personal injury claim against whoever was responsible for the accident, such as the bus driver, a mechanic who did not perform scheduled maintenance or another driver on the road. If the bus driver works for the school district, it is possible to sue that entity, but recovering compensation can be challenging, although not impossible.

  • What are common reasons for Virginia bus accidents?

    Bus accidents happen in Virginia for many reasons, including driving under the influence, failure to follow Virginia traffic laws, reckless driving, poor weather or road conditions, drowsy driving, and texting and driving. Like commercial truck drivers, many bus drivers are under pressure to get to their destination on time and accidents often result from speeding and breaking traffic laws.