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More than a dozen victims and/ or their families have filed public notices against the state transit authority in New Jersey following a horrific bus accident in August that killed two and injured 12 others. The riders are seeking $115 million in damages, either for wrongful death or catastrophic injuries they alleged left them permanently disabled. bus

As one injury lawyer noted on behalf of one client, “every single aspect of her life” has been adversely impacted. That particular attorney, who has not yet detailed the full extent of his client’s personal injuries, has filed a claim for $35 million in damages. So far, that’s the largest potential lawsuit the authority faces following the crash. No lawsuits have actually been filed as of yet. With the notice of intent to file, the state and other defendants will have the opportunity to respond and, if they choose, to issue a settlement offer. Plaintiffs have to wait six months after filing the notices before they can file a lawsuit, though they do, under New Jersey law, have at least two years to file a lawsuit.

Plaintiff attorneys say they simply want to help their clients regain some semblance of a normal life after the transit bus they were on was broadsided by another bus whose driver allegedly ran a red light around 6 a.m. The 70-year-old driver of the commuter bus was pronounced dead at the scene. One of his passengers, a 49-year-old woman who was on her way to work, died later that day.  Continue reading

As far as auto accidents go, fatal school bus crashes are relatively rare. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports there are an average of 135 fatalities annually as a result of school transportation-related crashes. That’s of the approximately 30,000 fatalities that occur annually in all types of crashes.  Most of those killed – about 70 percent – were occupants of other vehicles. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Still, there are far too many cases in which school-age children are injured are killed as a result of bus crashes. As we start off the school year, it’s important to take note of some recent cases and highlight some of the safety guidelines that help keep children safe.

Just recently in Escambia County, 22 high school students from Pensacola were on a bus when a dump truck slammed into the side of it, overturning it and resulting in 16 student injuries – many of those serious. According to media reports of the incident, the 33-year-old truck driver ran a red light, colliding with the bus on its rear left side, causing it to overturn and hit a utility pole.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage is a necessity in Florida, where an estimated 1 in 4 drivers on the road does not have insurance, and even more lack an adequate amount of liability coverage to cover the full extent of damages. schoolbuswithchild

What some people also may not realize is that UM/UIM policies cover not only injuries to you or your loved ones while you’re driving in your own car. It should also provide coverage for any situation in which you or anyone else covered is involved in a motor vehicle accident – whether the injured person was walking or biking and struck by a vehicle or riding in some form of public transportation.

If the available insurance coverage through the at-fault driver or other liable entities does not cover the full extent of damages, your UIM policy should cover the difference, up to the policy limits.

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