Articles Posted in Subway and Bus Accidents

Earlier this month, an appellate court in Georgia issued a written opinion in a car accident case brought by a man who was involved in an accident with a school bus. The issue presented to the court was whether a default judgment that had been entered against the school district should be reopened based on the plaintiff’s failure to effectuate proper service. Ultimately, the court concluded that the plaintiff’s method of service was proper and declined the opportunity to reopen the default judgment.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant school district, claiming that it was negligent in the hiring, training, and supervision of the school bus driver who allegedly caused the accident. After filing the lawsuit in the local court, the plaintiff hired a process server to serve the defendant school district, as was required by law.

The process server went to the school district’s main building, passed a secure entrance point, and asked where he could serve the district notice of the pending lawsuit. The process server was directed to the desk of the assistant to the Human Resources Director, where he served the school district.

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When a child is hurt in a traffic-related car crash, the amount of emotion, anger and resentment felt by parents can overwhelm their ability to make the proper choices when it comes to day-to-day activities, not to mention deciding whether or not to file an injury claim against the responsible party or parties. The injured child’s parents and other loved ones may certainly have more important life decisions to deal with when a youngster is in the hospital, possibly fighting to survive a severe or critical injury. As Maryland personal injury lawyers, I and my legal staff have the training and the skill to guide a family through what can be a very emotional time.

While our passion for and commitment to these young victims is quite strong, as professional trial attorneys we are also trained to maintain a necessary level of objectivity in order to plan for a child injury lawsuit or argue a wrongful death claim in a court of law; and always with the goal of attaining the best possible outcome for our clients. When it comes to automobile, trucking and motorcycle injury accident cases, our entire team is dedicated to helping our clients recover full and fair compensation under the law.

As we have mentioned time and time again, the risk of injury or death for a minor child can be quite high in instances of severe traffic collisions. This is true even when a child or infant is properly restrained in a vehicle that is hit by a commercial motor vehicle or even another passenger car. Similar to adults, yet even more so, a bad roadway accident can result in closed-head trauma and other brain-related injuries, spinal cord damage, and even injury to delicate internal organs. The effects of such accident can leave a child with medical problems that can persist all through their adult lives.

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As most every parent, teacher and community leader intrinsically knows; our children represent the future of this planet. As Maryland personal injury attorneys, I and my colleagues also know that there is no greater tragedy than when a child has been seriously injured or killed in a senseless traffic accident. Whether as passengers in a motor vehicle or as pedestrians walking to school or riding their bicycles, youngsters can be hurt in passenger car or commercial vehicle collisions just as easily as their adult counterparts, perhaps even easier.

Kids can receive injuries in any number of accident scenarios, but traffic accidents are only one category. Many children are hurt or killed each year as a result of dog bites, swimming pool accidents or defective playthings, as well as through pharmacy misfills, physician negligence or hospital errors when they are already being treated for a medical problem. As an aside, each of the latter items requires proof that another party was negligent and that the alleged negligence was the cause of the child’s injuries or death.

As auto and commercial trucking accident lawyers, we know the law and how to apply it to cases of child injury. For example, the parents of an injured minor child are entitled to pursue compensation for the costs of a child’s past, present, and future medical treatment and rehabilitation following a bad accident. Since most families cannot afford around-the-clock medical care for a child, parents can actually file a lawsuit in order to recover medical expenses associated a child’s injuries and subsequent treatment.

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To most conscientious drivers in cities like Washington, D.C., Annapolis, Gaithersburg and Rockville, a school bus with its flashers on or stop signal extended is reason enough to stop and yield to the young children carried around our state on a daily basis. But surprising as it may seem, many motorists do not place the same importance on these standard safety devices, even though the welfare of our children traveling to and from school should be an imperative.

As Baltimore auto accident attorneys and Maryland personal injury lawyers, we know how badly a child can be hurt during a violent car or truck collision. As passengers, children can be injured or killed in motor vehicle wrecks, but as pedestrians young people have an even greater chance of being seriously injured, or even die from their injuries. One of the most dangerous times for kids, regarding highway and urban car-pedestrians collisions, is when children are walking to and from school.

Almost as dangerous is when kids are getting on and off a school bus. Although drivers are taught to obey school bus warning lights and be vigilant for students crossing the street at a bus stop, there still are accidents, many of them deadly or life-altering. Not long ago we ran across and article that suggests our school-age children are not as safe as every parent hopes.

According to the news item, many automobile drivers either miss or outright ignore the extended “stop” sign on Maryland school buses. In fact, a survey conducted in Anne Arundel County showed that cars, pickups and minivans did not stop for the extended “Stop” arm on a local school bus a total of 845 in one day.

According to the news article, the Maryland State Department of Education sponsored a statewide survey to collect information on the number of drivers who violated the stop arms of school buses. In just one day, based on responses from bus drivers, more than 7,000 violations occurred in Anne Arundel County alone. It’s no secret that when a school bus stops to pick up or drop off youngsters the bus driver activates the vehicle’s red flashing lights and then swings the “Stop” sign out to alert drivers to come to a complete stop.

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Residents of Washington D.C., Maryland and surrounding areas are still reeling from news of a tragic commuter train crash that killed at least seven people and injured dozens more last night. For reasons not completely known, a Metrorail Red Line train collided at what appears to be a high rate of speed with a second, stopped train during Monday’s peak evening commute. The violent crash caused the moving train to jackknife, throwing several of its cars up and onto the top of the other train. According to reports, this “mass casualty event” is the worst train accident in the District of Columbia since 1982.

As a Maryland personal injury and car accident attorney, I have personally traveled on this particular Metro line many times in the past. As commuters, we all expect to travel in relative safety on subway trains and city buses. Ruling out any terrorist connection, this accident could have resulted from driver error or possibly faulty equipment on the tracks, or even the trains themselves.

Whatever the cause, the results are terribly sad for the families of those unexpectedly killed and painful for those hurt or hospitalized. Injuries from accidents like this can range from bumps and bruises to broken bones, traumatic brain injuries or damage to the spinal column.

News reports indicated that seven people have been confirmed killed and that more fatalities may be forthcoming. Initially, six people were confirmed dead, including the operator of the trailing train, Jeanice McMillan of Springfield, Virginia. Fire Chief Dennis Rubin said rescue workers treated 76 people at the scene and sent some of them to local hospitals.

So far, officials have no explanation for the accident. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is in charge of the investigation, while DC police and the FBI also have personnel at the scene. Normally, these trains should maintain a safe distance between each other, and it is not yet clear what went wrong.

There was also no official statement regarding how fast the one train was traveling before it hit the other waiting train, although the crash happened in a long stretch between rail stations where trains typically allowed to travel at higher speeds, according to a Metro spokesperson. Meanwhile, investigators are also searching the wreckage for the “black box” recording devices carried onboard these trains, which may hold answers to this horrendous event.

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