Skip to main content

My daughter was involved in an incident with the school bus driver endangering her life and the life of another child, what kind

Prairie Du Chien, WI |

of lawyer do I need? She is 14 and was getting on the bus with my best friend's son, 9 (who has ADHD and OCD) He dropped some erasers on the ground and was picking them up outside NEXT TO THE BUS. My daughter stood on the bus with her right leg planted on the pavement outside the bus. The bus driver closed the door on her leg and proceeded to move the bus. He moved the bus about 2 feet and stopped it again, opened the door, the boy got on, and then my daughter got on the rest of the way. I was the video tape and he has received a traffic ticket because the kids that got on the bus b4 he moved it were not seated yet. The case has been given to the DA but nothing has happened other than the bus driver being suspended from work.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

If the Bus Driver closed the door and began to drive away, without realizing the position your daughter was in, your Daughter may have a Negligence claim for the recovery of money from the Bus Driver and/or the Bus Driver's Employer (and/or any liability insurers either may have), to compensate her for any damages she suffered. I would suspect that having the doors closed on her leg and the bus start moving unexpectedly while she still had the other leg outside the bus caused your Daughter some degree of physical pain, as well as a terrifying moment or two thinking about the imminent prospect of the bus accelerating to driving speed and dragging her along the pavement to the next stop! If so, these are elements of damage for which she may have a viable claim for compensation, regardless whether she later sought any medical treatment. (If she did, the claim for compensation for the cost of treatment would, technically under Wisconsin law, belong to you as the parent of the Minor who received the treatment.)

If the Bus Driver closed the door on your Daughter's leg and began to move the bus, knowing the position your Daughter was in and intending to injure or her scare her, she may have a civil claim for Battery and/or Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. In that case, in addition to compensation for injury related damages, she may have a claim for punitive damages against the Bus Driver. (Unfortunately, however, liability insurance policies usually exclude coverage for all damages, both compensatory and punitive, associated with injuries a wrongdoer purposefully inflicted on the victim.)

I suggest you immediately make an appointment to meet with an experienced private personal injury attorney, in order that a more informed and detailed factual inquiry can be organized and undertaken. Such an attorney would likely request that you bring your daughter and the videotape you mentioned to the first meeting. After learning more of the details, such an attorney should give you his or her opinon regarding whether you or your Daughter have potentially collectible claims likely worth the time and expense of pursuing in a lawsuit. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis and, therefore, do not charge any fee for their time to meet with a prospective client before deciding whether to accept a potential personal injury case.

The District Attorney represents the State of Wisconsin and, on its behalf, may or may not decide to charge the Bus Driver with a criminal violation. Such a charge would be handled in criminal court in a proceeding separate from any civil lawsuit that might be pursued by a private personal injury attorney on behalf of your Daugher or you.


You say "nothing has happened other than the bus driver being suspended from work." But that is what there is to happen in these matters. The bus driver is disciplined. You might disagree with the discipline, and maybe there will be more after an investigation is complete, but essentially a suspension and some degree of employee discipline is what there is to do. And he also got a traffic ticket. How are these events "nothing"?

If your daughter was injured and required medical treatment, you can make a claim against the school. It probably is not worth the effort and cost of a lawyer if there was no med treatment.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.



ok. First of all, the chance of any kind that the bus driver will start driving my kids to school again is unacceptable. The investigation has been completed so when I say that "nothing" has been done. I ment that he has not been charged with child endangerment yet. That is the part that I have a problem accepting. The driver put a bruise on my daughter's leg and could have run over the little boy that was outside the bus when he moved it! That little boy is 9 and ADHD and OCD this happened first thing in the morning and he had just taken his medication about 5 minutes before this happed. He was focused on picking up all the items he dropped and the bus driver was going to leave WITHOUT HIM and WITHOUT SEEING WHERE HE WAS! SO I CAN DEFINATELY SAY THAT SINCE WE HAVE HAD MORE THAN JUST THIS PROBLEM WITH THIS BUS DRIVER I WILL BE SUEING HIS I JUST NEED HELP FINDING OUT WHAT KIND OF LAWYER TO GET. Family law? Education law? that is all I want to know. My best friend and I are going to sue him together because we will make a bigger point that way.

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall


Lawsuits are for bad things that happened, not for what "could have happened." "Could have happened" is an agenda/action item for the local school board and district. Your best friend can't join in any lawsuit just for solidarity or to make a bigger statement (which is not the result of two plaintiffs rather than one, in any case). To have the legal right to sue, all plaintiffs must have suffered a cognizable injury and be entitled to some legal remedy -- usually damages. It sounds like you don't have a clear grasp of the differences between a lawsuit and a demand for action made to the accountable authorities. The latter may be your best course. If you are determined to go forward with a legal action, you want a personal injury attorney with experience in suing public entities. But it is unlikely that this case will interest a P.I. attorney who works on contingency (paid from the successful result, if any) because of the low damages and I doubt you are really exercised enough to come up with thousands of dollars to fund a lawsuit from your own pocket.


The suspension is certainly a punishment. It may become permanent. You may need to speak with a competent personal injury attorney. Do not delay. In cases involving a municipality there are often a short time period where a Notice of Claim must be filed. In NY it is 90 days.

Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and time-lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Pascale strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to insure proper advice is received.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer