Traffic collisions are the most common cause of accidental injury that strikes in Florida. Considering that virtually everyone travels on our area roadways several times a day, it should not come as a surprise that Florida car accident injuries strike with startling frequency. All vehicles on the roadway can get caught up in an accident, from eighteen-wheel semi trailers to bicycles. For example, late last week, the Orlando Sun Sentinel reported on an Apopka school bus accident.
The accident struck last week as the school bus was filled and bringing children to a nearby school for morning classes. According to reports, shortly after 8 a.m. the school bus was traveling on Orange Blossom Trail at Neal Sibert Drive when the accident occurred. The bus stopped on the road to pick up students that were standing nearby waiting for the ride. At the same time, a Lynx bus was traveling behind the bus on the same road. However, the Lynx bus driver was apparently not paying proper attention to the road in front of him, and he did not notice that the school bus had stopped. As a result, the Lynx bus slammed into the back of the school bus. As often happens in accidents involved vehicles with many passengers, there were several injuries. All told at least seven people were taken to the hospital, including four children. The Lynx bus driver and two passengers on the Lynx bus were also injured.
Authorities are still investigating the crash to determine all of the factors in play that led to the accident. However, the Lynx bus driver was cited for careless driving for failing to stop before hitting the bus. When it comes to any possible civil lawsuit that stems from this accident that citation will likely play a role in an Apopka bus accident lawsuit, but it is not necessarily determinative.
Those hurt in this accident can file a civil lawsuit to recover for their losses. That suit would likely be based in the law of negligence. Under normal circumstances, to win a negligence case the victim must show that another breached their duty of care causing them injury. These suits can be filed after traffic accidents even where no specific traffic citation was filed. However, if a citation is given to a driver, that citation will likely be used as evidence by the plaintiff in the case to show that a duty was owed and breached. In other words, if a defendant violates a statute, then the court will often use that fact as proof that several of the elements needed to win a negligence case were shown. It doesn’t necessarily end the case but moves it along.
Besides implicating a statute, this Florida Lynx bus collision also likely involves the legal principle known as respondeat superior. If a suit is filed, the victims will likely seek to hold the Lynx company itself responsible for the actions of its employee—the bus driver, Raymond Mieles. Under the principle of respondeat superior, the employer may be held vicariously liable for the conduct of their employees if performed in the course of their employment.
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