At 8:30 a.m. on Monday, February 25, 2013, Louisville Metro Police received a report of an accident involving a Jefferson County Public School bus. There were 43 students on Bus #0856 in route Camp Taylor Elementary when the bus was struck on its side by a shuttle bus. JCPS spokesperson, Ben Jackey, said there was virtually no damage to the bus, but several children complained of neck pain. There were eight children transported to the hospital with minor injuries.
- In 2012, five children were killed as passengers in school buses (one each in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas and Texas).
- School buses provide approximately 10 billion student trips per year: 8.8 billion to and from school and an estimated 1.2 billion on activity trips.
- There were around 70,000 JCPS students who ride one of 961 JCPS buses every day. In 2012, 249 of those buses were involved in a crash.
Bus accidents are always tragic and school bus accidents break our hearts since children are involved. Most school buses will not carry insurance that will cover the child passengers, such as Personal Injury Protection or Uninsured Motorist Coverage. It is important that all parents have coverage through their personal car insurance. This will make sure that injuries sustained can be compensated.
If the parent of an injured student does not have car insurance, their child is still eligible for PIP benefits under The Kentucky Assigned Claim Plan. These are benefits that will pay up to the first $10,000 of medical bills for treatment of injuries from this bus accident. This is a statutory benefit that you may be eligible for if there is no other PIP coverage for which you qualify. These benefits are the exact same benefits you receive under Personal Injury Protection or Basic Reparation Benefits from insurance purchased.
Unfortunately, there is no insurance that will compensate the injured student for their pain and suffering. If the at-fault driver has little insurance or no insurance, the only option is to look to the parent’s uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. I hope for the sake of each family suffering through this tragedy that they have the proper insurance.