About five years ago, New Jersey experienced one of the worst truck accidents in recent memory. One student and one teacher lost their lives after their bus collided with a dump truck, and parents were forced to fight for justice for what must have felt like an eternity. Finally, some of these parents are experiencing real results – and they have just agreed on two settlements. Although these settlements certainly represent substantial sums, they still cannot bring back the people who died. Unfortunately, New Jersey children still face risks associated with truck accidents every day. One can only hope that this settlement will dissuade negligent parties from further acts of negligence.

Paramus School Bus Crash Finally Lead to Settlement

New Jersey Families Finally Get $20 Million for 2018 School Bus CrashIn late October of 2023, it was reported that two cases stemming from the Paramus bus crash had finally been settled. The family of a 10-year-old student who died in the crash received a sum of $7 million, while the family of a critically injured student received $12.5 million. It may seem strange that the family with the deceased child received less than the family with the surviving child. However, one must take into account the cost associated with caring for a disabled child. These costs simply do not exist if a child passes away, and settlement calculations are based heavily on economic damages rather than the emotional tragedy of losing a loved one.

The defendant in this case was none other than Paramus Public Schools, an organization that declined to comment after the settlement numbers were announced. While you might assume that the fault lies entirely with a negligent trucker, this particular situation is not so clear-cut. Instead, it seems clear that much of the fault lies with the school bus driver – a 77-year-old who made a highly erratic maneuver moments before the crash.

The bus driver was transporting the students from their middle school in Paramus to Waterloo Village – an authentically restored 19th-century village on the Morris Canal. The kids were heading to the attraction for an educational field trip – but it seemed as though the bus driver missed the exit while driving on Route 80. In a sudden, reckless move, the bus driver reportedly cut across three lanes of traffic, swerving across the highway in an effort to make the exit. At this moment, the bus collided with a dump truck. The impact killed a 51-year-old social studies teacher and the aforementioned 10-year-old girl. A staggering 43 additional students and staffers also suffered injuries in the crash.

The student associated with the $12.5-million settlement was placed in a medically-induced coma due to the severity of their injuries. Two years after the crash, the bus driver was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Even though five years have passed since this tragic incident, many lawsuits are still ongoing. Perhaps most notably, plaintiffs are still trying to hold the trucking company liable for its role in the crash, although it is not clear whether this effort will be successful. Legal experts associated with the lawsuit say that it may end up going to trial.

Children Continue to Face Traffic Threats in New Jersey

It is worth noting that school bus crashes continue to occur in New Jersey. In November of 2023, five victims – including three children – suffered injuries after a school bus flipped over on the Garden State Parkway. One week prior, a school bus crashed into someone’s house in Howell. The frequency of school bus crashes is certainly alarming, especially since these vehicles carry our next generation.

A common theme seems to be a worrying lack of professionalism among school bus drivers, who are often selected from a pool of individuals with serious issues. Seniors who have no place driving school buses often find themselves behind the wheel despite their obvious cognitive and physical health issues.

Where Can I Find an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer in New Jersey?

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced truck accident lawyer in New Jersey, look no further than Lependorf & Silverstein. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured plaintiffs in the Garden State – including those whose lives have been irrevocably altered by trucking accidents. The fact that parents have secured a $20-million settlement is certainly encouraging, but the truth is that no amount of money can turn back time. Providing fair settlements represents the bare minimum that trucking companies can do after causing such pain for innocent families in New Jersey. Book your consultation today to pursue justice in an effective, confident manner.

The firm’s principals, Gabriel R. Lependorf and David E. Silverstein, have each been representing injured victims in the State of New Jersey for over thirty years.

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