Settlement Reached in Case of Sailor Killed by a Virginia Beach School Bus

Crashes involving school buses in Hampton Roads have made news headlines in recent years.

One of the most shocking crashes led to the death of sailor Christian Montes' who broke down in Virginia Beach.

He was hit by a school bus and killed on Holland Road three years ago.

School bus accidents are common in Hampton Roads

Hampton Roads has seen a spate of school bus crashes

A recent report on WTKR stated a wrongful death lawsuit against Virginia Beach school board had been settled for $2.5 million. It cited court records.

As Montes stood outside his car after it broke down, a school bus plowed into him from behind, ending his life.

Montes was in the Navy and married with two children.  Reports stated he was on his way to work when he was killed in the northbound lane of Holland Road.

The family was represented by attorney Gary Byler, according to the report on WTKR.

We typically see an upsurge in school bus crashes in October when the schools are back and the nights and mornings get darker. In the same month as Mr. Montes was killed in 2013, a driver died in a crash with a school bus in Western Branch, Chesapeake.

Fortunately, there have been no serious injuries to students reported, but we routinely read about wrecks involving school buses.

In 2015, 11 students were treated at local hospitals following school bus accidents in Suffolk and Poquoson.

If your child has been injured in a school bus crash or you are another driver who was hurt in a crash, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the school board.

You have to ask yourself if the school bus driver was at fault for the wreck and also if he or she was an agent of the school. Usually, a school board will be liable but there may be cases when a driver was acting outside the scope of his or her employment.

The Virginia Tort Claims Act gives employees of the Commonwealth of Virginia “sovereign immunity” and can limit claims for negligence to $100,000. However, if the jury decides the defendant committed gross negligence, which is a complete lack of care on the defendant's part, higher damages can be awarded.

If you have been seriously injured in an accident with a school bus and it was clearly the fault of the driver, it’s worth considering a filing a lawsuit. Call our experienced Virginia personal injury lawyers at (757) 455-0077.

Jim Hurley

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