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

I pride myself in helping clients through their toughest times.- Bill O’Mara

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

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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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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