School bus drivers’ duties may be considered to start and end with children getting on and off the bus. But school bus drivers may also be responsible for making sure that students safely cross the street when entering or exiting the bus. In a recent case, a court held that a bus driver’s duties extended to helping children safely cross the street, and the bus’ car insurance was required to pay benefits as a result.
A girl was on her way to take a school bus to school. After she received a signal from the bus driver, she crossed the street to get on the bus when she was hit by another car. The girl filed a complaint to receive benefits from the bus’ insurance company for her injuries. The state required that car insurance included coverage for “PIP (personal injury protection) benefits,” which provide benefits to those injured in car accidents. The girl was trying to recover PIP benefits that were available to those in the vehicle as well as other people involved in the accident, who were not in another vehicle.
The insurance company that insured the bus argued that it was not “involved in the accident.” However, that state’s supreme court found that it was. The bus driver controlled the process of entering and exiting the bus, and the accident happened when the bus driver signaled for the girl to cross. Part of a school bus’ operation is to safely pick up and drop off students, and that role was clearly involved in this accident. Also, the accident was within the common understanding of a motor vehicle accident, since she was hit by a car while crossing to board the bus. Finally, even if the other driver may have been at fault, the girl was still entitled to PIP benefits, since the bus was involved in the accident. Therefore, the girl was entitled to the benefits from the bus’ insurance company.
Car Insurance Requirements in Illinois
As in every state in the United States, all cars in Illinois are required to have insurance. Illinois’ mandatory insurance law requires that every insurance policy meets the following minimum standards:
- $25,000 for injury or death of one person in an accident;
- $50,000 for injury or death of more than one person in an accident; and
- $20,000 for damage to property of another person.
Drivers are also required to carry insurance cards in their cars and to show them to a law enforcement officer if requested. If you are involved in an accident or stopped by a police officer, and you do not have insurance, you could face fines of at least $500. Car insurance is required so that those who are involved in accidents can receive compensation for their injuries and damages—even when car insurance companies put up a fight.
Have You Been Involved in an Accident?
If you were injured in a car, truck, or bus accident, you may be able to recover compensation not only from the individual at fault but also from your own insurance company. However, claims depend on the specific terms of the insurance coverage. The Chicago lawyers at Moll Law Group are available to help victims of car accidents and other incidents of negligence involving transportation. We serve accident victims and their families in Naperville, Schaumburg, Wheaton, and communities throughout Cook County. Contact us through our online form or call us at 312-462-1700 to set up a free consultation.
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