Parents of special needs children are often in the often stressful position of having to rely on others to take care of their loved one during the day. According to a recent news article from AZ Central, a special needs child was seriously injured when he jumped from a school bus in Phoenix, Arizona.
Witnesses say the 11-year-old boy suffered a serious head injury after he jumped from the moving school bus and is listed in extremely critical condition. The young victim was a student at a special academy connected with an elementary school. He was traveling with the bus driver and his personal aid when he apparently ran for the back door of the school bus.
When police responded to the scene of the morning accident, they provided immediate medical attention and transported victim to a local child trauma emergency room. This was not the first time victim had attempted to escape from the bus while it was moving, as he had also tried to go out the back door the previous Wednesday.
At the time of the accident, the bus was traveling at approximately 15 mph. There was a security camera on the bus, but it was not working during this accident, because the media storage device had been removed during the boy’s previous attempt to run off the bus and not reinstalled prior to this incident.
School board officials have released a statement saying student safety is their utmost concern, especially while transporting children. The last report of the victim’s condition was that he was undergoing emergency surgery in connection with his serous head injury.
As our child injury attorneys can explain, when a parent leaves their child in the care of others, they assume the agency responsible for the child’s care will act in a reasonable and prudent manner to prevent foreseeable injury. This is not only what parents expect, but it is also the negligence standard in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In the case of special needs children, there is no doubt the child may need more attention than a child who is not special needs.
However, a childcare agency cannot automatically use a child’s special needs as a defense to civil negligence lawsuits. When a childcare provider agrees to care for a special needs child, they are assuming the standard of care in protecting a child with these special needs.
Not only should a childcare provider be aware that any special needs child will be needed to be watched more closely than a child without special needs, if they have dealt with a similar incident in the past, they can be said to be on actual notice of a foreseeable risk and must take extra caution to prevent another accident from occurring. It should also be noted that a previous accident does not need to involve the same special needs child. If a substantially similar accident occurred involving another child, a personal injury attorney may still use this similar accident to show the daycare provider had actual or constructive notice this type of accident could occur.
If you are injured in an accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
Phoenix boy, 11, injured jumping from school bus, AZ Central, March 5, 2015
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Massachusetts Train Accidents A Growing Concern, May 3, 2014, Boston Personal Injury Lawyers Blog