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Wheelchair Bound Girl Suffers from Injury Owing to Neglect

Steve Wagner

Handicapped children are entitled to special care and attention while travelling on school buses, and their protection and safety must be ensured by school authorities in every way as mandated by the law. However, when those responsible for ensuring the safety of handicapped students are negligent, accidents can occur. In a recent incident, a 7-year-old handicapped girl from southern Indiana suffered serious injuries when her wheelchair fell from the motorized lift of the school bus.

The driver of the vehicle who operated the lift failed to lock the wheels of the chair on the lift, and also did not wait for an aide to help move the girl’s chair from the lift to the bus. When the driver began lowering the lift, the wheelchair flipped forward with the girl in it, and she fell face-first four or five feet to the ground. During the fall, the tray on the wheelchair struck the girl in the abdomen and chest. The injury left her with a broken nose and dislodged feeding tube.

The Individuals with Disabilities Act, a federal act, mandates that when transporting a child to school on a wheelchair, the wheelchair be secured in a forward facing position, with no less than “four wheelchair securing anchorages using appropriate securing devices”. The law also requires at least “one anchorage for the upper end of the upper torso, and no less than two floor anchorages for the wheelchair occupant”. Thus there was a clear violation of the mandatory requirements in the above mentioned case.

Victims of wheelchair accidents are entitled to compensation for their sufferings. Successful claims would depend on identifying the people responsible and establishing the causes that led to the bus accident. In the above case, the parents of the girl plan to sue two school districts for negligence, citing that the driver of the school bus was not adequately trained to handle the lift. Depending on the nature and merits of the case, it may also be possible to sue a skilled and trained operator for not exercising the laid down protocols and safety precautions; the lift or equipment manufacturers for any possible malfunctions, and others.

Wagner Reese has a team of highly skilled and experienced Indiana injury attorneys who are adept at investigating such incidents thoroughly to build up a strong case for compensation. When you enlist us as your Indiana personal injury attorneys, you stand to gain everything and lose nothing, as we collect our fees only when you receive your settlement.

Contact us at (888) 204-8440 for a free evaluation of your case.


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