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Motor vehicle accidents can alter children's lives forever

Most Florida parents spend decades protecting their children from harm so that they have the best chance possible at the futures they desire. Sadly, far too many things are out of parents' control, such as motor vehicle accidents. The injuries suffered by children in crashes could alter their lives forever, and they might not be able to pursue their dreams.

For example, a boy involved in a school bus accident back in Sept. 2014 suffered what is called an open skull fracture. Prior to the accident, he wanted to play football and serve his country as a Marine, but his mother says that now those dreams will not come true. Another girl's leg was crushed in the same accident, and she will never be able to fulfill her desire to become a cheerleader.

The accident occurred on Sept. 29, 2014 at approximately 2:45 p.m. The bus had stopped to let off some students. Its stop arm was extended and its yellow lights were flashing, but that did not stop a semi truck from plowing into it.

Several students were injured in the crash. Recently, the truck driver was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He blames poor maintenance of the truck for the accident, and a trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol testified in the criminal proceedings that eight of the truck's 10 brakes were defective.

The truck driver's conviction and the trooper's testimony about the brakes could be used as evidence in personal injury claims. The driver's culpability is bolstered by the conviction, and the liability of his employer for failing to properly maintain the truck may also be proved through appropriate evidence. If the court determines that the injuries were caused by the negligence of one or more parties, damages usually permitted in motor vehicle accidents could be awarded.

Source: news4jax.com, "Trucker sentenced to 20 years in Bradford County school bus crash", Nicole Snyder and Ashley Harding, Aug. 17, 2016

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