Jury awards student $14M for school bus accident injuries

A jury has awarded Ashely Zauflik $14M for injuries she sustained in 2007 when she was hit by a school bus and dragged under it.

Zauflik was 17-years-old and a high school junior and awaiting the school bus along with a crowd of other students when the school bus driver mistook the gas pedal for the brake, jumped the curb and ploughed into the students, dragging Zauflik nearly a quarter of a mile.

seattle bus accident attorneyZauflik was the most critically injured of all of the students. She suffered crush injuries to her left leg and doctors had to amputate her leg above the knee. She also suffered other fractures and injuries to extremities and injuries to her internal organs. Doctor’s put her into a medically induced coma for a month after the accident.

Zauflik’s recovery has not been an easy one and she is currently in a wheel chair or uses crutches because she has not been able to afford a high-tech prosthesis which costs upwards of $65,000.

The $14M jury award consisted of $3M for past and future medical expenses and $11.M in non-economic damages including the disfiguring injury and for pain and suffering.

The school district conceded that the driver was at error in the pedestrian accident after a National Transportation Safety Board review of the accident found that the brakes were not properly adjusted.

Problem with the School Bus Pedals

Prior to the negligence trial, Zauflik reached a confidential settlement with four separate companies who responsible for the manufacture and design of the school bus and it’s braking system. It appears that the design of this bus has the pedals too close together which may have been a factor in this bus v. pedestrian accident.

Pennsylvania CAPS Awards

In 2008, the Pennsylvania legislature placed a cap of $500,000 for damage awards against municipalities. The jury decision, however, does send a message to the school district to do the right thing and provide Zauflik above and beyond the CAP; The school district has a $11M in liability insurance.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in bus and pedestrian accidents and the family of those who have been killed. With our help, you may recover compensation for your damages.


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