If you are involved in a vehicle accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be able to recover a considerable amount of damages if you were permanently affected or disabled. An Illinois man was recently awarded more than $7.15 million by a St. Clair County jury after his vehicle was hit head-on by a school bus operated by Mascoutah Community Unit School District 19. The lawsuit alleged that the school bus driver turned around to look at the students on the bus for about 10 seconds, which was enough time for the bus to veer off into oncoming traffic and cause a head-on collision with the plaintiff’s vehicle.

The plaintiff’s suit also alleged that the school district attempted to falsely blame the crash on a student fight taking place on the bus which caused the driver to be distracted. The suit claimed the school district lied, manipulated and misstated the facts of the accident in spite of a video surveillance tape which contradicted the story of a fight occurring among students on the bus. In their attempted defense, the school district asserted that the plaintiff was responsible for his injuries. The district claimed that the accident could have been prevented if the plaintiff was driving slower and had maintained control of his vehicle.

After a four-day trial, the jury decided in favor of the injured driver and made the award based on his permanent disfigurement, lost wages and current and future medical expenses. More than half of the $7.15 million award was for pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of a normal life.

My page on vehicle accidents provides information on how you may proceed to recover damages if you or a loved one was harmed by a negligent bus, truck or car driver.