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Isaac Thorp Client Gets $1.7M Settlement in Bus Stop Injury

Attorney Isaac Thorp of Thorp Law in Raleigh, NC, negotiated a $1.7 million settlement for the family of a boy seriously injured when he was struck by a car after getting off his school bus.

This case is another example of how we battle for those injured who might otherwise be denied their right to compensation.

If you are injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, we can help. Contact us for a confidential consultation. There’s nothing to lose. You won’t pay us a dime unless we recover damages for you. Call (919) 373-3390 to get started.

8-Year-Old Boy Struck by Car

May 17, 2017, began with excitement and anticipation. The school had an early-release day, and the boy’s great-aunt would pick him up at the bus stop and take him to his favorite pizza restaurant.

Those plans were dashed when the negligence of the bus driver changed the boy’s life forever as he got off the bus.

The Alamance County bus driver failed to engage in these standard safety protocols:

  • Turn on the flashing lights
  • Activate the stop sign and stop bar
  • Look for oncoming cars

Despite not properly ensuring the boy would be safe, the driver signaled to the boy that it was safe to cross the road. AJ started to run toward his aunt when he saw her waiting for him. An elderly driver never saw him until it was too late. She struck AJ in a Ford Taurus.

Multiple Serious Injuries

When the car struck the boy, he was thrown onto the hood.

His injuries were extensive:

  • Complex skull fractures
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Damage to Ligaments in the Cervical Spine
  • Fractured Leg
  • Bruised Pancreas
  • Bruised Lung

He spent 17 days in the hospital followed by protracted cognitive and mobility problems.

The little boy was first taken to a regional medical center and then flown to UNC Medical Center. The accident occurred at NC 62 and Elder Lane in the village of Alamance.

Criminal Charges, Lawsuit Filed

The incident was recorded by the dashboard camera of the vehicle stopped behind the bus.

“It was very helpful for us to be able to show the defense attorney that this is what [AJ’s aunt] witnessed as it was happening,” Attorney Thorp said.

The school bus driver, 56-John Crawford, was charged with felony child abuse with serious bodily injury. He resigned following the incident. He would eventually plead guilty to misdemeanor child abuse and was sentenced to supervised probation and 150 hours of community service. The driver who hit the boy did not face criminal charges.

The great-aunt and great-uncle, who had been caring for him for several years, filed a lawsuit.

Three parties were defendants in the resulting personal injury claims:

  • The driver of the vehicle (filed with Alamance County Superior Court)
  • The bus driver (filed with Alamance County Superior Court)
  • The Alamance-Burlington Board of Education (filed with the North Carolina Industrial Commission)

Challenge in Proving the Case

Attorney Thorp acknowledge that there were challenges in proving that the TBI caused permanent problems. By the fifth grade, AJ was getting good grades and evaluations.

“To figure out whether AJ’s grades were inflated, our expert administered a battery of standardized tests, which showed that for the most part, AJ was performing at second and third-grade levels,” Attorney Thorp said. “And while AJ’s behavior at school had improved, he still couldn’t sleep alone, suffered severe separation anxiety, and was diagnosed with PTSD.”

The attorney said that after the case settled, they helped AJ’s family establish a special needs trust and an annuity that will make monthly payments for the rest of AJ’s life.

Award-Winning Representation for Personal Injury Cases

Injuries can change every aspect of your life. Educational and career plans can be derailed. Relationships can suffer. Physical pain can lead to emotional and mental suffering. When all these impacts are caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you deserve compensation.

Through tenacious and intelligent representation in negotiations or the courtroom, we always remember who we are fighting for. We do everything within our legal powers to garner full and fair compensation for you.

Call (919) 373-3390 to schedule a free case evaluation.