In This Article
Bus Laws in Chicago
While some laws regarding transportation and personal vehicles may apply to busses, there is a specific set of laws that apply to public transportation. These are called common carrier laws and apply to any company that offers transportation services for a fee. Nearly all busses in Chicago are affected by common carrier laws. Interestingly, common carrier laws are overseen on a federal level by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), which is responsible for all common carriers.
Common carrier laws are stricter than personal vehicle laws, mainly because they put more people at risk if something should go wrong. The statute outlining common carrier rights and responsibilities also makes it clear that the carrier is responsible for your safety while you are on one of its vehicles. This is an important part of the law as it lays the responsibility on the carrier if you are hurt in an accident or another incident on the bus. There are few exceptions to the carrier’s responsibility too, so it is very likely that the carrier will be held responsible.
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When Do You Need a Bus Accident Lawyer?
If you are injured in a bus accident, you need a bus accident lawyer. Transportation companies often try to offer people injured in a crash or their families settlements to quickly close cases. The faster a case can be closed, the less damage it does to the company’s reputation and profitability. While it may be tempting to accept a settlement, you should have a lawyer examine it first. Settlement numbers can be in the millions of dollars, but they are often based on a value that people will agree to, not a value that will provide the level of medical and other support needed for the rest of the victims’ lives. A bus accident lawyer can examine the settlement, advise you, and negotiate with the transportation company to make sure that you get an amount the will help you as long as you need assistance.
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How Common Are Bus Accidents
Despite the idea that accidents are common, bus accidents are not that common. In fact, they have a slightly better record than personal car safety records. The vast majority of passengers reach their destination safely. While bus accidents are rare, they often are the focus of news reporting when they happen. So, many people think that they happen far more often than they do.
Types of Bus Crash Injuries
Being injured in a bus crash can lead to a variety of injuries. They are mostly the same as accidents in personal vehicles. However, there is a higher chance of injury in a bus crash because there are few, if any, personal crash protection systems in buses. Most bus crashes result in bruising, concussions, and lacerations (cuts). Broken bones are also relatively common in more severe accidents.
In the rarest accidents where the structure of the bus is compromised, it is possible to receive fatal injuries upon impact. These often occur when buses are hit by other large vehicles, like trucks, and other buses. It is also possible to be ejected from a bus in such a crash, although this is exceedingly rare. Because of the open structure of the bus, people are more likely to move around inside and receive blunt force injuries from hitting other people and hard surfaces.
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Past Bus Crash Accidents
Chicago has had several bus crash incidents in the past few years. One of the most recent crashes where 4 people were hurt happened when a CTA bus driver had a medical emergency and lost control of the bus. It swerved out of its lane, across the other lanes, and hit a tree. Only four people were seriously injured. Another accident in Chicago involved a bus hitting an SUV that sent 11 people to the hospital. There are not many accidents involving buses, so elevated caution when riding the bus is not needed. You are still very unlikely to be involved in or seriously injured in a bus accident.
If you’re in a bus accident, you need an experienced auto accident attorney protecting your interests. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys can help you understand your rights after a bus accident.
Even if a bus accident doesn’t result in fatalities, the size and momentum of a bus can cause severe injuries and/or damage to personal property. Bus accidents can also be complex to litigate due a variety of factors.
Determining Fault in a Bus Crash
Any of the following parties could be held responsible after a bus accident:
- Bus driver
- Other negligent drivers
- Bus management company
- Bus equipment manufacturers
- Government organizations, if a public bus
Our lawyers are familiar with the different kind of bus accidents you might experience. Whether it’s a charter bus, a CTA bus, a private bus company such as Greyhound and Megabus, or a school bus, our lawyers have the expertise to investigate your case and win you the compensation you deserve.
What to do after a bus accident
As with any vehicle accident, it’s important to make sure anyone injured in the accident receives prompt medical care. It’s also important to document the scene and take down contact information for everyone involved in the crash. Gathering witness contact information is also critical. After the crash, our lawyers can shepherd you through the legal side of things, so that you can focus on recovering from your trauma or caring for a suffering loved one.
Common Carrier Law
The “common carrier law” can also influence how your case goes after a bus accident. This law applies to any form of public transportation, such as buses or trolleys, and holds the carrier to a higher standard for ensuring passenger safety than the average person. However, it is still the responsibility of the injured party to prove negligence on the part of the driver or government entity in charge.
The bus accident lawyers at Kryder Law are ready to help you discover if there is an issue of negligence in your case. We’ll conduct a thorough investigation to make sure you receive compensation for any injury, death of a loved one, or property damage caused by the accident.