CTA Bus Crashes & Injuries: FAQs
All too often, we hear about bus crashes like one that injured at least 10 people in a multi-vehicle accident in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood. The accident occurred at the intersection of Damen and 79th Street when a vehicle ran a red light and crashed into another vehicle resulting in a subsequent collision with the CTA bus. The force of the impact left one car overturned and 10 people were hospitalized. Among the injured was a young girl who was transported to the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital.
Have you been injured while traveling on a CTA bus? If so, it is critical that you know your legal rights when you’ve been injured on a bus and understand how to successfully pursue a personal injury claim. With the frequent number of accidents that occur, the CTA is well-equipped to defend against personal injury lawsuits. It is crucial that you understand how to successfully litigate a personal injury claim if you are injured while you are a passenger on a CTA bus.
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Is the CTA responsible if I am injured in an accident?
With such a high number of CTA bus trips that happen every day, traffic accidents are unavoidable. Although the CTA may be at-fault for some accidents, other drivers may also be responsible. According to the Chicago Sun Times, in 2015 and 2016, the CTA received over 400 red light camera and speeding violations. The intersection where this occurred the most was Belmont and Sheridan where over 30 red light citations were issued to CTA bus operators during that time frame. Typically, bus passengers are not aware of all the facts and circumstances leading up to an accident. For example, a passenger may not have seen the color of a traffic light that may be critical to determining which driver is at-fault in an accident. Therefore, it is especially important to obtain all available evidence as soon as possible to determine who exactly is responsible.
How can you obtain video of a CTA accident?
In the CTA bus crash previously described, the investigating police officers were able to locate and obtain security video near the intersection to determine the vehicle that ran the red light. The video clearly identified the vehicle that ran the red light. This video evidence is critical because often each driver claims to have the right of way or a green light. In some instances, clear video evidence can both ensure the correct driver is found responsible and could lead to a quicker resolution by removing some potential legal defenses. However, this type of video evidence, specifically security camera footage, is often only available for a short period of time.
Therefore, it is essential to obtain an attorney immediately to advocate for you and gather all available evidence as soon as possible.
The experienced attorneys at The Kryder Law Group will identify and obtain all available evidence. On site investigations can help identify all cameras that may have captured the accident as well as potential witnesses. Also, CTA buses are equipped with multiple cameras that may capture the details of an accident. Interestingly, the CTA often will not provide its videos unless a lawsuit is filed and the video is requested by an attorney.
Video cameras at intersections including red light cameras, nearby homes or businesses may have also recorded the accident. Your attorney can obtain that video through litigation, discovery or through a subpoena.
Can a CTA bus driver be found negligent?
Your attorney should thoroughly review all actions of the CTA and its employees. A careful review of the CTA operator’s driving history could also provide a pattern of negligence. CTA bus operators are provided specific safety and operation training as well as a manual. Your attorney can obtain driver manuals and carefully review the operator’s actions to determine if any procedures were violated. In some instances, the CTA has failed to properly supervise or train an operator. Other times, evidence may also show the CTA failed to provide the appropriate maintenance to a bus which caused an accident. An attorney may need to review maintenance and repair logs.
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Will the CTA defend against personal injury claims?
In short, yes. The CTA anticipates accidents will occur resulting in numerous injury claims each year. In response, the CTA has created its own law department dedicated to the investigation and defense against personal injury claims. Immediately following a CTA bus accident, the CTA will deploy investigators and attorneys to investigate the accident. The CTA will interview witnesses, take written statements, secure video, complete investigation reports, and photograph the scene of the accident. The CTA may also hire expert witnesses such as an accident reconstructionist or mechanical engineers to offer opinions in defense of the case.
Can a lawyer help me in a personal injury case involving the CTA?
An experienced attorney can advise you regarding the very strict time limitations you have to work around to pursue a case against the CTA. Unlike typical auto accidents, the statute of limitations for claims against the CTA is one year. This means you must file a lawsuit within one year of the accident or your case will be barred. The attorneys at The Kryder Law Group have the experience and knowledge to successfully litigate a personal injury if you were injured on a CTA bus and will maximize your recovery. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, please contact the lawyers at The Kryder Law Group for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights at (312) 223-1700.