Injured in an Accident with the CTA? Know Your Rights

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Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Statistics

According to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), 1.6 million rides are taken on the CTA on an average weekday. This makes the CTA the nation’s second largest public transportation system. It is a regional transit system that serves approximately thirty-five suburbs and provides connecting service to Metra, Pace, Midway Airport, and O’Hare International Airport. 

To provide these services, the CTA has nearly two thousand buses and operates over fifteen hundred route miles. Some of these routes are open around the clock. Given the scale of their service, it should come as no surprise that an accident occurs with a CTA bus every thirty six hours. This means that every day and a half, there is a CTA bus crash where people are injured. 

Injured in a CTA Accident? Take these Steps

CTA Quick Facts

  • 1.6 million rides on an average weekday
  • 2nd largest public transportation system in the US
  • Serves 35 suburbs
  • Nearly 2,000 buses operating over 1,500 route miles
  • An accident with a CTA bus occurs every 36 hours

CTA Accident Infographic

Is the CTA a common carrier under law?

Illinois law will determine whether a company like the CTA is a “common carrier” (as opposed to a private carrier) on each case’s basis. Illinois courts have delineated several factors when making this determination. The First District Appellate Court of Illinois explained that common carriers are those who “undertake for the public to transport from place to place such persons or the goods of such persons as choose to employ him for hire.” Transformer Corp. of America v. Hinchiff, 279 Ill. App. 152.

What does it mean for the CTA to be a common carrier?

If found to be a common carrier, the company would then be liable under Illinois’s Common Carrier Liability Act. The law states, in relevant part, that “whenever any property is received by a common carrier, to be transported from one place to another, within or without this state, it shall not be lawful for such carrier to limit his common law liability safely to deliver such property….” 740 ILCS 25, section 1, emphasis added. 

This is a higher standard of “ordinary or reasonable care under the circumstances” that typically applies to other people. This common carrier standard imposes the requirement for the CTA to provide the highest degree of safety for its passengers and property. 

I was hurt in a CTA accident. What do I do?

CTA busses are everywhere in Chicago. The CTA website stated that busses traveled an average of 161,192 miles per day in 2017. With the amount of busses on the road driving the incredible amount of miles they do, it should not come as a surprise that there is a higher risk of an accident on or with a CTA bus. 

If you are injured on or with a CTA bus, seek medical treatment if you are injured. Lawsuits with other people can be tricky or difficult; this is especially true with the CTA. Just like the common carrier law, other laws apply to the CTA that wouldn’t normally apply to other individuals. Specifically, lawsuits against the CTA or its personnel for injury must be filed within one year from the date of the accident 70 ILCS 360/41. Put simply, you must file a lawsuit against the CTA within one year of the accident otherwise your claim will be barred. If your claim is barred, you will not receive any financial competition. 

Remember to take the following steps if you are injured on or with a CTA bus:

  • seek medical treatment immediately
  • contact a lawyer
  • file a lawsuit within one year of the accident


CTA busses are everywhere in Chicago. They operate everywhere in the city at all hours of the day. Illinois law generally requires a higher standard of care for common carriers like the CTA. If you are hurt in an accident with the CTA, you must file your claim with a court in order to preserve your claim against the CTA.

The Kryder Law Group is a leading Illinois law firm focusing on personal injury cases with the CTA. The firm has helped thousands of Illinois clients recover the benefits they deserve. Call us for a free consultation to discuss your case or legal matter. 


CTA Accident Infographic FB
Know your rights if you've been injured in an accident with the CTA.

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    Chicago, Illinois 60602 Get Directions

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