Know Your Legal Rights
Have you been injured while traveling on a CTA bus? If so, it is critical that you know your legal rights and understand how to successfully pursue a personal injury claim against the CTA. Due to the expansive bus system, CTA bus accidents occur frequently and appear regularly in the news. In one example, a CTA bus was involved in an accident with another vehicle at 69th Street and Ashland in Chicago. One fatality was reported. Then in another instance, multiple injuries were reported when a CTA bus collided with another vehicle at Washington and Clark Street. With the frequent number of accidents, the CTA is well-equipped to defend against personal injury claims. It is crucial that you understand how to successfully litigate a personal injury claim against the CTA.
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What is the CTA?
The Chicago Transit Authority (“CTA”) operates the nation’s second largest public transportation system consisting of rail service and buses. The CTA operates nearly 2,000 buses and makes approximately 20,000 trips a day with over 10,000 bus stops. The CTA is an independent government agency run by the Chicago Transit Board consisting of members appointed by the Mayor of Chicago and the Governor of Illinois. The CTA has its own Law Department comprising numerous lawyers and investigators to defend against personal injury claims.
Is the CTA dangerous?
The CTA is considered a common carrier and as such, in Illinois, owes a duty to its passengers to transport them safely. The Common Carrier Liability Act (740 ILCS 25/1) states: “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 at the place to which the same is to be transported by any stipulation or limitation expressed in the receipt given for such property.” This is critical because the courts have determined that pursuant to this act, common carriers, like the CTA, owe a duty to its passengers to exercise the highest degree of care to transport them safely to their destinations.
The CTA’s duty of care extends beyond the safe operation of the bus. The CTA is required to protect passengers from assault, abuse or intentional harm from its employees. Even further, the CTA is required to protect passengers from other passengers. However, this duty to protect is only established if the CTA knew or should have anticipated that the other passenger posed a danger of assault, injury or abuse. The Illinois jury instructions detailing the CTA’s duties are provided to address the common law and statutory duty imposed upon common carriers with regard to maintaining the safety of their passengers.
Injured while riding a bus, why hire an attorney?
With the high number of CTA bus trips and passengers, accidents are unavoidable. Therefore, the CTA expects numerous injury claims. In response, the CTA has created its own law department dedicated to the investigation and defense against 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. If appropriate, the CTA will retain expert witnesses such as an accident reconstructionist or mechanical engineers.
It is critical to obtain an attorney immediately to advocate for you and also gather evidence. The attorneys at The Kryder Law Group will explore all evidence related to operator negligence. Your attorney can obtain video of the accident from multiple cameras within the bus. A careful review of the operator’s driving history may also provide a pattern of improper operation. 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 leading to an accident. An attorney may need to review maintenance and repair logs.
An attorney can also advise you regarding the very strict time limitations 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 against the CTA and maximize your recovery. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, please contact the lawyers at The Kryder Law Group to discuss your legal rights at (312) 223-1700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.