CHICAGO BUS ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
Chicago Bus Accident Lawyer
A specific set of laws apply to public transportation in Illinois, called common carrier laws. These apply to any company – including bus companies – offering paid transportation services. Because common carriers put more people at risk, the laws governing these vehicles are much more strict. In Illinois, the statute outlining common carrier responsibilities makes it clear that the carrier is responsible for your safety. If you’ve sustained severe injuries while riding a common carrier, contact an experienced bus accident lawyer today. At Curcio Law Offices, we serve the Chicago area as one of the best personal injury firms in Chicago. Our law firm is proud to represent injured bus accident victims and their families in order to help them recover maximum compensation for their damages.
Call 312-321-1111 to start an attorney-client relationship with us today. Our Chicago personal injury law firm is proud to offer a free consultation for all new clients.
Do I Need a Chicago Bus Accident Lawyer?
Yes, if you’ve been injured in a bus accident in Chicago, you need a bus accident lawyer. More often than not, carriers and transportation companies will quickly offer settlements to the passengers who were involved in a crash. They do this to close the case as soon as possible. The sooner they can close the case, the less damage it does to the company’s reputation and profit margin.
While it may be tempting to take the initial settlement they offer, you should always consult with an experienced bus accident attorney first. Settlements may be in millions of dollars, but this amount isn’t based on what’s “fair” for the victim. It’s based on the lowest possible dollar amount that bus injury victims will accept without a fight. This doesn’t mean it will cover medical bills, lost wages, etc. A Chicago bus accident lawyer can study the facts of your case, calculate the exact amount of compensation you deserve for your damages, and negotiate a fair settlement with the bus company in question.
What Causes Bus Accidents in Chicago, IL?
Bus drivers encounter many of the same difficulties as any other driver, as well as some additional issues specific to buses. The following are some of the most common causes of bus accidents.
- Distracted Driving: Drivers who are preoccupied with their phones or other electronic gadgets are more likely to be involved in an accident. Bus drivers are more susceptible to passenger distractions than vehicle drivers due to the large number of passengers on board.
- Fatigued Driving: Bus drivers, like truck drivers, must adhere to a strict itinerary. This frequently entails working long hours without taking adequate breaks. The long hours and claustrophobic environment of a bus can be exhausting for a driver.
- Speeding: Due to strict schedules, bus drivers may disregard speed restrictions or road conditions in order to make their planned stops. Speeding can certainly lead to more bus accidents.
- Vehicle Maintenance: Poor vehicle maintenance sometimes results in failing parts which can cause bus crashes.
- Insufficient Training: Buses – whether they’re school buses, tour buses, or intercity buses – are huge vehicles. They are much more difficult to drive than regular-sized cars. In many cases, school bus drivers and other types of bus drivers have to acquire a certain type of license or undergo extensive training in order to drive the bus safely. Drivers often lack adequate training on how to operate buses because of understaffing. So bus companies may hire someone and get them on the roads as soon as possible with very little training. This can certainly lead to more bus accidents.
How Many Bus Accidents Occur in the U.S. Every Year?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 127,000 non-fatal accidents and 5,237 fatal accidents (involving large trucks and buses) occurred in 2019 alone. School bus accidents accounted for the majority (39%) of all fatal crashes in 2019. Meanwhile, transit buses and intercity buses accounted for 34% of all fatal bus accident cases in 2019.
Common Bus Accident Injuries
Bus collisions are fairly uncommon compared to other forms of motor vehicle accidents. But when bus accidents happen, they result in catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. Pedestrians, cyclists, motorcycle riders, and regular car passengers are all at risk of serious injury. The consequences of a huge intercity bus or a school bus colliding with a pedestrian or smaller vehicle on the road can be disastrous. Even the average bus passenger can suffer gravely. Listed below are serious injuries that bus passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other car passengers can suffer during a collision.
- Head injuries such as traumatic brain injuries or concussions
- Spinal cord injuries such as whiplash
- Partial or complete paralysis
- Nerve damage
- Skull fractures
- Broken bones or crushing injuries
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Road rash, bruising, and lacerations, all of which can cause major tissue damage
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Internal injuries such as punctured lungs, liver lacerations, kidney damage, and internal hemorrhaging
- One or more amputations
- Wrongful death
What To Do After a Bus Accident in Chicago
Being in any type of car accident is terrifying. However, an accident involving a city bus or a school bus is even more terrifying. You may experience a disorienting amount of shock and pain, making you confused on what to do next. If you’re ever in this situation, remember to do the things listed below before leaving the scene.
First and foremost, call 911. This phone call will send both police and EMTs to the accident scene. Typically, the bus driver is in charge of contacting emergency assistance. However, if they are unable or unwilling to call for help, you should dial 911 yourself.
Not only is calling 911 crucial for the sake of documenting the accident via a police report, but it’s also crucial so that bus accident victims can receive emergency medical care.
Seek Medical Attention
You should seek medical care for your injuries as soon as possible after speaking with the police. It is essential to get medical help as soon as possible for a variety of reasons. It stops any injuries from growing worse, records your injuries, and safeguards your legal right to claim compensation. Due to the adrenaline of the collision, certain injuries (particularly serious injuries to the neck and back) may not be immediately seen or felt. It’s possible that they won’t be apparent for a few days. This is why you should get pain treatment at a hospital as soon as possible.
Gather Witness Statements and Document the Accident
If there are any bystanders, make sure to obtain their contact information and encourage them to remain at the scene to give their story to the police. A police report accompanied by a witness testimony can be extremely useful in building a strong bus accident claim. Your lawyer may need to speak with these witnesses later in order to ask questions or persuade them to participate in a deposition for your personal injury case.
Additionally, you should document the bus accident scene with pictures and videos. This documentation can help police and bus accident lawyers to determine fault in the bus accident case. Determining fault is crucial for victims to recover fair compensation from drivers or bus companies.
Lastly, document your injuries through pictures and video. If you have to go to the ER after the accident, be sure to obtain those medical records so that you can know exactly how much money you need via a settlement.
Contact a Chicago Bus Accident Lawyer
Finally, you should seek legal counsel in order to protect yourself. Within hours following a major incident, the bus company and its insurance company are likely to send investigators to the scene. Their prompt response should demonstrate how critical it is to have your own legal representation who is looking out for your best interests.
Buses are occasionally run by the city or county, or in collaboration with a city or county. As a result, the legal procedure for submitting a claim may differ from the procedure for filing a private claim. In addition, the time limit for filing a claim against a municipal agency is shorter. Chicago bus accident attorneys at Curcio Law Offices will provide you with all of this information in your free consultation so that you can file your claim on time and receive justice.
How Much Can You Get From a Bus Accident Settlement?
The short answer to this question is that it depends on the severity of the accident, the amount of damages suffered by each victim, and the responsible party. The more severe your injuries are, the higher settlement you may receive.
Bus accidents caused by negligence certainly warrant personal injury lawsuits. The bus crash may cause temporary or permanent damage, and if you’ll need treatment or therapy down the road, you will need that covered by the negligent party. Just like there can be multiple plaintiffs in bus accident cases, there can also be multiple defendants, meaning there are several parties that are responsible for the crash. Regardless of shared liability, most Chicago bus companies will immediately start to present resolutions. Bus accident settlements require both parties to agree on the settlement amount. It’s important to note that bus accident settlements also request plaintiffs not to pursue any future claims against the transportation company.
Determining Fault in a Chicago Bus Accident
Any of the following could be held responsible after a bus accident in Chicago.
- Bus driver
- Other negligent drivers
- Pedestrians, cyclists, or motorcycle riders
- The bus manufacturer
- Private bus companies
- Bus management company
- Government entities, if a public transportation bus was involved in the accident
A Chicago bus accident attorney with Curcio Law Offices is equipped to handle all sorts of bus involved accidents. So if you became injured during an accident with a charter bus, private bus company, CTA bus, tour bus, or school bus, our legal team can help.
Damages for a Bus Accident Lawsuit
Victims may receive compensation for the following types of damages after filing bus accident claims:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future rehabilitative expenses
- Caregiving expenses
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity if the accident causes them to lose the ability to perform the same tasks at work
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
- Counseling expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses if the accident resulted in wrongful death