CTA Bus Accident Lawyer | Staver
Bus Accidents

Chicago Bus Accident Lawyer

The ability to travel through the Windy City is important for the people in and around Chicago. To that end, the Chicago Transit Authority operates and maintains trains and buses for Chicago’s many residents and visitors. The CTA uses more than 1,800 buses, running 129 routes over 1,536 miles. Buses make about 19,000 daily stops at nearly 11,000 bus stops.

But the system isn’t perfect. Bus accidents happen, and passengers and passersby can be hurt. The team at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., is ready to hear your story. You could be eligible for compensation if you were a CTA bus passenger or hurt by a passing bus. We can help you fight for compensation after you or a loved one are hurt by a CTA vehicle.

Call (312) 236-2900 to schedule your free consultation.

CTA Bus Accident Claims

Some cases with government agencies don’t qualify for a claim or lawsuit.

Many municipal organizations are protected from lawsuits under “tort immunity” laws. In most civil cases, these laws restrict the liability of certain government entities and their employees. They are meant to prevent trivial lawsuits that could cost the individual or government unnecessary expenses.

However, CTA buses are “common carriers.” Because the CTA was created by the Metropolitan Transit Authority Act and the bus line accepts payment for a service, the organization is excluded from tort immunity. The CTA takes responsibility for the safety of its passengers. While you won’t automatically be granted a settlement, you can still pursue one against the transit authority for their negligence.

CTA Statute of Limitations

In Illinois, personal injury claims generally have a two-year limit. However, with the CTA, you have one year to file a notice of claim to file a lawsuit.

Common CTA Accidents in Chicago

Chicago’s transit authority oversees inner-city bus travel. Demand for bus service is high, with more than 800,000 weekly passengers using the CTA. This demand also lends itself to more opportunities for bus crashes.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported nearly 5,000 crashes involving buses and large commercial vehicles in 2020. 11% of those bus crashes were in cities.

Examples of CTA bus accidents include:

  • Collisions: it’s a reasonable expectation for a bus to crash into another vehicle or a vehicle to collide with a CTA bus. Some buses have collided with other large vehicles, like buses, in the past.
  • Pedestrian Accidents: Pedestrian injuries have climbed in recent years. After all, Chicago is a busy city, and not everyone travels in a vehicle. Although buses sit higher than passenger cars, there are still blind spots, and some pedestrians won’t be paying attention.
  • Accidents with Stationary Objects: Not every CTA bus accident involves another vehicle. A bus can run into a light pole, building, or bus stop. These accidents can be dangerous because bus passengers don’t have seatbelts or other safety equipment. An unexpected crash could cause severe damage.

Causes for CTA Bus Crashes

Not every accident is caused by a bus driver. However, these accidents can still stem from operator failure and cause significant losses for passengers, and people hurt in the surrounding area. Determining what contributed to your accident will let you and your lawyer know where to file an insurance claim or lawsuit.

  • Speeding
  • Irresponsible operation
  • Failure to Yield
  • Driving while under the influence
  • Distracted driving

Injuries Caused by CTA Bus Accidents

Like other accidents, CTA bus crash victims could experience various injuries. Each case is unique, but you could experience several injuries, including:

  • Head and Brain injuries — concussions, skull fractures, or other TBIs
  • Broken bones — any fractured bones, including ribs, leg bones, or arm bones
  • Neck and Back Injuries — whiplash, herniated discs, bulging discs, or spinal injuries
  • Paralysis — nerve damage preventing full mobility
  • Soft Tissue Injuries — ligament tears or muscle tears
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder — long-term effects induced by trauma after an accident

Liable Parties in CTA Bus Crashes

Finding the people responsible for your injuries after a crash involving a public transportation bus can be challenging. Narrowing down any liable parties can help you and your lawyer start your accident claim or know where to pursue a lawsuit.

Liable parties to a CTA accident could include:

  • The Bus Driver: bus drivers should be adequately qualified and trained to drive a bus safely. That means they need their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Bus drivers also have a higher standard of care because they are “common carriers.”
  • The Chicago Transit Authority: The CTA hires drivers because they provide a service for Chicago residents. That means they are responsible for their reckless or negligent actions if they result in accidents or damages.
  • The Maintenance Team: public transit vehicles must be inspected regularly. Maintenance technicians should be thorough when fixing known issues.
  • Manufacturers: The manufacturer can be held responsible when a defective part causes an accident.
  • Other Drivers: even though they drive a much larger vehicle, not all accidents will rest on the bus driver’s shoulders. Other drivers could drive recklessly and cause injuries.

How to File a Claim After a CTA Bus Accident

If another driver caused your injuries while you were a bus passenger, you must file a claim against that driver’s insurance. Their negligence caused your injuries, so that they can be liable for your damages.

If the CTA was responsible for your damages, you would file with the Attorney General’s office. This claim details your name, address, accident date, injuries, and attending physician. By filing your notice of a claim, you’ll have two years to file a lawsuit. You’ll need to call a Chicago personal injury lawyer and start building your case to have the best chance of recovering compensation for your damages.

Damages Available in CTA Bus Accident Claims

Under Illinois personal injury law, you can pursue compensation for the losses caused by someone’s negligent or reckless actions. That means you can seek payment for your economic and non-economic losses. A lawyer can help you calculate the value of your claim.

Your economic losses are your out-of-pocket expenses. These are the damages that are a direct result of the accident. Your medical bills, property repairs, or lost wages qualify as economic losses.

Your non-economic losses are your conceptual damages caused by your economic losses. These losses are challenging to calculate because they deal with mental suffering, anguish, and loss of consortium. They are the losses you’ve experienced as a direct result of your economic losses.

What to Do After a CTA Bus Accident

After a CTA bus accident, you should ensure your safety. If you’re a bus passenger, follow the bus driver’s instructions. Begin preserving evidence when you’re out of harm’s way. Get photos of the accident, talk to other passengers, answer law enforcement’s questions, and accept a ride to a medical provider. Your medical bills will be helpful when explaining the extent of your damages.

Documenting everything about your accident is critical, so the CTA cannot easily deny fault. Your attorney can use your evidence to build a convincing case. Once you’ve filed your notice of claim, you can start working on your lawsuit. Many claims settle before trial, but you can prepare yours for court to show the transit authority you’re serious about a claim.

Call a Chicago CTA Bus Accident Lawyer Now

Bus accidents can cause tremendous damage, and getting assistance from an experienced Chicago bus accident lawyer is a sure way to get the compensation you require to be made whole. The Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., are ready to hear your story and fight for you to get the money you deserve.

We know the Chicago Transit Authority can seem menacing. They’re a city organization with considerable legal resources. We’re here to ensure you get a fair chance at getting the help and compensation you need after a CTA bus accident.

Call (312) 236-2900 or use our contact form to schedule your free consultation.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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