Buses play a crucial role in local, regional, and interstate transit. Typically, buses are an efficient and dependable method of commuting to work, school, and travel throughout the city.
Each year, tens of thousands are killed or suffer debilitating injuries in collisions involving buses. Tragically, many of these crashes are due to negligent bus drivers and their employers.
Common Bus Accident Types
At Mike Agruss Law, we represent passengers who have been injured in collisions in a Chicago bus accident. Our bus accident attorneys handle claims involving different types of buses and motor coaches, including:
- City/public buses
- School buses
- Private and charter buses
- Regional carriers
- Passenger vans
- Tour buses
- Chicago Transit Authority buses
Buses are large and heavy, making injury and property damage quite common. This is especially true for drivers and passengers who are not restrained while riding.
Your Chicago bus accident lawyer will work tirelessly to get compensation for medical bills, lost wages, or property damage. If a loved one was tragically killed, we could also pursue a wrongful death claim.
Causes of Bus Accidents
Most bus accidents are due to operator error. Sometimes, the fault may lie with the driver of another motor vehicle, poorly maintained buses, or a combination.
The following are conditions that can result in a crash:
- Driving while tired or sleepy
- Driving under the influence
- Turning too wide
- Changing lanes without looking at blindspots
- Driving while distracted
- Driving too closely behind vehicles
- Poor weather conditions
- Dangerous road conditions
Drivers of other vehicles may also be fully or partially at fault due to:
- Tailgating the bus
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Failure to respect school bus warnings
- Trying to pass the bus
Commercial vehicle accidents can be complex when multiple parties are at fault.
What the Bus Driver and Company Are Liable For
Companies that operate buses are liable for accidents if they have demonstrated negligence that caused the crash. This includes:
- Improper hiring practices, such as employing unqualified drivers or not checking for previous driving violations
- Incomplete driver training
- Failure to enforce policies regarding distracted driving, substance abuse, and more
- Failure to adhere to federal regulations limiting the number of hours a bus driver should drive
- Inadequate bus maintenance and repair
The type of bus involved may impact your claim, so it is essential to contact an experienced bus accident attorney as soon as possible to go over your legal options.
How Poorly Maintained Buses Can Cause a Wreck
Buses are large and heavy, and when safety components fail, a tragedy can follow.
An essential part of the bus may fail due to negligence, or it could be defective. These may include:
- Defective frame
- Defective brake systems
- Defective tires
- Fuel tank defects
- Defective electrical system
Your bus accident attorney will help determine if a defective or poorly maintained system caused the bus accident to pursue adequate compensation.
Injured in an Accident?
If you are involved in an accident with a bus, you may be at risk of severe injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Broken bones and fractures
- Lacerations and scars
Passengers can easily be thrown out of their seats by the force of a crash, potentially injuring their face and head, along with their arms, legs, and chest. If the bus rolls over, passengers can be flung to the sides of the bus, risking crush injuries or worse.
If you have been involved in a bus accident, there are several actions you can immediately before leaving the scene, including:
The first thing you should do is make sure the police have been called. The bus driver should typically be the first to call emergency services, but you should contact 911 if they cannot call.
The police will file an accident report that is critical evidence when filing a claim.
Get Witness Information
If there are witnesses to the cause of the accident or your injuries, try to obtain their contact information and encourage them to stay to speak with the police. Police reports with a witness statement can help build your case.
Document What You Can
We also recommend documenting the crash scene by taking pictures of the collision, involved vehicles, and your injuries.
Get Medical Attention
Once you’ve talked to the police, you should get medical care for any injuries as soon as possible. This prevents your injuries from getting worse and officially documents the severity of your wounds.
Even if you feel fine, you should still seek medical attention since you may be in shock. Some injuries, especially neck and back pain, may not be immediately apparent until a few days later.
Call Your Bus Injury Attorney in Chicago
Finally, you can protect yourself by contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer. The bus company and their insurance company will most likely have their own team of investigators on the scene within hours of a collision. Therefore, you should take equally quick action in establishing legal representation that has your best interests at heart.
Chicago Transit Authority Bus Accident Lawyer
Chicago is home to the second-largest public transportation system in our nation. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) serves over 1.6 million people daily.
As densely populated as the Windy City is, it’s no surprise that a large number of accidents are inevitable. The CTA can be held liable for financial compensation if you are hurt due to recklessness or negligence.
If you have been injured in a bus accident, don’t fight needlessly for compensation by yourself. The lawyers at Mike Agruss Law are familiar with settling a personal injury case against CTA.
Your Legal Rights
It might be easy to forget that every bus passenger involved in a mass transit incident has a legal right to file a claim against CTA, private bus companies, and their insurance companies. Passengers with severe injuries should always seek out the counsel of Chicago bus accident attorneys to make sure they get a successful verdict and comprehensive financial compensation to recoup medical bills and any time away from work.
Family members in Chicago—including Cook County, Lake County, Kane County, Kendall County, Grundy County, McHenry County, Will County, DuPage County, and Kankakee County—whose family member has died in a bus accident can file a wrongful death claim.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that using a seat belt saved almost 15,000 lives in urban and rural areas in 2017. However, it is not possible to use a seat belt on a school bus or public transit as they are not typically provided.
Injuries are commonly more disastrous when victims do not wear seatbelts, especially when large, heavy vehicles are involved.
To make it more challenging, the CTA uses the knowledge of seasoned lawyers to limit the compensation they face in regards to personal injury lawsuits filed by those involved in mass transit crashes. They will always try to settle the claim for the least amount of financial compensation.
As the victim of a bus accident, the circumstances surrounding your crash will help determine what kind of civil claim you should file. For example, if multiple parties were responsible, you can file multiple claims. Personal injury claims can be complicated, especially if more than one negligent party is involved.
You may be able to sue the bus driver, bus company, insurance company, or city of Chicago, depending on the nature of your case. It is crucial to determine the cause of the crash to understand who is liable for your injury. If terrible road conditions were at fault, the city might be responsible; if the bus was poorly maintained, you could sue the bus company. Finally, you can sue the driver if they were negligent and caused the crash.
Our Chicago personal injury legal team works with our clients to get them the payment they deserve.
Compensation for Your Claim
A Chicago bus accident may involve multiple passengers who have sustained severe injuries (including passengers in other vehicles), which can result in multiple claims from a single crash.
If you are someone you love has been hurt from a bus crash, the attorneys at Mike Agruss Law will painstakingly investigate any injury you have sustained and pursue the money you are owed for your suffering.
We can recover the following damages from your bus accident claim:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Loss of future earning potential, if you are unable to work
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium
If your family member has been killed in a bus accident due to negligence, our attorneys will fight for compensation through a wrongful death claim for damages, including:
- Funeral costs
- Medical bills
- Loss of income
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of support
We may also be able to fight for punitive damages in your wrongful death or personal injury claim.
How Mike Agruss Law Can Help With Your Chicago Bus Accident Claim
Buses are legally considered common carriers, meaning they are subject to federal regulations. If the bus was used for commercial purposes, federal agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board would likely help investigate any bus crash.
Since these claims involve complicated regulations, inquiry, and liability, it is essential to seek the services of experienced, knowledgeable legal counsel. Our Chicago bus accident lawyers have comprehensive experience in complex commercial vehicle accident claims. We work hard to hold companies accountable when they are negligent.
Our legal team will work with subject matter experts to reconstruct the bus accident while building your personal injury or wrongful death claim. We meticulously investigate and develop a compelling strategy to account for all the devastation that you and your loved ones have suffered.
If necessary, we will go to trial to fight for your settlement negotiations on your behalf and relentlessly pursue just remuneration for your losses and suffering.
Contact Our Bus Accident Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been seriously wounded in a Chicago bus accident, or you have lost a loved one, Mike Agruss Law can help you. Our priority is to seek the compensation you have the right to when you need it the most.
Please call 888-572-0176 or contact us online today for a free case consultation—our experienced bus accident attorneys serve clients throughout the Chicago area.
Whether a private or commercial bus, thousands of Chicagoans board buses daily. While considered one of the safest approaches to transportation, bus crashes can cause severe, even fatal, injuries. Every year, an average of 63,000 buses nationwide are involved in an accident, injuring tens of thousands.
Your bus driver is required to have a commercial driver’s license. They are also required to complete extensive training and obey company policy to the letter.
Often, we can only establish company or bus driver negligence after a lawsuit is filed and discovery taken. For this reason, it is imperative that you choose the perfect law firm to fight for you.
Our accomplished legal team at our Chicago personal injury law firm scrutinizes claims and litigates personal injury and wrongful death accidents caused by buses and commercial vehicles. We are proud to represent Chicago clients and families who have lost someone close to them and persons severely wounded in a bus accident.
Allow our expert attorneys to go over your legal options and rights before speaking with insurance adjusters. Never sign any paperwork before you talk with us.
We have been recovering maximum compensation after a personal injury and fatal collisions for many years. Allow us to work for you! Best of all, our cases are on a contingency fee basis. You don’t need to pay unless we get compensation for you!