Last Updated: December 10, 2017
Chicago Bus Accident Lawyers
Seeking Recovery for Mass Transit Accident Victims in Cook County, Illinois
Mass transit systems play a vital role in the lives of many who ride a commuter bus to work or take a long distance bus to visit family in another state. Statistically, buses are one of the safest modes of transportation, but they also lack fundamental safety equipment found in other types of motor vehicles, such as airbags and seatbelts. Despite their relative safety compared to other modes of transportation, an average of approximately 60,000 bus accidents occur annually. At Stein & Shulman, LLC, our Chicago bus accident lawyers are committed to helping bus passengers who suffer serious injuries in an accident obtain the compensation they need to experience the fullest recovery and rebuild their lives.
Chicago Bus Crashes Are on the Rise
Bus accidents are on the rise, which is particularly true of crashes involving privately run rogue bus companies that operate in violation of federal and state safety regulations. These bus accidents frequently are the product of a violation of federal safety laws and/or repeated violations of industry safety rules and standards. It has become quite common for marginal bus lines to evade regulations or enforcement of safety standards by simply closing their doors and reopening under another business name. The serious risk of busing accidents caused by marginal bus companies has become so significant that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates busing companies, has recently targeted private bus companies that continue to operate despite repeated safety violations.
Factors Making Bus Accident Litigation Unique: Common Carriers & Sovereign Immunity
Bus accident litigation frequently involves a range of special liability rules. For example, the defendant might be a public entity that runs a commuter line, such as the Metra System. The busing accident lawyers at Stein & Shulman, LLC have been collectively handling transportation and motor vehicle accident litigation for over 45 years, and we have recovered millions of dollars for individuals who have suffered serious injuries in busing accidents caused by bus driver negligence, inadequate vehicle maintenance, substandard training, inadequate supervision by busing companies, and even poorly maintained or constructed roadways. When a busing accident occurs, our experienced Chicago bus accident attorneys will examine bus driver training manuals/procedures, personnel records, bus company maintenance and safety records, past violation of safety regulations by the busing company, and law enforcement accident reports.
Bus companies, like other forms of mass transit, are classified as a “common carriers.” Common carriers are a form of mass transit that provides transportation to the public at a fixed rate. This is important because common carriers are held to a much higher standard of care in protecting the patrons that they transport. The rationale behind imposing a higher standard of care on common carriers is that patrons traveling on mass transit systems, such as busing lines have no way to protect themselves from injury. The operation and maintenance of buses is exclusively within the control of the busing company, so there is little that riders can do to protect themselves from injury. When riders take a bus they are literally placing their safety in the hands of the bus driver and the bus company.
If you are involved in a busing accident and suffer serious injury or a loved one dies, you should also be aware that there are special rules that frequently apply because these cases often involve a lawsuit against a public entity. Because public entities have sovereign immunity, lawsuits involving public busing lines require compliance with governmental tort claims acts. These are laws that authorize those injured by a negligent government employee or entity to pursue personal injury claims against government entities subject to special procedures and/or restrictions. Government tort claims acts typically require that notice of a claim be filed with the public entity before initiating a lawsuit. The timing requirements for initiating a claim under a tort claims act is sometimes as short as a few months from the time of the accident, so time is of the essence in seeking legal advice.
Common Causes of Busing Accidents in Chicago
The causes of a busing accident can be complicated, and a number of parties may share responsibility for causing a busing accident. Parties that might be at-fault for busing accidents include the following:
- Drunk or fatigued bus drivers
- Bus drivers that are distracted or violate traffic safety rules
- Drivers of other motor vehicles that do not obey traffic rules and safe driving practices
- Indifferent bus companies that fail to properly train or supervise drivers
- Independent maintenance companies that fail to properly service a bus
- Public entities for the unsafe design or maintenance of roadways
Stein & Shulman, LLC Representing Injury Victims in All Types of Busing Accident Claims
Our experienced Chicago busing accident lawyers have the knowledge and experience to provide effective legal representation on behalf of bus accident victims caused by negligent private and public busing companies and their drivers, including but not limited to the following:
- Metro buses
- Tour bus lines
- Long distance bus lines (Greyhound Lines)
- Commuter buses
Free Bus Accident Case Review – 45+ Years of Combined Legal Experience!
If you or someone you love has suffered serious injury or someone close to you has died in a bus accident, our Chicagoland bus accident attorneys at Stein & Shulman, LLC offer tenacious advocacy designed to obtain the best possible results for our clients who are injured in busing accidents. Our dedicated and experienced bus accident lawyers carefully analyze our clients busing accidents, so we can identify all potential responsible parties and develop the strongest litigation strategy regarding fault and the cause of our clients’ injuries. We know that bus accident victims may suffer severe injuries that may cause substantial financial, psychological, and physical struggles.
Our Chicago bus accident attorneys at Stein & Shulman, LLC can provide the perfect balance of experience, expertise, empathy, diligence, and tenacity to help you obtain the best possible outcome for you and your family. If you or your loved one has suffered injury in a bus collision, contact us today at (312) 422-0500 or email us to schedule your no obligation free consultation.
No Recovery No Fee!