Every 36 hours in Chicago a crash occurs that involves a CTA bus. After reviewing crash data and injury reports in September 2015 a local news team discovered this frightening statistic. Given the fact that there 1,888 CTA buses that operate 130 routes across 1,301 miles, and the typical bus will make around 19,000 stops daily, it is not too surprising to find buses have high crash statistics.
The CTA is the second largest transportation system in the country, with over 1.6 million rides taken on an average weekday, so it is no surprise that a majority of Illinois residents depend on the CTA to get around, especially in the Chicago area. Thus it is important for all Chicagoans, even those who don’t frequent public transportation, to know their rights if an accident were to occur.
Given the large size of buses and the numerous people who are often riding inside, many of whom are standing, when collisions occur numerous and severe injuries can result. The driver and bus passengers as well as those outside the bus can sustain injuries during a bus collision.
If you are injured as a passenger during a bus collision you are almost always able to make a claim. Depending on how the accident occurs a passenger may have many options to recover monetary compensation to help pay for the cost of medical treatments. A passenger may make a claim against the CTA and the bus driver’s insurance if the driver found to be at fault. A passenger may also make a claim any at-fault driver who caused the collision. In addition, a passenger may make a claim against his or her own private insurance.
CTA bus drivers also have options if they are injured during a collision. Under Illinois law regardless of who is at fault for a crash, a bus driver may file a worker’s compensation claim against CTA to help finance his or her recovery. Bus drivers, just like passengers, can also make a claim against any other at-fault drivers or his or her private insurance.
Finally, if someone outside the bus is injured – a pedestrian, cyclist, or another driver – they too have several options to make claims. Another vehicle driver may bring a claim against the CTA, the individual bus driver’s insurance, their own personal insurance, or any other at fault drivers if the collision included more vehicles. Pedestrians and cyclists also have these options.
The presence of CTA buses and vehicles on our city streets is a positive one overall. They reduce fuel consumption, ease congestion, and provide affordable transportation in a city with high parking costs. But unfortunately, these buses bring negatives with them as well and the high number of annual CTA bus accidents in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs are one major factor. Bus crashes are like car crashes in many respects: no one believes they will be harmed until after they are involved in an accident and it is only then that these victims realize how extreme the harm can be.
If you were hurt in a bus collision, know that you may have the right to seek relief for your damages.
Prior Blog Entry:
Nearly 4,000 Die in Large Truck Accidents Every Year, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published August 3, 2016.