Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents people with severe injuries suffered in bus crashes, common carrier collisions, bus maintenance accidents and other types of professional negligence. Our law firm has collected a series of bus injury accident FAQs related to the medical and legal aspects of an accident involving severe injuries and fatalities. Should you have additional questions, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights.
Bus Accident Injury FAQs
According to the US Department of Transportation, in 2013, there were more than 4000 bus and commercial truck crashes that ended in at least one fatality, which was a 3% increase from the year before. That year, in Illinois, bus and large commercial vehicles claimed the lives of the 123 people.
The bus accident injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have compiled a comprehensive list of the most frequently asked questions involving bus crashes and posted the answers below. Many families use this information to determine how to take legal action for justice and to obtain the financial compensation they deserve for their injuries and damages.
What are the common causes of bus accidents in the United States?
Most bus crashes are the result of driver fatigue, driver distraction through inattention, looking at their smartphone, reading email and text messaging. Other causes involve operating the bus at too fast speed during inclement weather or on bad roads, failing to maintain the bus, manufacturing defects, and a failure to train the operator properly.
A bus just crashed into my vehicle. What should I do first?
There are numerous actions you should take immediately to help you get through an accident involving a bus. These include:
- Call law enforcement and EMT (Emergency Medical Technicians) paramedics by dialing 911.
- Never leave the scene of the accident until the police arrive or emergency medical technicians transport you to a local hospital for treatment.
- Stay calm and remain in your vehicle unless it is too dangerous.
- If you remain in your vehicle or you get out, turn the hazard lights on to alert other drivers to be cautious while passing by the scene of the accident.
- Keep the vehicles where they are in the roadway until the police arrived unless it is necessary to move them.
- When the paramedics arrive, have them transport you to the local emergency medical room for diagnosis and treatment. It is imperative to go to the hospital even if you do not believe you are injured at all. Many of your injuries might not become evident until hours, days or weeks after the accident.
- Have a friend or companion collect the names and contact information of every party involved in the accident. Also, gather eyewitness contact information before witnesses leave the scene.
- Ensure your friends or companions get the name and contact information of the bus driver even if they are working for a government agency.
- Collect the name and badge number of every law enforcement officer at the scene.
- Have friends or companions take photographs of the damage to vehicles from different angles and take pictures of your injuries to preserve evidence.
- Never admitted fault, even if you think you might be partially or entirely responsible for the accident. You have just gone through a traumatic event and may not understand all the circumstances that led to the crash. Electing to assume responsibility or determining who might be at fault for the accident is not your job.
Never provide an oral or written statement to any individual or agency other than law enforcement and your attorney. A lawyer working on your behalf will assist you in answering questions later.
Who is responsible for my compensation if I suffered a bus accident injury?
There could be many factors associated with the bus accident that caused your injuries and numerous parties responsible for providing you compensation. Your attorney will determine potential defendants and pursue a claim against any potentially negligent individual, organization, business, or entity to ensure you receive all the appropriate monetary recovery you deserve. Potential defendants that could be required to pay you compensation include:
- The Bus Driver – Your attorney will likely call for an investigation into the accident to identify the bus drivers negligence as a direct cause of the crash. Their neglect could involve driver fatigue, speeding, distracted driving, intoxication, medication impairment, and violating basic traffic rules to maintain a safe environment for passengers, and other motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians sharing the roadway.
- The Bus Company – If your lawyer can prove that the driver was at fault for the accident, the bus company might also be legally liable under Illinois vicarious liability laws. More directly, the bus company might be legally at fault for their negligent actions including their failure to hire a qualified, trained bus driver or because they scheduled the driver to operate the vehicle for a length of time outside legal limits.
- The Bus Tour Company – If the accident occurred while you were on a bus providing a tour, you could likely file a claim for compensation against the tour company, the bus owner, and the negligent driver. The tour business could be found negligent if they failed in their duty to only use a bus vehicle company that hires competent drivers and maintains an excellent safety record.
- The Maintenance Company – By law, the maintenance company is required to maintain the bus in good working order to ensure that the tires, brakes, engine, lights and other safety features provide a safe ride for all passengers.
- The Bus Manufacturer – Your attorney might determine that the accident was caused in full or in part by a defective part or component on the bus that led to a crash or collision. The attorney could file a claim under Illinois product liability laws to hold the manufacturer of the bus, part or component legally responsible for paying compensation to cover your damages.
- Other Motorists – An investigation might determine that the accident was caused by the negligent actions of another motorist on the roadway that caused the bus accident to occur. Your attorney could file a claim against the other driver to hold them responsible for paying all or part of your damages.
Determining who might be at fault for causing the accident can be a complicated process. The experienced bus accident injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have successfully prosecuted complex bus accident cases to ensure our clients have obtained the compensation they deserve through a jury trial award or negotiated out of court settlement.
Do I have the right to sue the CTA bus system for my injuries?
Absolutely. Your attorneys working on your behalf can ensure you receive compensation from the Chicago Rapid-Transit System (CTA) if they can prove the bus system is liable for your injuries. However, the CTA is a government public transportation authority agency and filing and resolving a lawsuit works differently than suing a private individual, group or organization. Because of that, filing a claim for compensation quickly is essential to ensure the statute of limitations does not expire, which could forfeit your right to obtain compensation forever.
My child was injured in a school bus accident in Chicago. Can I sue for damages?
Many children in the United States suffer serious injuries or die in school bus accidents every year. According to statistics maintained by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) reveal that crashes involving school buses are an ongoing threat to the health and safety of school-age children. The statistics show that most of the fatalities in school-related transportation accidents occurred to children 5 to 7 years old who were killed in front impact collisions. Many of these accidents happened during inclement weather or through the negligence of others including the bus driver or another motorist on the road.
What can I expect my hired attorney to do to resolve my case?
Your lawyer will take immediate legal action to ensure all the paperwork and documents required are filed in the appropriate county courthouse before the Illinois statute of limitations expires. Next, the law firm will work on building a compelling case by numerous means including:
- Investigate the Accident Scene – Your attorney will hire an investigative team to collect evidence before it is intentionally or accidentally destroyed. The investigation will include collecting evidence of the road and weather conditions at the time of the crash to help the lawyer determine all the factors that might have contributed to the accident.
- Interview Eyewitnesses – Your lawyer will track down every eyewitness to collect their story that can be used as evidence against the defendants in your case.
- Investigate the Bus Company – It is essential to identify any ongoing history of similar accidents involving the bus company that held them accountable through other lawsuits or compensation claims before your accident occurred. The investigation will also identify the bus company's hiring practices and training processes to ensure that their drivers obey all Illinois traffic laws.
- Investigate the Bus Driver's Driving History – Your attorney will gather information on the bus driver's comprehensive driving history that might identify serious driving problems including alcohol abuse, drug impairment, distracted driving, or lack of training.
- Review Medical Records and Analyze the Crash Report – Your attorneys will read the insurance company's crash report, the police records and your medical records that can all be used as evidence to prove your case for compensation.
- Consult with Legal Experts – Our team of dedicated personal injury attorneys has access to a network of professionals who can provide expert testimony in depositions and at trial. These professionals may include a medical expert who can describe the extent of your injuries and your need for future surgical procedures, hospitalization, therapy, rehabilitation and medication to help in your healing process. Other legal experts may include forensic professionals who can provide a detailed analysis of exactly how the accident occurred and who is at fault.
- Negotiate with the Insurance Company's Attorneys – At some point, the insurance company required to pay your compensation will ask for a negotiation meeting before offering you a settlement to avoid a lengthy and expensive trial.
- Take Your Case to Trial – If your attorneys are unable to secure adequate financial compensation at one or more negotiated settlement meetings, they will likely recommend you take your case at trial and present the evidence in front of a judge and jury.
I am ready to file a lawsuit. How much will your firm charge to review my case?
Our law firm provides every potential client a no-obligation, initial case consultation at no charge. Call our law offices today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule an appointment. Let our team of attorneys discuss your case, listen to your complaints, and provide numerous legal options on how to ensure your family receives the financial compensation they deserve.
I do not have enough money to hire an attorney. What can I do?
The bus accident injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers accept every claim for compensation through contingency fee arrangements. This agreement postpones the payment of your legal fees until we have successfully resolved your compensation case through a jury trial award or negotiated out of court settlement on your behalf.
Call us today at (888) 424-5757 to speak with our representatives who can assist you in scheduling your free, no-obligation case evaluation. We provide every client a “No Win/No-Fee” Guarantee, which means if we are unable to secure financial compensation on your behalf, you owe our law firm nothing.
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