Legally Reviewed by:

Jonathan Rosenfeld

December 12, 2023

Over $400 Million worth of case results

Awarded The Best Lawyer in 2024 by U.S. News

Nationally Recognized in Legal Community

Have you or a loved one been injured in any type of bus accident? The attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can represent you in a civil action when someone else’s carelessness is the cause of your injuries. Call us today to get the legal help you need and begin the process that could lead to a settlement check.

Our law firm has been fighting for victims’ rights since we opened our doors. We have a track record of success, recovering over $400 million for our clients. Let us use our experience to help you get what you deserve.

A Chicago bus accident lawyer in our office recently represented a passenger on a charter bus who was ejected from his seat when the operator of the bus ‘dozed off’ during late-night service on a Southern Illinois route. Our client brought a lawsuit against the driver and the charter company to recover compensation for a serious joint injury to his shoulder. Our team secured a $680,000 settlement with the insurance carrier for the company.

We can work to obtain results for you or your loved one who was injured in a bus accident.

You Need an Experienced Bus Accident Lawyer

If you have been injured in a bus accident, there may be special rules that apply to your case. The defendant is not going to want to fully pay you for what their bus drivers did, no matter whether they are the government or a private company.

Chicago bus accident attorneys

Chicago, Illinois and National Bus Accident Statistics

Bus accidents occur more often than you may think. You are trusting someone, and putting your life in their hands, and they do not take care of your well-being.

In 2022, there were 2,005 bus accidents in Chicago, Illinois [1]. As a result of these crashes, there were two fatalities and 314 injuries.

The United States Department of Transportation [2] reports that there are over 67,000 bus accidents every year. More bus accidents have been occurring in recent years, as there are more buses on the road, and highways and city streets are much more dangerous.

When it comes to Chicago Transportation Authority buses, there is an average of almost one crash each day. In 2014, there were a total of nearly 500 people who were injured in CTA bus accidents [3].

Types of Chicago Bus Accidents

Numerous types of buses carry passengers in the Chicago area. Here are some different types of bus accidents that injure passengers:

In addition to being injured in an accident as a passenger on the bus, you could also have been hurt in an accident with the bus. Like other large vehicles, buses unleash a tremendous amount of force in a crash because they far outweigh the other cars involved in the crash.

Further, you or a loved one may have been struck by a bus when crossing the street. Unfortunately, it is far too common for children and others to be struck by the bus that they were just riding on after they alighted.

Chicago bus accident lawyers

Causes of a Chicago Bus Accident

Bus companies are often the responsible parties in accidents. This is true whether the accident involved private bus companies or vehicles driven by public transportation companies or school districts.

Here are ways that drivers and companies cause bus crashes:

  • Putting inexperienced bus drivers on the road who do not know how to safely operate these large vehicles
  • Misjudging traffic when they pull into and out of bus stops
  • Turn accidents, when they misjudge the amount of space that they have to turn
  • Failure to see into the blindspots when they are changing lanes or pulling over, causing them to sideswipe other cars
  • Speeding
  • Not seeing other cars or traffic hazards because the bus driver was distracted
  • The bus not braking or handling as it should because the owner did not properly maintain the vehicle

Buses involve their unique dangers. Because of their size, and their place in traffic, buses can start chain-reaction accidents that involve numerous cars. Passengers on the bus, and other drivers, may be injured.

You never quite know the competence and experience level of the bus driver once you board. You are always taking a chance with your life and safety. There is a bus driver shortage that is not getting any better.

For example, the Chicago public school system continues to report [4] that they cannot find enough drivers. Schools have not even been able to offer transit buses to some students. The result is that some companies and employers have had to hire less-qualified drivers and press them into service.

Common Injuries in a Chicago Bus Accident

Both people on the bus, and those who were involved in the crash, may suffer serious injuries in the crash. These severe injuries can leave the accident victim permanently hurt and never the same again as they were before the accident.

Common bus accident injuries include:

You may end up needing extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation that can overtake the rest of your life. Some of these injuries may even be permanent.

Bus drivers may also be hurt in the accident. They sit at the front of the bus, and they do not have full protection in the event of an accident. If another driver caused the accident, the bus driver can file a lawsuit against them.

Chicago bus accident lawyer | Holding the Transportation Company Accountable

Who Is Liable in Bus Accident Cases?

You can sue whoever was to blame for what caused your bus accident. Your Chicago bus accident attorney will investigate the crash to figure out the proper defendants. There could be more than one party to sue. They would be jointly and severally liable for your injuries, meaning that all share in the burden of compensating you.

Here are potentially responsible parties in a Chicago bus accident lawsuit:

  • The school district (for school bus accidents)
  • A public transit company, such as the CTA
  • An intercity bus carrier, such as Greyhound
  • A charter bus company

In some rare cases, the bus itself may have been the cause of the accident. You can sue the company that made or sold the bus in a product liability lawsuit.

Proving Negligence in a Bus Accident Case

Injured bus accident victims have the burden of proof to show that the bus driver or bus company was negligent in getting a settlement check or jury award.

Bus passengers must prove each of the following elements after a bus crash:

  • The bus driver owed them the duty of care
  • The bus driver breached the duty of care by acting unreasonably under the circumstances
  • You suffered an injury
  • You would not have been injured had it not been for the actions of the other party

There is a special rule about negligence in certain personal injury cases involving certain transportation companies. Like every other state, Illinois applies the common carrier doctrine. Many of the specifics of this doctrine can be found in Illinois Pattern Jury Instruction 100.00 – Common Carriers. [5]

The Common Carrier doctrine states that the carrier:

“owes a duty to exercise the highest degree of care consistent with the practical operation of its conveyances to protect the safety of the passenger.” See, Rotheli v. Chicago Transit Authority, 130 NE 2d 172 (1955)

statistics of bus accident fatalities and injuries in chicago

Damages in a Chicago Bus Accident

In any bus accident case, you are entitled to be paid for both your economic and non-economic damages. These represent your actual financial costs and the effect that your accident had on you. The defendant must pay you for things like:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage

When it comes to your non-economic damages, you can be paid for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Emotional distress
  • Embarrassment and humiliation

Our attorneys will fight for you to obtain the maximum possible compensation for your bus accident injuries. We will estimate the value of your damages and negotiate with the insurance company or the negotiate to get you the most possible money.

How to File a Bus Accident Lawsuit

You have two ways to get a settlement check in your bus accident case:

  • You can file a claim against the bus company’s insurance policy (a city and the CTA are both self-insured, meaning that they pay their claims
  • You can file a lawsuit against the bus company or governmental entity in court

Time Deadlines for a Bus Accident Case

As a bus passenger, you must be mindful of the time limit that you have to file a lawsuit in your case. In every personal injury claim, you have a statute of limitations that you must meet to timely file your lawsuit. The same limit applies to both car accidents and bus accidents.

Chicago bus accident victims may miss out on financial compensation if they do not file their claim or lawsuit within two years after the date that they were injured, or you should have known that you were injured.

This time limit applies only when you are filing a lawsuit with a commercial bus defendant.

Filing a Lawsuit Against CTA for Bus Accidents

Our Chicago bus accident lawyers can help you sue the CTA for your accident injuries. Chicago Transit Authority buses cause their share of accidents, and the CTA can be made to pay.

There are special rules for suing any governmental agency under Illinois state law. 70 ILCS 3605/41 [6] is the Illinois law that gives the timeframe for bus accident victims to sue the CTA.

You have one year from the date of the accident to file a claim for compensation if you are suing the CTA. There used to be a requirement for you to notify CTA of your claim within six months of the accident, although that has since been repealed.

There are also some limitations on damages that you could obtain under Illinois state law. CTA is a local government corporation, and thus, you cannot obtain punitive damages. Bilyk v. Chicago Transit Authority 125 Ill.2d 230 [7], 531 N.E.2d 1 [8].

Filing a Lawsuit Against the School District for School Bus Accidents

The school district is responsible for the accident caused by school bus drivers. Although governments are often immune from lawsuits, they are not when you are injured in an accident involving a vehicle driven by a government employee. Note that you are suing a governmental entity, so certain rules apply to your case.

Just like suing the CTA, there may be caps on damages. In addition, you would not be able to qualify for punitive damages when you are suing the government.

Chicago bus accident attorney

How Our Chicago Bus Accident Lawyers Can Help

Our Chicago bus accident attorneys are dedicated to preserving and fighting for your legal rights. We aim to maximize the compensation that you could receive after a bus crash.

We will begin by investigating your bus accident, to get the evidence that you need to prove that someone else was to blame for what happened. Then, we will file the claim, continuing to fight for your rights by negotiating for more compensation or taking your case to court.

There are times when your Chicago bus accident lawyer would need to argue your case in front of a jury to get you every dollar that you deserve. Our bus accident lawyers will not rest until you have left no stone unturned in the pursuit of financial compensation.

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers will fight for you after a bus accident in Chicago. We will work for you to get maximum compensation. When bus accidents happen, we will try to put you in the strongest legal position possible.

Call Our Chicago Bus Accident Lawyers Today

We are here when you need to speak with a Chicago bus accident lawyer. The attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have been delivering results for clients for years. You can speak with one of our attorneys during a free consultation. We will review your case and explain the next steps in the legal process. Call us today at (888) 424-5757 to get the legal help you need. You owe us nothing unless we can help you win your case.

Resources: [1] IDOT, [2] United States Department of Transportation, [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8]

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

- Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

- Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

- Giulia

This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

- Daniel Kaim

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

- Lisa
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