How Does Illinois Regulate Buses and Injury Claims Related to Bus Accidents?
Every day, millions of commuters in the U.S. use public transportation, including tens of thousands of Illinois residents and visitors who ride buses operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), the Pace suburban bus system, Greyhound, Megabus, and other private and public operators. Meanwhile, thousands of Illinois children depend on school buses to transport them to classes. Every rider expects they will reach their destination safely on a well-maintained bus operated by a properly licensed and trained driver. Unfortunately, bus accidents still occur all too often.
Specialized Licensing Requirements
Chicago is one of America’s busiest metropolitan hubs, where commuters have access to major mass transit systems to get around. Many commuters use city buses to travel to and from work within the city limits and into the suburbs as far north as the Wisconsin state line and as far south as Joliet.
To protect public safety, the Illinois legislature has enacted laws regulating the operation of buses within the state that are owned, managed, and operated by government agencies and private companies.
Bus drivers are required to have a specialized driver’s license to operate commercial vehicles after passing a written test and driving test through the state’s department of motor vehicles. Additionally, drivers operating vehicles that transport children must meet special requirements that include:
- Be at least 21 years old and have a clean driving record
- Pass an FBI and state criminal background check
- Complete a certification course and bus driver training
- Undergo a comprehensive medical exam to identify health problems that could affect capacity to drive safely
Illinois Statutes of Limitations
Any bus accident victim or next of kin of someone injured or killed in a bus accident can bring a claim to recover monetary compensation for their losses. However, Illinois law limits the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit: The state’s statute of limitations restricts the filing of claims to two years from the date of the accident (735 ILCS 5/13-202), and only one year if your suit seeks damages from a government entity (745 ILCS 10/8-101). This means you must bring your claim against a school district, state college, or public transportation system within one year of when the accident occurred. Because more than half of all bus injuries involve school buses or public transit buses, this shorter statute of limitations affects a lot of people.
Failing to file your legal action in time could permanently forfeit your chances to receive compensation from any party in the future. However, there are some exceptions to the state statutes of limitations, such as in the case of an injured minor.
Once you bring a cause of action, the law requires you to prove that you have tangible injuries and losses that were caused by the negligent actions of the defendant or defendants from whom you are seeking compensation.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has the Experience to Succeed
Because civil tort law is complicated, it usually demands the skill of a personal injury attorney who specializes in bus accident cases. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents victims of bus accidents throughout the Chicagoland area and Illinois and has successfully prosecuted cases for clients whose injuries were caused by the negligent actions of others. If you choose us to represent you, you will have the benefit of our years of experience and track record representing plaintiffs in similar circumstances. We use that knowledge to settle your claim quickly or build a case to ensure a substantial jury award if your lawsuit goes to trial. From day one, we will develop an effective plan of attack to maximize your recovery to ensure your family receives the compensation they deserve.
As we do with every other client, we will invest all resources necessary to ensure you fully recover your damages. We don’t charge clients any legal fees until they receive a settlement or award because we understand you have already been the victim of a traumatic event and should not have to take on more debt to seek justice. We have obtained millions of dollars on behalf of victims and their families to compensate them for their medical expenses, household bills, lost wages and future earnings, pain, suffering, and emotional distress, and we can help your family too. We invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights.