You have two years from the date of the injury to sue a privately owned bus company for an accident and one year to sue a government-operated bus company.
In Illinois, the amount of time you have to bring a bus accident lawsuit depends on whom you are suing. If you were injured on or by a bus operated by a public transit system such as the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and are suing the transit operator or related government party, then you have only one year from the time the cause of action accrued to file a personal injury claim.
“(a) No civil action …may be commenced in any court against a local entity or any of its employees for any injury unless it is commenced within one year from the date that the injury was received or the cause of action accrued.”
745 ILCS 10/8-101
Often, the company that owns the bus on or by which you were injured will be a private entity. In fact, many of the bus companies operating across Illinois are privately held businesses. If you are suing a private bus company or related party, then you have two years from the time the cause of action accrued to file your claim.
“Actions for damages for an injury to the person, …shall be commenced within 2 years next after the cause of action accrued…”
735 ILCS 5/13-202
What Does Accrual Mean in Bus Accident Litigation?
A cause of action “accrues” when an injury and its cause are discovered or should have been discovered with reasonable diligence. For instance, if you were in a bus accident and broke your leg, your cause of action would accrue immediately because you presumably became aware of your injury and its connection to the incident right away. However, some injuries are slower to manifest symptoms. If you learned some time after the accident that you had actually suffered brain damage, then your case would begin to accrue once you or your doctor discovered this injury. The significance is that the time clock on the statute of limitations starts to run whenever your claim begins to accrue, so you can’t wait very long to begin preparing your case.
Can Plaintiffs Ever be Granted More Time to File Their Bus Accident Claims?
In certain cases, Illinois law gives plaintiffs more than two years to file their bus accident claims. Generally, minors are given two years past the age they reach legal majority (18) to pursue recovery for injuries sustained in accidents. As explained above, plaintiffs who don’t discover their injuries for some time after the accident are also given an extension to file their complaint for damages. Finally, if the defendants concealed the extent or nature of any injuries, then plaintiffs will also be able to file after the two-year deadline.
To better understand which statutory deadline applies to your particular case, contact the experienced bus accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC. We can help you identify your filing deadline and prepare your case.
Want to Know More About Bus Accident Claims?
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers helps injured persons in Illinois understand the various challenges facing their legal claims. If you are involved in a bus accident we can help you too, plus we will represent you on a contingency basis so you don't have to pay any legal fees until you receive a court award or settlement. To learn more about how we can help you navigate often complicated bus accident litigation, call our respected bus accident law firm today.