Bus driver error, bus company mismanagement, and defective bus parts.
Thousands of buses carrying hundreds of thousands of passengers operate daily throughout Illinois. In 2017, there were roughly 1,500 traffic accidents involving school buses and 2,733 crashes involving other types of buses, with most occurring in urban areas of the state, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. Bus accidents may be inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared for them.
Wonder why there are so many bus accidents in the Chicagoland area? Here are the prevailing reasons:
- Driver error—By far, the most common cause of bus accidents is driver negligence. This means the bus driver failed to operate the vehicle in the reasonably safe manner expected of professional drivers in similar circumstances. Examples of negligent bus operation include making turns without signaling, failing to yield to pedestrians or other vehicles, speeding, and driving while intoxicated.
- Company management—Because drivers are supposed to be under their supervision and control, the company or government agency that employs the bus driver can also be the cause of an accident and vicariously liable for his or her negligent conduct. If the company or agency does not hire, train, supervise, or otherwise monitor its drivers well enough, that can be considered the legal cause of a bus accident. A bus owner can also be at fault if it failed to properly maintain the bus mechanically. It’s important to determine if this was the case in your own accident, because businesses and government agencies are typically in a better position to pay for your injuries than the bus driver who actually harmed you.
- Defective parts—A bus accident could be the result of a faulty product used to equip the bus. It’s not hard to imagine how a broken headlight, bad tire, or malfunctioning steering wheel could affect a driver’s ability to maneuver the vehicle. The driver and his or her employer might still be found responsible, but because the problem stemmed from the deficient bus component, you should also be able to go after its maker or distributor.
This is only a very abbreviated list of the most common bus accident causes. Your case might look nothing at all like this. Further information about bus accidents and their causes can be found here.
What Types of Injuries are Most Often Sustained in Chicago Bus Accidents?
While every accident is different and produces different injuries, there are certain types of injuries that are commonly experienced by passengers of buses and other large vehicles.
- Broken bones—The force involved in a bus accident can break bones in the arms, hands, fingers, legs, back and other areas of the body.
- Skin injuries—The high-impact nature of these accidents often sends objects flying through the air which can pierce the skin of bus riders, causing serious lacerations and scars.
- Back/neck trauma—The sensitive construction of the spinal column is especially vulnerable to the impact of a high-speed bus crash.
- Head injuries—These are very common injuries in bus accidents. Even when restrained by seatbelts, passengers often strike their heads from the impact of a collision and sustain concussions and other head trauma.
How do Victims Recover for Illinois Bus Accident Injuries?
Chicago bus accident victims can pursue reimbursement for their damages from the driver’s employer, insurance carrier, or other representative through private, out-of-court settlement negotiations—which saves the time and expense of a trial—or if that fails by taking a case to court. If you are involved in a bus accident, it’s important to understand and consider all the options available to you so you can receive the greatest compensation available under Illinois law.
Want to Learn More About Illinois Bus Accidents?
A skilled bus accident attorney with Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can explain your options for financial recovery after a bus crash. If you retain us to represent you, we will get to work immediately to preserve your right to future recovery. We can make sure your claim has the resources it needs to go against large and well-funded bus companies and insurers. Plus we won’t charge you anything if we are unsuccessful in winning compensation on your behalf. Why wait? Call our qualified accident attorneys today and get started on the road to financial relief.