Chicago residents hop on a bus every day and may give no thought to the injuries they could suffer in a mass transit accident. Many people are very trusting of the services common carriers like buses, airlines and trains provide. After all, these professionals are paid to transport you in safety.
We know from headlines safe bus trips don't always happen. What many Illinois residents don't know is what to do if they are injured in a bus accident. Bus crashes can involve negligence but unlike less complex accidents, fault can spread beyond the parties directly involved in a collision.
All drivers are obligated to others on the road. We owe passengers, motorists and other road users a duty of care. The responsibility for others' safety is greater for carriers, since they are paid professionals.
Many carriers also must follow rules set down by regulatory agencies. Bus safety falls under the watchful eye of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
When Illinois courts consider liability claims against carriers, they keep those high safety standards in mind. A bus driver or other party who fails to live up to reasonable standards may be negligent and, therefore, liable for damages. An example of a careless act by a school bus driver might be speeding up to a school or student bus stop.
Buses are used for a variety of purposes like school transportation, commuting and tours. Beyond the driver is an employer, a vehicle owner, possibly a contractor or tour operator, a vehicle service provider and a bus manufacturer. Any one or more of these related individuals or companies might be guilty of negligence. Each defendant may be liable for a portion of damages.
Legal issues are often too much to bear for recovering bus accident victims and their families. Attorneys can identify defendants, collect evidence and pursue compensation for personal injuries and wrongful deaths.
Source: The Jasmer Law Firm, "Bus Accidents" Sep. 09, 2014