Bus Accident Lawyers
Information for Victims of Bus Accidents
When you have been seriously hurt in a bus accident, you deserve answers and skilled legal representation. You didn’t ask to get hurt, but you may not know how get started with the legal process and seek compensation for what has happened to you and your family. We are here to help you get the answers you need.
The attorneys with Lane & Lane understand that you and your family have a lot of questions about what happened and why. That’s why we’re providing the information here to help you understand the basics. However, if you have questions that aren’t addressed here, don’t be afraid to call us directly. We have many years of experience working with seriously injured victims at every stage of the legal process, and we have a long-standing reputation for success in these kinds of cases. Our attorneys are respected in the community and have a deep understanding of the laws and transportation regulations that affect victims’ cases. We’re also based right here in Chicago, so we are familiar with local bus services and issues.
Lane & Lane never represents bus or insurance companies. Our legal team is always focused on representing victims and families who have been seriously hurt in bus accidents, including:
- Drivers and passengers in other cars
Whether you were on the bus when the accident happened or just crossing the street, our legal team is prepared to help you understand your rights, investigate your case, and start getting answers.
Types of Bus Accident Cases We Handle
Not all buses and bus services are the same, and there are many different buses to choose from. However, when people are hurt because a driver or company was negligent, their needs are often the same. We handle almost every kind of bus accident in the area, including:
- CTA bus accidents
- Charter bus and tour bus accidents, including Megabus and Greyhound
- Shuttle bus accidents
- School bus accidents
If you were seriously hurt or a family member was killed in any kind of bus accident, we may be able to help you take legal action. If you aren’t sure if we handle cases like yours, just ask.
Causes of Bus Accidents Involving Serious Injuries
Passengers aren’t responsible for watching the road or making sure the bus is operating properly, so the victims of bus accidents are often in the dark about what truly happened. Although specific answers about an incident usually require a skilled investigation, some of the most common causes of serious bus accidents include:
- Mechanical failure or faulty parts, such as issues with brakes, tires, etc.
- Driver fatigue
- Lack of driver training
- Overloaded or improperly loaded buses
- Distracted drivers
- Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driver error, including speeding, improper lane changes, running a red light, etc.
Bus Accidents Are Different From Car Accidents
From a legal perspective, bus accidents are very different from typical accidents involving passenger cars. There are often numerous passengers involved, and multiple parties—including law enforcement, government regulators, attorneys, and insurance companies—investigating the crash. And even with all of these investigations, passengers aren’t always “in the loop” when answers do become clear.
The bus company may have legal team of its own working on the case, as well as insurance adjusters working to investigate the crash scene and minimize any potential injury claims. They will typically spring into action immediately after a major bus accident, giving them time, information, and resources that may not be available to injured victims.
There are also limits on maximum insurance payouts in Illinois. Although these limits are typically higher than those for a personal automobile, they can range from $25,000 to $2,000,000, depending on the type of bus and its use. This affects seriously injured or disabled victims, as well as families who lost loved ones, because their costs and damages can come close to or exceed the insurance limits that are set. Additionally, they often need help fighting for the full amount they deserve, even when insurance limits might cover their claims of loss.
All of these issues make bus accidents very different from car accidents—and much more difficult for individuals and families who don’t have an intimate knowledge of the law. If you think that you may have a case for compensation after a bus accident, it is very important that you investigate your rights with an experienced attorney.
Illinois Bus Accident Injury Lawsuits
Victims who are seriously hurt by a negligent bus driver or bus service have the right to file an injury lawsuit against the responsible parties to recover financial compensation. However, getting that compensation is not guaranteed, and it is up to victims to take action and assert their rights. Here are some things you should understand.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for bus accident injury claims in Illinois is generally two years. What this means is that victims need to act fast if they hope to recover compensation. If the statute of limitations has passed, or if they wait until the last minute to get help, it may be impossible to file a claim—even if the bus driver or company was clearly in the wrong. It takes time to prepare a strong case for victims, so don’t wait any longer to get answers if you’ve been hurt. As the deadline approaches, it becomes more and more difficult to prepare a claim and succeed.
Liability for Bus Accident Injuries and Fatalities
Depending on the specific details of a wreck and what went wrong, there are many different parties that may be held responsible for a bus accident. These might include:
- Bus Manufacturer. Assembly issues or defective parts installed on the bus can cause serious accidents and injuries, and the manufacturer could be held responsible for failing to ensure the safety of these parts.
- Bus Company. The risk for accidents is increased if drivers are not adequately screened, trained, and monitored. Bus companies are responsible for making sure that their drivers are safe to operate their vehicles and that buses are appropriately maintained.
- Bus Driver. Bus drivers are responsible for driving safely, following traffic laws, and following school bus safety measures for loading and unloading the bus. If the bus driver was partly or fully responsible for the accident, he or she could be held liable for the resulting injuries and property damage.
- Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). Even public buses and shuttles are responsible for ensuring safety. These government entities, like the CTA, may be held responsible when scheduling policies, lack of training, station maintenance, and other issues contribute to an accident.
- Tour Bus Company. Tour companies have a duty to its customers to choose safe bus services. The companies that contract with tour buses to provide service could be held liable for an accident or even share liability with another party.
- School District. Schools have a duty to safeguard children who ride the bus to and from school. This responsibility might include providing appropriate training for drivers and making expectations for safe operation clear. If schools do not take appropriate action to keep children safe, then they may share in the responsibility for an accident.
- Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). Sometimes, preventable road conditions, failure to meet bridge height requirements, inadequate road signage, or poor lighting contribute to a bus crash, and IDOT may carry some responsibility for injuries that happen as a result.
- Another Driver. It is possible that a third party was responsible for causing the accident, such as another driver on the road or even another type of company or government entity. Additional responsible parties may be determined when an attorney thoroughly investigates you case, and they can often come as a surprise to victims.
As you can see, there can be a lot of people from a lot of companies and agencies who hold responsibility for an accident. Sometimes, several parties may even share in the responsibility, making claims all the more complicated for victims. Don’t skip speaking with a lawyer about liability for your accident—there can be a lot that you don’t know.
Compensation for Bus Accident Victims
Victims and families who successfully hold a negligent party responsible for injuries or death in a bus accident may receive compensation for a number of expenses, including:
- Past, current, and future medical bills
- Lost wages and future earning capacity
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of support and companionship
- Pain and suffering
Remember, however, that this compensation is never guaranteed, and it’s up to you and your attorney to build strong evidence to support your claims.
Free Consultation for Bus Accident Victims
You don’t have to worry about signing up for something you don’t want, or about handing over a bunch of money just to get answers. At Lane & Lane, your initial case review with our attorneys is completely free, confidential, and without obligation. We know that you need to investigate your case and learn about your rights before you can make decisions about what happens next, and we want to make sure that you always have what you need to make effective choices. After your initial consultation, you can expect to know more about:
- What options are available to you
- What you can expect
- What your rights really are
- What the possible best- and worst-case scenarios are
- How you can find out more about what really happened
To get started, contact our law office at , or use the live chat service on this page to talk to someone right now.
Chicago Bus Accidents in the News
- June 2, 2015: CTA Bus Driver Runs Red Light at Intersection of Michigan & Lake. One pedestrian was killed and eight other people were sent to area hospitals with injuries after a CTA bus drove through a red light and onto a curb during rush hour in one of the city's busiest districts.
- August 29, 2014: O'Hare Shuttle Bus Accident. Thirteen passengers were hurt when an O'Hare shuttle bus collided with the median barrier near Bessie Coleman Drive on I-190. The driver, who was also injured, was cited for failure to produce a driver's license and failure to keep in the lane.
- August 9, 2014: U-Haul and CTA Bus Collide on Chicago's South Side. A CTA bus and a U-Haul truck collided at the intersection of 79th Street and King Drive, injuring eight people. All were sent to area hospitals for treatment, and six of the eight were listed in fair-to-serious condition.
- July 30, 2014: Driver Tries to Pass CTA Bus and Causes Serious Accident. One person was killed and five people were injured when a driver attempted to pass a bus on the right, slamming into two pedestrians and a number of parked cars. The accident happened near the intersection of Sheridan Road and West Balmoral Avenue, and one victim was listed in critical condition.
- April 28, 2014: Multiple Injuries Reported After a CTA Bus Accident on the Southwest Side. At least 23 people were hurt when an SUV collided with the Number 49 bus near the intersection of Western Avenue and 50th Street, including 20 passengers on the CTA bus.