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For some people, riding the bus provides a safe, cost efficient way of getting around the city. Many Chicagoans rely on buses to get to and from work everyday. Others rely on buses to get to school or take a quick trip out of the city. For most bus passengers, their ride will be uneventful, but sometimes, a simple bus ride can end in tragedy for bus passengers. The 2020 Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics Report published by the Illinois Department of Transportation reveals that in 2020 there were 2,218 bus accidents in Illinois, 379 of which were school buses.
Accidents happen, and when they are the result of negligence or wrongdoing, injured victims may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. If you were injured in a bus accident and have questions about your right to compensation, the bus accident lawyers at Smith LaCien LLP can help you get clarity.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a bus accident, you may be facing a long road to recovery and financial pressure during that period. Let Smith LaCien LLP help relieve the financial burden by holding those responsible accountable for the damages they caused you.
Bus owners and operators have a duty of care to exercise reasonable care to protect the safety of all persons who would suffer the consequences if they failure to do so. These persons include bus riders, other vehicle owners, pedestrians and bus drivers. Maintaining buses in their fleet and hiring and training qualified drivers is a must. If they fail to exercise the standard of care required to protect the safety of others, they may be found legally negligent and can be held financially liable for injuries caused as a result.
Bus accidents aren’t limited to driver error. There can be multiple parties responsible, including another bus, a car or other vehicle, a pedestrian or bicycle. Side-swipes, improper maneuvers or turns, contact with a stationary object, and mechanical failures can cause an accident.
Most bus accidents especially in urban areas result in minor injuries, but they can have catastrophic results. Passengers are not required to wear seatbelts so a minor crash can cause soft-tissue injuries like bruising and cuts or whiplash. Depending on the bus’s speed and force of impact, broken bones, concussions, spinal cord injuries and even deaths can occur.
No matter how you feel, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Call 911 to get the authorities involved. Bus accidents can hurt a lot of people, and the police can be extremely helpful in many ways.
Gather evidence at the crash site, and speak to others cautiously about what you believe may have caused the accident. Don’t hesitate to call a personal injury lawyer. This is how to get answers quickly about your rights and whether a lawsuit may help you recover restitution for your injuries.
Bus accident cases are often complex because there may be many parties involved.
An investigation must be conducted to establish who was at fault for the accident — everything from the operation of the bus at the time of the accident to the maintenance history of the bus, and the parts used in the operation of the bus must be investigated to determine the cause of the accident.
A bus accident case may also involve other vehicle operators on the road at the time of the accident, and the entity in charge of maintaining the roads. Financial compensation may be recoverable from any person or entity whose negligence contributed to the accident and your injuries.
The legal process involved in getting compensation for your bus accident injury can be complex. Different rules apply depending on the party responsible for your injury. For example, if your injury was caused by a city-operated bus, the government could be a party in your claim. The requirements for making a claim against a government entity are very different from what is required for private parties. An experienced bus accident lawyer not only knows the law but understands that failure to follow the correct legal procedure can cost you your claim.
Your attorney will need to prove the cause of the accident. Once a duty of care and a breach of duty is established, it must be shown that there was a causal link between the breach of duty or negligence and the harm. In other words, you have to prove that the negligence caused the harm. This element of causation is often not so easy to prove.
You have the right to be compensated for the many ways that your life was affected by your injuries. These typically include economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages have a fixed monetary value and can be easily documented with pay stubs, receipts, bank statements, and other forms of evidence. Non-economic damages refer to compensation for subjective, non-monetary losses such as pain, suffering, inconvenience, emotional distress, loss of consortium and loss of enjoyment of life.
If you have been injured in a bus accident, Smith LaCien can help you get the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, call us (312) 509-8900 or use our contact form to schedule a free review of your case.
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