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Public Transit Accident Attorneys

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Millions of Illinois residents use public transportation on a daily basis.  In the Chicago metro area, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) buses and L trains and the suburban Pace bus and van system are an integral part of life. The South Shore Line is also frequently used by commuting workers and tourists in Indiana and Illinois.

passenger riding a train

Across the state, the Illinois Public Transport Association has nearly 60 members that include transit operations in 16 major downstate metropolitan areas and 32 rural / county public transportation operations, including transportation for senior centers. School buses ferry young riders across communities throughout Illinois every day.

Because of the speed and weight of buses and trains, and their slower response to the need to stop, collisions involving public transportation can cause considerably more damage and personal harm than wrecks involving only passenger vehicles. Also, because mass transportation vehicles carry numerous people by design, public transportation accidents typically result in numerous personal injuries or deaths.

State or local governments that provide public transportation have a legal obligation to ensure that trains and buses are safe. When a public transportation accident occurs, people who have been injured – or the families of those lost in fatal accidents – have a right to seek compensation for their losses.

Different Types of Public Transportation Accidents

Accidents occur in every mode of public transportation across our state:

  • Trains – The Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) 2011 Crash Facts and Statistics says there were six fatal train crashes across the state in 2010 involving passenger lines, resulting in eight deaths.
  • School buses – There were 1,476 school bus crashes in Illinois in 2010, which resulted in 276 injuries and five deaths, according to IDOT.
  • Subways – The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) says it averaged more than two CTA train accidents per month in 2011.
  • Public buses – The CTA says it averaged about 19 bus accidents each month in 2011.

These are simply the statistics that are available.

Smaller organizations, which transport tens of millions of riders in a year, may not compile or publish local statistics, but accidents happen. For instance, 18 passengers requested medical treatment in November 2012 after the Pace bus they were riding collided with a car in Chicago Heights. In 2004 and 2005, buses operated by the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District struck and killed pedestrians.

Train, bus and other public transit accidents, like other motor vehicle accidents, can cause death or severe impact injuries, including but not limited to:

  • Broken bones
  • Paralysis
  • Limb loss (amputation)
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Seek Legal Help after a Public Transportation Accident

Governmental agencies that offer public transportation, like buses and subways, are liable for the safety of their passengers. When a public transportation accident occurs, the agency can be held accountable, but it’s likely that multiple parties and insurance companies will quickly become involved to protect the agency’s interests.

In many cases, multiple parties should be involved in the aftermath of a public transportation accident. Often there are contractors, vehicle manufacturers and others who should be held accountable after a public transportation accident for their negligence or faulty equipment, which may have contributed to the crash or its severity.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an Illinois public transportation accident involving a train, bus or van, including school transportation, you have a right to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact a Chicago public transportation accident attorney at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., in Chicago or Waukegan today for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case. Call us toll-free or complete our online contact form.

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