On any given weekday in Chicago, 1.6 million rides take place on the Chicago Transit Authority, making it the second largest transportation system in the country. The system consists of 1,864 buses, 10,768 posted bus stops, and 129 routes. It also has 1,492 rail cars, 145 train stations, and eight different routes. On average, on a weekly basis, roughly 760,000 individuals ride the “L”— the city’s rail system that is suspended above the city streets. The L provides transportation to both of Chicago’s major airports in addition to its major neighborhoods. The Metra is a commuter railroad that operates 242 stations on 11 different rail lines.
Unfortunately, CTA and Metra operators are not always safe. They often cause accidents, including striking vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., our personal injury lawyers help victims of CTA and Metra accidents to pursue compensation for the harms done to them. If you or a loved one suffer injuries in one of these accidents, contact us today to learn about your legal rights and options in a free, no-obligation consultation.
CTA Ranks Near Bottom for Safety
According to NBC 5 Chicago, the CTA is one of the least safe transit systems in the country. Between 2004 and 2014, it was involved in more fatalities than any other transit agency in the nation – even more than the largest transit system in the country in New York. Federal Transit Administration reports from 2003 to 2013 indicate that the majority of deaths occurred at CTA stations rather than on the modes of transportation themselves. During that period, only five deaths were passenger deaths, and 20 were pedestrians, workers, or individuals who fell into other categories. In terms of total injuries, CTA ranked third, trailing New York and San Francisco’s BART system.
Types of Public Transportation Injuries
Some people involved in CTA accidents and Metra accidents suffer nothing more than a few bruises and scrapes, while others sustain concussions, broken bones and severed limbs. At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., our attorneys have helped countless clients to pursue compensation for the following common types of public transportation injuries:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Severed limbs
- Severe burns
- Major and minor concussions
- Permanent disabilities.
What to Do If You Are Involved in a CTA or Metra Accident
If you are a passenger during a CTA or Metra accident in Chicago, you need to keep a level head and take decisive action. Do not panic, which will only worsen the situation and prevent you from doing what needs to be done.
If you are able, snap pictures with your smartphone or take videos of the accident scene. You should also take pictures of your injuries. Any images and video footage which you can gather can potentially serve as valuable evidence to support your claim and help your attorney at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. to pursue the best possible outcome on your behalf. Additionally, you should try to get the name and phone numbers of anyone who witnessed the incident.
Once you and your loved ones are safely away from the scene of the accident, you should seek medical help as soon as possible. Be as descriptive as possible to the doctor when you relay how and what you feel. Many CTA and Metra accident victims experience delayed symptoms and conditions such as whiplash, back pain and traumatic brain injury after the incident. So, it is highly important to get checked by a doctor even if you do not initially detect symptoms.
If you are a pedestrian or bicyclist involved in a CTA or Metra accident, you should do the same: Do not panic, take photos and videos of the accident scene and of your injuries, get witness names and numbers, and seek medical care immediately.
Causes of CTA and Metra Accidents
CTA and Metra accidents are the result of the same types of negligence that cause passenger vehicle accidents, trucking accidents, and other motor vehicle accidents. Though passengers and pedestrians alike should be able to trust that Metra and the Chicago Transit Authority properly maintain their vehicles and properly train their drivers and operators, many Metra and CTA accidents are the result of poorly maintained vehicles and poor operator behavior such as speeding, aggressive driving and driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or fatigue.
It is important to launch an immediate investigation of a CTA or Metra accident in order to preserve and gather evidence that will point to what caused the accident and help to identify who should be held responsible. In many cases, an individual driver or operator may be liable for his or her negligence. CTA or Metra may be liable if the employee’s negligence occurred while the employee was acting in the course and scope of his or her employment. However, CTA or Metra may be liable for their own negligence, as well, such as hiring an unqualified driver or operator, failing to properly supervise their employees, or failing to keep their trains and vehicles in proper, safe condition.
Our Chicago Transit Authority / Metra Accident Attorneys Can Help You
Regardless of the type of accident you were involved in, you should seek the help of an experienced and aggressive Chicago CTA / Metra accident lawyer. At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., we have experience with handling these types of complex cases and can help you do what is necessary to pursue your claim and seek the amount of compensation you deserve to cover the cost of your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more. To learn more about how we can help, contact us today and receive a free review of your case.