Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog

September 11, 2014

7 Injured After CTA Bus Hits 2 Parked Cars

617.jpgBuses are a common sight in Chicago with nearly every main street playing host to at least one bus on a regular basis. When considering travel by bus, those in Chicago have options to ride on the CTA, on a charter bus, on a private bus providing transit or simply tours, or even Greyhound buses, to name a few. Leaving the city and heading for the suburbs adds the addition of Pace buses while traveling out of town or out of state may include a ride on a Megabus. Regardless of the type of bus, though, a passenger trusts his or her safety to the driver once that passenger boards and takes a seat.

Often, buses provide safe passage through Chicago and its surrounding suburbs but for some unlucky riders, a bus accident may occur and may potentially cause injuries. Head and neck injuries, fractures or broken bones, and cuts and bruises are some of the most common injuries sustained in a bus incident though nearly any time of injury is possible. When a collision occurs, it can be difficult to understand who bears the legal responsibility for a crash and whether a victim may be entitled to relief. In some cases, it may be the bus driver and the bus company while in others, it may be a motorist who collided with the bus. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in Chicago may help you sort through the legally relevant facts in your accident if you have been hurt as well as helping you understand your options to obtain monetary relief.

An early morning bus accident left seven people injured in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, according to local authorities. Early reports indicate that a CTA bus was traveling in the 3700 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue when the bus collided with two parked cars. The incident happened at approximately 3:00 a.m. and may have first involved the CTA bus crossing the center line before striking the cars, though that has not been confirmed at this time. It is unclear exactly how many passengers were on the bus but officials have confirmed that six of them were injured and needed medical addition. Additionally, the driver of the bus was also hurt, leading to emergency crews transporting the seven victims to area hospitals.

Local police have not released their early findings into the incident including the cause of the crash or whether any citations are expected to be issued. However, the investigation into this incident is ongoing at this time. No victim was believed to be facing life-threatening injuries.

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April 17, 2014

12 Injured In Crash Between Van and CTA Bus

617.jpg Some people think that in the event of a bus accident, serious injuries are not likely because the large size and mass of a bus means that it is more able to withstand a crash than a smaller vehicle would be. But in fact, every year in Chicago, hundreds of people are injured in bus accident and many serious injuries result. Some of these injuries last a lifetime and some can even be fatal.

Bus accidents often involve negligence on the part of one or more individuals involved in the crash, whether it is the owner of a bus, the driver of the bus, the driver of another vehicle, or even someone outside of the bus that causes an accident. Where negligence or recklessness is responsible for a collision, those hurt in the crash may be entitled to legal relief for their damages. Personal injury lawyers who handle bus accident cases on behalf of victims may be able to tell you whether you have a valid claim for your damages and whether you are entitled to relief.

One thing that often holds true in the event of a bus accident is that the number of injured victims often is high. When compared to a crash involving only two passenger vehicles, the number of potential people involved in an accident is much higher when a bus is involved. Depending on the size of the bus, dozens of passengers can be on board at a time, and all of them have the potential for sustaining injuries.

Police in Chicago were called to the scene of a bus accident on Tuesday afternoon near the intersection of Ashland Avenue and Madison Street. At this time, it appears that a van in the area failed to stop at a red light and slid through the intersection, colliding with the side of a CTA bus. Emergency crews responded and evaluated 12 people who reported injuries in the crash but only nine of them were transported to area hospitals; the other three refused further medical treatment. Though the individual conditions of the victims are not presently known, it did not appear that anyone sustained serious or life-threatening injuries and all were expected to recover.

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June 30, 2013

Pace Van Causes Crash in Roseland

456.jpg Local police say that a Pace van attempted to make a left turn in Roseland last Monday when it was not safe to do so. As a result, the Pace van entered the path of a Cadillac and caused a collision, injuring eleven people. The collision occurred in the area of 111th and Wentworth in Chicago in the morning hours.

The Pace van was transporting as many as nine developmentally disabled adults at the time of the crash and the Pace driver was reportedly cited for failing to yield the right-of-way while turning left. The passengers of the Pace van were transported to area hospitals for examination where their conditions are not known, though it is believed that none were seriously injured.

The Cadillac was driven by a 55-year-old who was injured in the accident, as was a child passenger in the Cadillac. Both were taken to the hospital and were listed in stable condition.

The intersection where this accident occurred is small and controlled by a traffic light. It is not yet clear exactly how the crash occurred and whether the cars were on the same road at the time of impact. What is clear is that the actions of the Pace van driver placed the lives of her passengers as well as the lives of those in the other vehicle in danger. Through her negligence, eleven people were injured and had to be taken to the hospital.

People often think that they are safer while traveling by public transit than when they are in private vehicles. This sense of safety can be errant as crashes happen frequently between buses and vans used by the public. When these accidents occur, they are likely to result in injuries because often safety devices, including seat belts, are not present or are not used.

The fact remains that when you board a bus or a van driven by another, you place your safety in that driver's hands. Any mistake the driver makes can result in a collision that may lead to injuries or even death. This is the reason that there are strict laws governing the conduct of public transit drivers, including those who drive Pace buses, and that the insurance for these entities can be particularly difficult and confusing.

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June 18, 2013

13 Injured After 3 Vehicles Collide

717567_driving.jpg A Pace van and two other vehicles collided on Friday afternoon, leaving 13 people hurt and sending nine or 10 to area hospitals. The accident occurred in the area of South Pulaski and West 76th Street on the south side of Chicago around 4:15 p.m.

It is not yet clear which driver caused the collision but Pace authorities have stated that their van was a paratransit vehicle traveling northbound on Pulaski when it was involved in a head-on crash with a southbound vehicle.

Pace's paratransit service is separate from the scheduled bus runs that many commuters use. Instead, the paratransit vans work on an arranged-ride schedule without a fixed route. Customers can call Pace paratransit and scheduled a one-way or round trip ride with a start and end point of the customer's preference. These vehicles operate within the Chicago city limits in addition to many of the surrounding suburbs.

At the time of the crash, the Pace van held a driver and a passenger. Though the driver was uninjured, the passenger was hurt and was transported to an area hospital for treatment. The passenger's condition and the extent of the passenger's injuries are not yet known.

In addition to the injured Pace customer, another 12 people were hurt between the two other vehicles involved. Either eight or nine of those people were transported to hospitals, some with reported minor injuries and others in serious condition.

Accidents with a public transit company, including Pace, can be complicated and difficult to navigate. Often, in addition to Pace and the individual driver of the bus or van, there is another company involved as the owner of the vehicle. Determining who exactly is at fault for a crash can take time and resources and may require court intervention if a defendant does not cooperate.

Even if the bus company is not at-fault for a collision, merely having them involved can add layers of complexity to a crash and make it more difficult for someone who is injured to make a recovery. It can also take longer to settle a claim when a public transit company is involved because the company may want to perform its own investigation into liability and may be unwilling to move forward on any claim until that is completed.

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April 26, 2013

Lawsuit Filed Over Fatal Megabus Crash in Illinois

Motor%20Coach.jpgA Megabus crash last summer caused injuries to a passenger and left her disabled and disfigured, according to a new lawsuit filed in Cook County.

The Megabus was traveling between Chicago and St. Louis on I-55 when a front tire blew, causing the driver to lose control and strike a concrete pillar in Litchfield. More than 70 passengers were on board at the time of the crash and several had to be extricated. One passenger died in the collision and dozens were injured, including the woman who filed the recent lawsuit.

The lawsuit names Megabus as a defendant as well as the driver of the bus, the owner and operator Coach USA, and Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations which reportedly made the tire at issue. Reports indicate that the driver of the bus was still in training when a front tire blew on the highway. The driver claims he removed his foot from the accelerator but did not brake because he feared causing the double-decker bus to roll over.

After the collision last summer, Megabus released a statement saying the bus had been made just the prior year and had passed a full safety and preventative maintenance inspection within the week before the crash.

Several passengers recounted the crash to media outlets after the collision, saying the force of the impact was significant and threw many passengers forward and out of their seats, some into the aisles. Unfortunately this often occurs with bus accidents of any type because buses rarely have seat belts available for passenger use.

Many people have a false sense of safety while aboard a large passenger vehicle like a bus or motorcoach because of the size of the vehicle compared to the other passenger cars on the road. In reality, bus accidents occur daily and often cause serious injuries, including broken bones, cuts and bruises, head and neck injuries, and even death.

Chicago is a major hub for busing both locally and across the nation with service by PACE, CTA, Greyhound, and private buses. When you ride on a bus or motorcoach, you place your safety in the hands of the driver, assuming the driver is knowledgeable, skillful, and safe. That is not always the case and bus drivers can be negligent like any other driver on the road.

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January 9, 2013

Driver and Passenger Hurt After CTA Bus Hits at Least 20 Parked Cars on Kedzie Avenue in Chicago

573805_city_transportation_bus_car_boat_walk%20sxchu%20hortongrou.jpgIn late December, a northbound Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus reportedly crashed into at least 20 parked cars and damaged a laundry business on North Kedzie Avenue in Chicago. The accident occurred near Diversey Avenue after the bus driver purportedly passed out behind the wheel around 9 am. According to CTA spokesperson Lambrini Lukidis, the collision was the result of a medical emergency. Although several cars were reportedly piled on top of one another due to the force of the impact, only the bus driver and a single passenger were injured in the crash.

Following the massive wreck, emergency crews allegedly transported the male bus driver to a local hospital in stable condition. Chicago Fire Department Media Affairs spokesperson Will Knight said the injured passenger was also hospitalized in fair-to-serious condition. According to Ariel Gonzalez, an employee of the company called to tow away the damaged bus, the freak accident likely caused at least a quarter of a million dollars in property damage.

In Chicago, many people use public transportation such as passenger buses on a daily basis. Schoolchildren, commuters, tourists, and others rely on bus drivers to transport them to their destination safely. Although all buses that operate in Chicago and throughout Illinois must be regularly inspected for safety hazards, thousands of passengers are hurt in crashes such as this one each year. Too often, bus collisions result from bus driver or manufacturer negligence.

Since most buses do not provide seat belts for passengers, someone who is riding a CTA or other bus during an unexpected crash may sustain serious injuries. As with any accident, bus crash victims may suffer head, neck, spinal cord, and other injuries. In addition, lost wages and benefits, temporary or permanent disability, medical expenses, and other damages may result. If you or someone you love was hurt in a crash while riding a passenger bus, you should contact a skilled bus accident lawyer to discuss your right to recovery.

Continue reading "Driver and Passenger Hurt After CTA Bus Hits at Least 20 Parked Cars on Kedzie Avenue in Chicago" »

November 22, 2012

18 Injured in Chicago Heights PACE Bus Crash

1119802_bus%20sxchu.jpgAt least 18 people were hurt in a recent accident when the PACE suburban bus they were passengers on struck an automobile in Chicago Heights. According to PACE spokesperson Patrick Wilmot, the bus was headed north on Halstead Street when another vehicle attempted to turn in front of it near 12th Street. The bus was reportedly unable to stop before colliding with the automobile. Although both vehicles allegedly sustained minor damage, 18 passengers were transported to area hospitals following the crash. Wilmot stated the accident was minor and none of the passenger injuries were considered to be life-threatening.

It is unclear exactly how many passengers were riding on the PACE bus at the time of the collision. Wilmot said no delays in bus service resulted from the crash. The cause of the accident is currently under investigation by local police and no citations were issued in connection with the incident.

Many people throughout Chicago utilize passenger buses on a daily basis. Children on their way to school, commuters headed to work, and others rely on bus drivers to get them to their destination in a safe and timely manner. All buses used to transport passengers must be properly designed and regularly inspected for safety hazards. The Illinois Vehicle Code also requires school bus operators in Illinois to adhere to additional safety requirements. Despite safety regulations, thousands of Chicago bus passengers are injured in unexpected collisions every year. Although some crashes are caused by other motorists on the roadway, bus accidents too often result from driver, bus company, or bus manufacturer negligence.

Because most buses do not provide passengers with safety belts, the injuries sustained by a bus rider who was involved in a Chicago area bus crash may be severe. In addition to physical harm, many victims are also faced with the financial hardships associated with lost wages and temporary or permanent disability. If you or a loved one was hurt in a crash while riding as a passenger on a bus, you are advised to discuss your injury claim with a hardworking bus accident lawyer as soon as you are able.

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August 4, 2012

Illinois MegaBus Accident a Reminder of Summer Travel Dangers

As state police look at whether a blown tire may have caused a fatal Illinois bus accident downstate, the tragedy is a cautious reminder of the risks of accidents through the remainder of the summer travel season.

Dozens of passengers were injured. The Chicago Sun-Times reported some say a tire blew just before the bus crashed. 1210082_doubledecker_bus_sg.jpg


While busing companies have an obligation to provide safe passage, bus accidents are far from the only risk on the road. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers note the total number of fatal accidents nationwide spiked dramatically during the first three months of the year.

According to a CNN report, the overall number of nationwide traffic fatalities soared nearly 14 percent in the first quarter. Some 7,630 people died in traffic accidents on the nation's roads during the first quarter of 2012, compared to 6,720 during the same period last year.

That doesn't bode well for the rest of the year; the first quarter is typically the safest, with the number of traffic fatalities increasing each quarter, culminating with the busy holiday travel season at year's end.

Still, those looking to vacation or travel by bus face unique challenges. These companies are in business to make money and are not all created equally. Too often serious or fatal accidents occur because a company puts profits before safety. Filing a civil lawsuit for damages will require a thorough review of all of the evidence pertaining to an accident, including truck maintenance logs and driver personnel records.

In this case, the Megabus crash near Litchfield claimed the life of a University of Missouri graduate student and injured numerous other passengers on the bus. The accident sent the packed, double-decker bus plunging off I-55, where it traveled across the median before slamming head-on into a concrete overpass pillar.

Investigators have not said whether triple-digit heat may have contributed to a blowout. Megabus has said the bus had passed a preventive maintenance check.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration launched a crackdown earlier this year after several high-profile fatal bus accidents in New York and elsewhere. In May, the government watchdog closed 26 bus operators, declaring them an imminent hazard to public safety.

"These aggressive enforcement actions against unsafe bus companies send a clear signal: If you put passengers’ safety at risk, we will shut you down,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said at the time. “Safety is and will always be our highest priority.”

In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation now offers a SafeBus Mobile App for those looking to consider safety options when choosing a bus company.

-The app protects consumers from using illegal interstate bus companies that do not have the proper licenses to be operating or those that do not comply with proper insurance requirements.

-Consumers can review bus safety performance records. User-friendly access to the last 24 months of data is available for a number of important safety categories, including unsafe driving, vehicle maintenance and drug and alcohol violations.

-The app also alerts consumers about busing companies with unsatisfactory safety ratings.

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October 29, 2011

Illinois Bus Accident Injures 13 High School Volleyball Players

A recent school bus accident in Illinois injured 13 kids on the Liberty High School volleyball team, according to Daily Herald. The driver of the bus has been cited for the accident. The accident happened just before 8:00 a.m. on Route 3 at Washington Street in Grayslake, Illinois.

Eleven of the players were transported to various local hospitals. Two additional students and the drivers of the vehicles were treated at the scene.

It all happened when the bus driver failed to yield when making a left-hand turn. He is scheduled to be in court in Round Lake Beach on November 23, according to officers.
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Our Chicago bus accident attorneys understand that children across the country ride the big yellow school bus to and from school every day. These same buses are used to travel to sporting events and other school-related activities as well. We trust that drivers and the buses are safe for passengers and for motorists traveling among the fleet. Drivers, school districts and busing companies are responsible for the safety of students.

“District 128 is pleased to report that all of the students and the coach involved in this morning’s bus accident in Grayslake have been treated and released from area medical facilities and that no one suffered serious injuries,” said Director of Communications Mary Todoric.

Every year, there are more than 20 million students ride school buses to get to and from school, sporting events and other school-related activities. On the 450,000 school buses that travel through the U.S., too many people are injured in preventable accidents. About 12,000 kids are injured every year because of school bus accidents. Since 1990, there have been nearly 1,500 fatalities resulting from bus accidents in the U.S.

School bus statistics:

-Nearly 400 million people ride the bus every year.

-All these riders travel 30 billion passenger miles. Motorcoach riders make up about 950 million of these miles.

-In addition to the 450,000 school buses, there are about 30,000 commercial buses in the U.S. used for charters, tours, regular route services and special operations.

-The U.S. is the home of approximately 4,000 motorcoach companies.

Unfortunately, many school buses and commercial buses across the U.S. don't have seat belts.

If you're involved in an accident while riding on a school bus or a commercial bus, you may be able to file a claim against the busing company or against the school district or other responsible parties. You can experience more than physical pain from injuries sustained in a bus accident. You may be able to collect compensation for medical expenses, emotion distress and for pain and suffering.

Keeping your child safe is one of the most important jobs as a parent. We'd like to believe that this is the most important job for school districts and bus drivers as well.

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May 21, 2011

9 injured in Chicago school bus accident

An Illinois school bus crash that occurred Thursday morning on the South side of Chicago resulted in nine people being injured, and several hurt were special education students, the Chicago Tribune is reporting. All of the injured were taken to area hospitals after two school buses and a truck were involved in a traffic collision.

The three vehicle accident took place around 7 AM in the area of Ashland Avenue and 76th Street. Chicago Fire Department ambulances took five of the injured to Holy Cross Hospital, 2 to St. Bernard Hospital and 2 to Little Company of Mary Hospital. There were reportedly no life-threatening injuries, and all were in good to fair condition.

The two school buses involved were from two different companies contracted by the Chicago Board of Education. What caused the accident has not been reported.

Read the story as reported by NBC news here.

This is the second Chicago area bus crash this week involving two school buses. As Illinois injury lawyers from our office previously reported, 20 students were injured and hospitalized in north suburban Evanston on Tuesday when one school bus rear-ended another.

Bus accidents can be particularly dangerous to the passengers on board, as they are not typically seat belted and can be thrown around in a collision, sometimes resulting in serious injuries.