Who Can I Sue for a Bus Accident?

Posted By Duncan Law Group || 23-Aug-2013

Bus accidents, by nature, usually involve a high number of passenger injuries. Unlike typical traffic accidents, which only involve a few victims, bus accidents can easily lead to dozens of injuries and deaths. In the aftermath of a serious injury, it may be difficult for you to determine who is liable for the accident. With the help of a skilled bus accident attorney, you can file a civil claim to recover damages for medical expenses, missed wages, disfigurement, permanent scarring, and noneconomic damages.

  • Depending on the nature of the accident, you can sue the bus driver, the city of Chicago, Cook County, the State of Illinois, or the bus manufacturer. If your child suffered an injury in a school bus accident, you can file a claim against the school bus driver or the school district. In some cases, other passengers on the bus may be held responsible for the accident.

The U.S. Department of Transportation FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) states that 24,000 people were injured in bus accidents in the year 2008 alone. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 19 children are killed in school transportation-related accidents every year.

Visit the NHTSA's website to learn more about school transportation accidents and school bus safety.

If you suffered a serious injury in a Chicago bus accident, Duncan Law Group can help you file a successful injury claim. The unique circumstances surrounding your accident determine who you will file the claim against.

In order to collect compensation for your injury, you must be able to demonstrate the driver acted (or failed to take action) in a way that caused the accident. This is called driver negligence. There are many types of negligence, including:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Drug use
  • Drunk driving
  • Driver inattention
  • Reckless driving (such as speeding or swerving)

The FMCSA established a strict set of rules to prevent these types of accidents, specifically targeting driver fatigue and inattention. Although tired driving is not unlawful for most drivers, it can seriously impair your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, making it a negligent act. If your tiredness causes you to commit a traffic violation, you could be responsible for any property damage, injuries, or deaths caused by the accident.

The same principle applies to bus drivers. To avoid bus driver fatigue, the FMCSA established hours of service (HOS) regulations. These rules pertain to any vehicle that carries 16 or more passengers. These rules also apply to vehicles used to transport nine or more passengers for compensation, such as a public transportation bus.

In short, the HOS standards restrict the number of ours that a driver is allowed to work in a given week. If the driver exceeds these hours, he / she could become exhausted and cause an accident.

Sometimes, victims of traffic accidents can sue the city, county, or state for their injuries. Generally speaking, you can sue the city, etc. if the accident was caused by poor road maintenance or unsafe road conditions – excluding unavoidable circumstances like bad weather.

Roads are designed to facilitate safe driving. If a road is not maintained properly, it could develop dangerous cracks and holes. If these hazards are not eliminated, they can cause vehicles to swerve off the road or against the flow of traffic. Dangerous intersections and defective road designs can cause accidents as well, even if road is maintained.

Other possible responsible parties:

  • Tour bus companies
  • Bus mechanic
  • Private bus operators
  • Other drivers involved in the accident

For more information about bus accident claims and lawsuits in the Chicago area, visit our bus accident page.

Do I really need an attorney to sue?

Personal injury claims are not easy to win, especially if you file alone. If you suffered an injury or the loss of a loved one in a bus accident, you may not have the necessary means and experience to investigate your case and file a proper suit. With Duncan Law Group, you can rest assured that a skilled professional will be by your side through every step of the legal process. With our team on your side, you will have access to the following resources:

  • An in-depth understanding of personal injury law
  • A free initial case consultation
  • Dependable and informed legal guidance
  • High-quality, personalized legal service

Contact the Duncan Law Group today to see what Bob Duncan, a well-respected Chicago personal injury and bus accident lawyer. Don't wait to fight for the money that you deserve; call our office now at (312) 445-0567 or contact us at any time online.

Our office location:
161 N. Clark,
Suite 2550
Chicago, IL 60601

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