Bolingbrook, IL Bus Accident Lawyer

An accident is dangerous and may lead to serious injuries, but bus accidents tend to inflict extreme damage and destruction. Whether you were a passenger on the bus or driving another vehicle, you deserve fair compensation for your injuries.

The authorities will likely investigate the crash and help us determine how it happened. Inexperienced or poorly trained bus drivers, distractions behind the wheel, and speed are common factors. When filing a lawsuit, you need to know who is at fault so you include the correct defendants in the case. Bus drivers and their employers are usually responsible. If you sue a public transportation agency, things might become tricky, as they may be considered governmental entities. It is important to move quickly, as you have a limited amount of time to prepare and file the case. Damages might be severe, and we must identify and evaluate all your losses and injuries to make sure you get all the compensation you rightly deserve.

Get a free case evaluation from our bus accident lawyers when you call the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502.

How Your Bolingbrook, IL Bus Accident Might Have Happened

Inexperienced bus drivers might make mistakes on the road that lead to serious accidents. Sometimes, mistakes are made simply because the driver is new and still getting used to driving the bus. Other times, new drivers are not just inexperienced, but their employers might poorly train them. Bus drivers need special licensing to drive the bus, and they must learn about proper safety on the road. If they do not, accidents are more likely.

Another huge problem on the road is distracted drivers. As cell phones and other communication devices become more and more common, distractions on the road have become one of the most frequently cited reasons for accidents, including bus accidents. Maybe the bus driver was looking at their phone, which is a huge violation of their job duties. It is also possible the driver was talking to a passenger, or they just spaced out and lost focus.

One of the most dangerous elements of a bus accident is speed. The faster the bus goes, the worse the crash, and the more severe your injuries might be. Our bus accident attorneys might get an idea of the bus driver’s speed from witnesses, tire marks on the road, and the results of a police investigation.

Parties You Might Include in Your Bus Accident Case in Bolingbrook, IL

When filing a case for a bus accident, we must include all the right people. More than one person or entity is often responsible for a bus accident. If we overlook someone, they might not be included and will not be held accountable for their behavior. Our team can help you identify all the negligent parties who should be named in your case.

The Bus Driver

We should start with the driver of the bus. As discussed earlier, many bus accidents are related to the negligent behavior of bus drivers. Perhaps the driver was texting while driving. Maybe they were intoxicated during the accident. Maybe they just made a dumb mistake and should have known better.

Many buses have cameras inside that might have recorded the bus driver before and during the crash. If this footage exists, it might show how the bus driver caused the accident.

Private Bus Companies

If we sue the bus driver, we should consider including their employer. When you sue a negligent employee for damages, you can also sue their employer under the theory of respondeat superior. Under this theory, employers may be held responsible for injuries caused by negligent employees if the employees were acting in furtherance of their standard job duties.

It is important to note that not all bus companies are the same. Suing a private bus company is relatively simple. It is just like suing any other private entity. Private bus companies might include charter bus or tour bus businesses. If the bus was part of a public transportation system, you might be dealing with a governmental agency, not a private company.

Public Transportation Agencies

In Bolingbrook, many public buses are run and maintained by Pace. Pace is an extension of the RTA and handles many bus lines and routes in the towns and suburbs around Chicago. If your bus accident involved a Pace bus, your case might be more complex than you realize.

You might be able to sue a public transportation agency under the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act. The Act makes it somewhat difficult to sue a governmental agency, as plaintiffs typically cannot sue for mere negligence. Instead, you have to show that the accident happened because of willful and wanton conduct. This might include intentional acts of harm or something more akin to a callous indifference for the safety of others.

Damages Available in Bolingbrook, IL Bus Accident Cases

Damages in bus accident cases are often significant. Injuries and other losses can be severe, and plaintiffs often claim extensive damages and painful injuries. Courts may award compensatory damages to make up for your numerous losses and possibly punitive damages to punish the defendants for their bad actions.

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages include economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages often include extensive medical treatment, hospital bills, and property damage. Medical bills for severe injuries may be for tens of thousands of dollars. In extreme cases, plaintiffs might claim several hundred thousand dollars in medical bills alone. If you were driving your own car when you were hit by a bus, you should also claim the cost to replace your totaled vehicle.

Many injured accident victims have trouble getting back to their jobs. Many spend weeks, months, or even longer recovering from their injuries. As a result, they lose a lot of income when they need it the most. Our team can help you claim the value of income you lost because of the bus accident.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages might be available under very specific circumstances. These damages might be available if the defendant’s behavior was especially abhorrent. According to 735 I.L.C.S. § 5/2-1115.05(b), punitive damages may be awarded if we can prove by clear and convincing evidence – a very high burden to meet – that the defendant acted with an evil motive or with outrageous indifference to other people’s rights and safety.

According to 735 I.L.C.S. § 5/2-1115.05(a), there are limits to how much punitive damages might be worth. First, punitive damages may only be awarded if compensatory damages are also awarded. Second, punitive damages may be limited to 3 times the value of economic damages.

Speak to Our Bolingbrook, IL Bus Accident Attorneys About Your Claims

Get a free case evaluation from our bus accident lawyers when you call the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502.