Schaumburg, IL Bus Accident Lawyer

We see buses on the roads and streets so often that it is easy to forget just how dangerous they can be. A bus accident might be catastrophic or even fatal, and you may be in desperate need of legal help.

Liability for bus accidents depends on who is driving and who they work for. Bus drivers can often be held liable, and so can the private bus companies they work for. If the bus was part of public transportation, like the PACE bus service, the local government might be liable instead. Damages tend to be quite severe in bus accident cases, and it is not unusual for accident victims to spend weeks or months recovering. Some people never fully recover and live with complications forever. It is best to speak with an attorney about filing a lawsuit soon, as the statute of limitations is counting down on your deadline to file. If you sue the government, there might be even tighter deadlines.

Call the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502 to schedule a confidential, free case review with our bus accident lawyers.

Who is Liable for a Bus Accident in Schaumburg, IL

Bus accidents are not only catastrophic events involving multiple drivers and passengers, but they are also legally and factually complicated. Determining who should be held liable for the accident can be challenging, and some parties might share liability even if it does not seem obvious.

Bus Driver

Since the bus driver is behind the wheel when the accident happens, it is natural that they face a lot of scrutiny after the crash. In many cases, accidents are found to be caused by bus driver negligence. Driving while distracted or even intoxicated is not uncommon. Even simple traffic violations like speeding or failing to signal a turn might cause a severe bus collision.

Bus drivers are often the primary defendant in bus accident cases. However, they are not always the only defendant. Various other parties might also share the blame, and our bus accident attorneys can investigate every possibility.

Private Bus Company

Under the legal doctrine known as respondeat superior, an employer may be liable for the injuries or damages caused by an employee’s negligence. For liability to stick to the employer, the employee’s negligence must have been within the scope of their job or in furtherance of their duties.

Under this doctrine, you can sue the bus driver’s employer for the accident in addition to the bus driver. In many cases, this means suing a private bus company like Greyhound or Megabus. You might also sue a charter bus company or something similar.

Often, it is best to examine the bus company for potential liability as they often have greater insurance and are usually more capable of paying for your damages. As such, you might be better able to maximize your compensation.

The Local Government

Schaumburg is a suburb of Chicago, and public PACE buses service the area and many of the surrounding areas. PACE is a quasi-public transportation system. While it services Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, it is governed by a board of directors, although governmental authorities, including the Cook County Board of Commissioners appoints the board.

When suing a government entity, you must follow the rules under the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act. The law imposes some tight deadlines on plaintiffs. You must submit written notice of your claim within 1 year of the accident, which is a shorter deadline than the standard 2-year statute of limitations. However, no notice is necessary if the lawsuit itself is filed within 1 year of the accident.

You might also sue the government based on road conditions rather than who operated the bus. For example, the government might be responsible if a bus accident happens because of unsafe road conditions, confusing or missing signage, or faulty traffic lights.

Claiming Damages for Your Injuries in a Bus Accident Case in Schaumburg, IL

Physical injuries might be severe, and lifelong complications are not uncommon. Of course, broken bones, lacerations, road rash, and other injuries typical of auto accidents are common. You might also experience spinal cord damage that leaves you paralyzed or with limited feeling in your extremities. Brain damage is also possible. Accident victims with brain damage might be in such bad shape that they are permanently disabled.

With such severe injuries come high medical bills. Many plaintiffs need extensive treatment over a long period of time. It is not unusual for bus accident plaintiffs to still be receiving medical care during and after the trial is over. As such, you can claim the cost of any current medical bills and reasonably expected future ones.

Your property damage costs should also be considered. If you were driving your own vehicle when you were struck by the bus, your vehicle might be totaled. Replacing it can be expensive, and the defendant should have to foot the bill.

When You Should File a Claim for a Schaumburg, IL Bus Accident

Filing a lawsuit after a bus accident is not easy. You might be very badly hurt, and you need time to recover before you start taking legal action for compensation. While taking some time before meeting with a lawyer is perfectly reasonable, you should avoid letting too much time go by. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including those for bus accidents, in Illinois is only 2 years, according to 735 I.L.C.S. § 5/13-202.

This might seem like plenty of time, but it is a tighter deadline than most people realize. Much preparation goes into a lawsuit before the initial complaint is even filed. You should speak to an attorney as soon as you can, and they can get your case started while you rest and recover.

If you are suing the government, you must abide by other, even tighter deadlines. In Illinois, lawsuits against the state are governed by the Court Claims Act, and cases against local government fall under the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act. These laws require plaintiffs to file a notice of their claims with the proper government authorities within 1 year of the accident. Otherwise, you might be unable to sue the government at all. This is important in cases involving public transit buses or accidents because of poorly maintained public roads or highways.

Call Our Schaumburg, IL Bus Accident Lawyers

Call the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502 to schedule a confidential, free case review with our bus accident lawyers.