After a Bus Accident Injury in Chicago, Call Our Firm for Help
Charter buses are a common sight on the streets of Chicago. Groups hire buses for many different reasons – whether to go to a concert, a sporting event, a wedding, or simply to see the sights of the city. These buses allow groups to enjoy spending more time together, not worry about parking, and often have some drinks on the bus without worrying about a designated driver.
Buses are one of the safest modes of transportation. Statistics indicate that in one year in the United States, accidents with injuries include:
- 2.4 million people injured in car accidents
- 83,000 people injured in accidents involving commercial trucks
- 14,000 people injured in bus accidents
Although these statistics show that bus accident injuries happen less often than other types of vehicle crash injuries, the numbers still show an average of 38 people are injured in a bus accident each day of the year. Buses may be relatively safe, but crashes and injuries do still happen – and they can happen to you.
If you sustained injuries during an outing on a charter bus in Chicago, you should discuss your situation with an experienced charter bus accident lawyer. The lawyers of Abels & Annes handle all types of vehicle crash cases in the Chicago area, including bus accidents involving serious injuries. Please call 312-924-7575 or contact us online today for more information.
Regulations for Charter Buses
Buses are considered commercial vehicles and must follow the same Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations as semi-trucks and tractor-trailers. However, because buses transport many people instead of inanimate cargo, bus companies and drivers must also follow another set of regulations under the Motorcoach Safety Action Plan (MSAP). This law was enhanced in 2012 to respond to common causes of crashes and try to further regulate the behavior of companies and drivers.
Specifically, the MSAP was updated to address major causes of bus accidents, which include:
- Driver oversight
- Driver error
- Fatigued bus drivers
- Inadequate protection of bus occupants
- Improper bus maintenance
Bus drivers and the charter companies are expected to follow every regulation – as well as Chicago traffic laws – to the letter to ensure the safety of their passengers. If they violate any regulation, not only may they face consequences imposed by government agencies, but also possible liability for any harm suffered by passengers or other motorists.
Types of Charter Bus Accidents
Charter bus accidents can happen in multiple different ways that result in injury to many different parties. Examples of common causes of charter bus accidents in Chicago include:
Collisions with other vehicles – Like any car or truck, a charter bus can collide with other vehicles, including rear-end collisions, sideswipes, head-on crashes, and more. Collisions with other vehicles on the road can cause injuries to bus passengers, other drivers and motorists, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and anyone else in the vicinity.
Single vehicle accidents – Buses are large vehicles with high centers of gravity and drivers can often lose control without ever crashing into another vehicle. Single vehicle bus accidents can happen if a driver goes too fast around a turn, swerves or overcorrects, or makes other errors on the road. Buses can often run off the road – sometimes into a ditch – or can rollover as a result of this type of crash. As you can imagine, a rollover accident can be particularly dangerous for bus passengers who are not wearing seat belts, as they are thrown around inside the bus.
Non-crash-related accidents – Not every bus accident and injury involves the driver crashing. In some cases, if a driver hits the brakes too hard, a passenger may fall and suffer injuries. Other dangerous conditions in the aisles of the bus can cause passengers to slip and fall when they are walking to their seats or getting on and off the bus. These falls can result in surprisingly serious injuries, including broken bones, concussions, soft tissue injuries, spinal cord injuries, and more.
Pedestrian accidents – Bus drivers sit high up and often have difficulty seeing everything around the bus. If a driver is not paying attention, they may hit a pedestrian. This can include pedestrians who are unrelated to the bus tour, or bus passengers who are boarding or deboarding the bus. Not surprisingly, pedestrians can be seriously injured or killed when hit by a large charter bus.
Whether you were a passenger on the bus, a pedestrian, or a motorist in another vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation if you suffered injuries in a charter bus accident. This may include recovery of financial compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and all other damages related to your injuries.
Who Is Liable for Your Charter Bus Injuries?
Different parties can be responsible for the injuries and losses resulting from a charter bus accident. First, many crashes occur because the bus driver made an error. In this situation, however, the driver is not alone in liability for the accident. Often the charter bus company may also be held liable for the negligence of its drivers. However, whether the bus company is liable can be a complex legal determination and special rules apply. Our experienced bus accident attorneys can identify when a charter company may be held strictly liable for a bus driver’s error and develop the evidence necessary to recover under a strict liability theory.
In addition, some accidents happen because the charter bus company itself was negligent. If the company hired a driver who they knew – or should have known – could be dangerous on the road, the company may be held accountable for negligent hiring. If a company failed to maintain the buses in its fleet and a malfunction caused a crash, that can also constitute negligence on the part of the charter company. These are only a few examples and it is best to have a skilled attorney review your specific situation to determine what remedies are available to you.
Discuss Your Crash With a Chicago Charter Bus Accident Lawyer Today
Charter bus accidents can be frightening. One moment, you are enjoying yourself and the next, you are in pain and facing recovery from serious injuries. The bus injury attorneys of Abels & Annes, P.C. in Chicago understand the trauma of bus accidents and are here to assist injured accident victims. Please call 312-924-7575 or contact us online today for a free consultation.