The Chicago Transit Authority, otherwise known as CTA, operates the second-largest public transportation system in the United States. The CTA serves the City of Chicago, along with 40 neighboring communities, by rail and bus. Riders may pay cash for single-trip rides or a Ventra Transit Card or Unlimited Ride Pass for added cost savings.
Due to the convenience and low costs associated with public transportation in and around Chicago, it is a feasible alternative for visitors and locals alike. However, accidents involving public transportation vehicles do sometimes happen when drivers and operators are in a hurry or operate their vehicles in a careless or reckless manner. When these accidents happen, there are certain steps you should take in order to increase your chances of recovering monetary compensation.
The Chicago public transportation accident lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. understand the pain, suffering, and inconvenience associated with public transit accidents. Our lawyers can meet with you to discuss the facts and circumstances of your case and provide you with thorough, cost-efficient legal representation.
Step 1 – Complete an Accident or Incident Report
In most cases, after being involved as a passenger in a public transit> accident, the transit vehicle operator will ask you to make a statement or to fill out an incident report. When doing so, you should be as complete and accurate as possible about what happened during the accident. You should also carefully detail your observations, as well as> any injuries you sustained in the accident.
Step 2 – Treat Your Injuries
After you are involved in any type of accident – including a public transit accident – you should seek immediate medical treatment at a hospital or urgent care facility. You should do this even if you do not feel that you sustained injuries in the accident. In many cases, symptoms and injuries do not manifest themselves until several days after the accident. Once you are discharged from the hospital or urgent care facility, you should follow through with any treatment recommendations. This includes following up with a primary care doctor or specialist, if necessary.
Step 3 – Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer to File a Claim or Lawsuit on Your Behalf
If you have sustained injuries in a Chicago public transit accident, you may be eligible to pursue monetary compensation for any injuries and damages which you sustained. A personal injury lawyer can undertake a thorough investigation into the facts and circumstances of your case and can bring a claim against all potentially responsible parties. These may include the bus or train operator, the City of Chicago, the CTA, or another motor vehicle driver.
In public transit accident cases, most personal injury lawyers will sue anyone and everyone who could potentially be responsible for the accident, in order to protect the statute of limitations deadline. In the State of Illinois, for most public transportation accidents, if you do not file a claim or lawsuit against a responsible party within one year of the date of the accident, you will be forever barred from seeking monetary compensation for your injuries against that person or entity. Sometimes, you may also be required to provide notice within an even shorter time frame. In a Chicago public transit accident case, your lawyer may be able to do the following:
- File a claim or lawsuit against the negligent transit driver – In public transit accident cases, one of the primary defendants is usually the bus or train operator who caused the accident. Public transit accidents occur under a variety of circumstances, including speeding, careless driving, or distracted driving. If the transit driver is the cause – or a cause – of the accident, you may be able to file a claim or lawsuit directly against him or her.
- File a claim or lawsuit against the City or the CTA – In addition to filing a claim or lawsuit against the negligent transit driver, you may also be able to file a claim against the City of Chicago and/or the CTA. Under agency law, governmental entities can be held responsible when their employees behave in a negligent manner. They can also be liable for negligently hiring, retaining, or failing to supervise a negligent employee. Keep in mind, however, that special notice requirements and time limitations oftentimes apply when filing claims or lawsuits against governmental entities.
- File a claim or lawsuit against the other motor vehicle driver – In some cases, the public transit operator operates his or her vehicle in a reasonable and careful manner. However, another driver negligently causes the accident. In that case, you may be able to file a claim or lawsuit directly against the driver and/or the owner of that other vehicle.
Step 4 – Follow Your Lawyer’s Recommendations
When it comes to litigating, settling, or trying a public transit accident case, a personal injury lawyer can be an invaluable asset and resource. A lawyer may be able to recommend the following:
- Whether or not you should accept a pending settlement offer
- Whether or not you should take your case to trial
Call a Chicago Public Transportation Accident Lawyer Today for a Free Initial Case Evaluation and Legal Consultation
Public transit accidents are complicated because it is often difficult to determine who or what caused the accident. The Chicago personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. can investigate your case and make a claim against the responsible persons or entities. Our team of litigation attorneys will then work to negotiate a favorable settlement offer in your case. If the insurance company refuses to place a reasonable settlement offer on the table, our attorneys welcome the opportunity to file a lawsuit in your case and litigate it through the Illinois court system.
In a public transit accident case, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you recover monetary compensation for medical and physical therapy bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, emotional distress, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.
To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Chicago, Illinois public transportation accident lawyer, please call us today at (312) 924-7575 or contact us online.