Each day thousands of people in the Chicago area use buses and trains to commute back and forth to work, school, medical appointments, shopping and other daily activities. Unfortunately, people are sometimes injured while traveling on a bus or a train. If it is a result of negligence, people who are hurt have a right to recover money damages to be compensated for their injuries.
Buses and trains are known as “common carriers” under the law, meaning that they transport groups of people for a fee. This may be school children in a school bus, people on their way to work on a train, senior citizens on the way to a medical appointment on the bus, or families on a shopping trip. All common carriers in the State of Illinois owe the “highest duty of care” to their passengers. This means that they must take great care to ensure that they provide safe and reliable transportation to their customers.
Many private bus companies provide transportation service for students, group outings, and shuttle service. These companies must provide employees who are well trained and licensed to operate the buses, and also insure that the equipment is properly maintained in good working order. If they fail to do this and someone is injured, the injured person or child may have a claim against them for failure to fulfill their duty to provide safe transportation.
In the Chicago area, many bus and train systems are publicly operated by METRA, PACE and the CTA. They too are common carriers under the law, and must provide the highest degree of care to their passengers. This includes maintaining safety at train stations and bus terminals, to ensure that passengers are able to safely board and exit buses and trains. If these bus and train stations and equipment are not properly maintained, it can result in injury to citizens. Sudden stops, broken equipment and poor training of drivers can result in accidents with liability. Additionally they must maintain facilities in a safe condition, so that people do not slip and fall at the train station platform or bus terminals, due to failure to maintain the premises. They must also maintain the safety of train crossings with proper lights, gates and warning signals for pedestrians and cars so that people are not hit by a train.
Injuries from bus and train accidents can include fractures, broken bones, sprains and bruises, as well as more serious life-threatening injuries, and even fatalities. People who are injured or killed and their families have a right to be compensated fairly if there is negligence by the operators of the buses and trains. If you or a family member have been injured as a result of negligence on a bus or train, you must act quickly, since there are time limits, called statutes of limitations, which limit the amount of time you have to make a claim. Particularly for publicly operated transit systems, these time limits can be very short. Goldman and Associates LLC, Attorneys at Law, is ready to help people injured in bus accidents and train accidents pursue their legal rights to fair compensation for injuries.