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Illinois Bus Accident Lawyer

Injury Lawyer Team > Bus Accident Lawyer > Illinois Bus Accident Lawyer
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Illinois Bus Accident Lawyer

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nearly 183 bus crashes occur every day, which translates to 67,000 accidents annually. Due to the lack of safety features like seatbelts or airbags, a bus accident can cause severe injuries to passengers. Lawyers often handle cases involving public and private bus accidents resulting in serious personal injuries. 

If you have been hurt in such an accident, it’s crucial to hire a lawyer familiar with negotiation practices with insurance companies and successful representation in personal injury cases. With their guidance, you can recover financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, vehicle damage, emotional stress, etc. 

The bus accident lawyers at the Injury Lawyer strive to secure maximum compensation for victims and help in their recovery. Reach out to us and schedule a free consultation with an experienced bus accident attorney.

Contact our Illinois bus accident lawyers to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information shared with your Illinois bus accident lawyer remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

bus crashes on Illinois road

Illinois Bus Accident Statistics 

According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), approximately 25,000 individuals sustained injuries in bus accidents across the United States, involving around 15,000 buses. 

Out of these incidents, there were 274 reported fatalities. Note that only 44 of these fatalities were bus passengers, while the majority were pedestrians or occupants of other vehicles. 

Of the fatal crashes, 93 involved transit buses, 73 involved school buses, and the remaining incidents were divided among motor coaches, intercity buses like Greyhound, and smaller vans used as buses.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois saw over 2,200 bus accidents in 2020, translating to around six accidents daily. Among these, there were 1,839 accidents involving passenger buses, with 407 causing injuries and two fatalities. The number of school bus accidents was 379, resulting in 68 injuries and one fatality. 

In 2021, the Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics reported 706 school bus crashes, making up less than 1% of the total crashes for the year. 

However, injury crashes involving a school bus rose by 50%, from 66 in 2020 to 99 in 2021. Additionally, the number of injuries increased by 50.4%, with severe injuries constituting 11.2% of the total.

Whether you are injured in an accident involving a tour bus, charter bus, or a school bus, contact our skilled personal injury lawyer for free consultation. 

What Causes Bus Accidents in Illinois? 

In 2022, approximately 731 bus accidents happened, out of which 374 were injury accidents, killing 10 individuals. There were over 9 reported fatal traffic accidents. 

Bus accidents occur due to various causes, from driver negligence and impaired driving to inadequate vehicle maintenance and violation of traffic rules. Driver error and vehicle maintenance failures both play a role, with bus companies often sharing liability. A bus accident lawyer thoroughly investigates these accidents to identify the cause and gather supporting evidence. 

Though every bus crash is unique, here are some common causes of bus accidents: 

  1. Speeding
  2. Distracted driving (e.g., texting or using GPS on phones)
  3. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  4. Ignoring traffic signals
  5. Failing to yield the right of way
  6. Blocking bike lanes, crosswalks, and obstructing traffic
  7. Lack of vehicle maintenance
  8. Bus companies hiring drivers with poor records or a history of substance abuse  
  9. Unsafe driving in adverse weather conditions

What Are the Types of Injuries Sustained in Bus Accident Cases in Illinois?

Bus accidents often result in serious injuries due to various factors, such as the absence of seatbelts in large buses and the force of impact. The sudden stops or collisions can cause passengers to be jolted forward, resulting in various injuries such as whiplash, bruises, or fractures. Additionally, the sheer number of passengers onboard and the size and weight of the bus determine the severity of injuries in an accident. 

Fully loaded buses can weigh anywhere from 40,000 to 60,000 pounds or even more, which is substantially heavier than a 4,000-pound passenger car. The variation in weight and size between vehicles involved in a car/bus collision could lead to severe injuries to the passengers and drivers. 

Common injuries that bus accident victims suffer from may be:

  • Fractures, including of the limbs, back, collarbone, hips, ribs and pelvis
  • Back and neck injuries 
  • Traumatic head injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Burns
  • Whiplash 
  • Traumatic amputations
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Soft tissue injuries like sprains and torn ligaments
  • Eye injuries 
  • Cuts, bruises, and abrasions

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These accident injuries can lead to disabilities and huge financial expenses, including medical bills and loss of income. The party at fault is responsible for compensating victims for their damages, which involves both economic and non-economic losses. Contact an Illinois bus accident attorney to help you in seeking compensation for your injuries through a bus accident lawsuit. 

Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Bus Accident Case in Illinois?

Determining liability in a bus accident often requires consideration of various factors, including the driver’s behavior, bus company policies, actions of other drivers, road conditions, vehicle maintenance, and weather conditions. A skilled Illinois bus accident attorney can build a strong case to determine liability and pursue fair compensation for the injured. 

Responsibility for such accidents can vary, with multiple parties potentially liable: 

  • Bus Driver: Often the first person to be held liable, especially the bus driver can cause an accident by breaking traffic laws or recklessly driving. For instance, if school bus drivers run
  • a red light and cause a crash.
  • Bus Company: Private bus companies can be responsible for accidents due to inadequate training or maintenance. For example, if a bus company fails to properly maintain brakes leading to an accident.
  • Local Government: When a city bus is involved, the local government may bear responsibility. For instance, if poor road maintenance leads to an accident.
  • School District: School bus accidents may point to the district’s failure in training or maintenance. For instance, if a district neglects to train school bus drivers on safety procedures leading to an accident.
  • Other Drivers: In multi-vehicle accidents, another driver’s negligence might play a role. For example, if a car cuts off a bus, causing it to swerve and hit another vehicle.
  • Bus Manufacturer: Rarely, accidents happen because of manufacturing defects. However, if a manufacturing error has produced faulty brakes, it will encourage fatal bus crashes.
chicago bus accident lawyer

Standard of Care for Bus Drivers and Companies in Illinois 

Bus drivers and companies are obligated to uphold a high standard of care towards other passengers, vehicle riders, and pedestrians. According to Illinois law, a bus is classified as any vehicle intended to transport 10 or more individuals, excluding the driver. Commercial and school bus operators are subject to the highest standard of care due to the potential for significant passenger injuries. This includes various types of buses, like transit buses, inter-city buses, tour buses, and school buses.

In Illinois, privately owned bus accidents follow car accident legal procedures, with no damage caps and a two-year statute of limitations. For government-owned bus accidents, victims must file a lawsuit within one year with the Court of Claims. Resolution involves facing a panel of seven judges or one of 16 appointed commissioners. If injury disputes arise, the court might order a separate medical exam by a physician, with the option for the victim to request a copy of the report.

How Much Time Do I Have to File a Bus Accident Claim? 

In Illinois, the timeframe for filing a bus accident lawsuit depends on the type of bus involved. For accidents with privately owned buses, you usually have two years from the date of the incident to file a personal injury claim. However, if the accident involves city buses or government-operated services, the window to file bus accident claims narrows down to one year. 

It’s important to be mindful of these statutes of limitations, as missing the deadline forfeits your right to seek accountability and compensation. Hire an experienced bus accident lawyer promptly to protect your legal rights and pursue the financial recovery you deserve.

A bus accident attorney ensures timely legal action within the Illinois statute of limitations, protecting clients’ compensation claims.

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Time is Limited to File a Claim. Get Legal Representation Now!

What Compensation Can I Seek for a Bus Accident in Illinois? 

According to the Illinois State Police, children are at the greatest risk of injury or death when boarding and leaving the vehicle. Serious injuries from a crash can bring heavy financial expenses for the victims and their families, like medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation expenses, or lost capacity to earn due to disability. In such cases, liability for accident damages falls on the bus management company, driver, or negligent third party.

In a bus accident lawsuit or claim, you may seek damages in various categories, including economic, non-economic, and wrongful death.

Economic Damages 

Economic damages are typically easier to calculate because they involve tangible costs incurred as a result of an accident or injury. These are quantifiable losses, such as:

  • Lost wages
  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Out-of-pocket costs (e.g., medication, transportation)
  • Reduced capacity for earning 
  • Future loss of income

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are subjective and are more difficult to assign a monetary value to. These encompass non-financial losses, such as:

  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering from physical injuries and financial stress 
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of parental guidance 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life in case of disfigurement or disability 

Wrongful Death from a Bus Accident

Unfortunately, when a fatal traffic accident causes a wrongful death, the surviving family members may seek compensation for both economic and non-economic losses resulting from the death of their loved one. 

In case of death, surviving family members may claim:

  • Medical expenses when the deceased was alive 
  • Funeral and burial costs 
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of household services
  • Loss of parental guidance, love, and affection

A skilled personal injury attorney can help in holding the negligent school bus driver accountable, whether the bus is owned by private companies or government entities. Our law firm has achieved fair recompense for injured bus accident victims in Illinois, understanding the impact of injuries sustained and skillfully negotiating with insurance companies. 

Recover Fair Compensation and Secure Justice With an Illinois Bus Accident Lawyer 

Did you suffer serious injuries or face the death of a loved one in a bus accident? The bus accident attorneys at the Injury Lawyer Team, powered by Rosenfeld Law Offices, will work for your case and recover maximum compensation through litigation or an out-of-court settlement. 

Our legal advocates have a successful track record of helping bus accident victims recover their damages from negligent bus drivers and companies. If you were injured in a bus accident case in Chicago, Illinois, hire our legal representation services. 

Schedule a free consultation at (888) 424-5757 today with an experienced bus accident attorney. All confidential or sensitive information shared with our legal team remains private under an attorney-client relationship.