Public transportation systems give people an affordable, environmentally-friendly means of travel. With the increased use of public transportation services, there is an elevated risk of bus accidents. From 2009 to 2019, 12% of fatal bus crashes nationally involved intercity buses. 39% of fatal bus collisions included school bus accidents and 34% with transit buses.
Buses rely on their shape, design, proximity of their seats, and the different force distribution properties to protect each passenger. Their increased size leads to severe injuries in accidents with smaller vehicles, similar to those sustained in truck accidents.
These accidents can result in severe injuries to motor vehicle occupants and bus passengers. Bus crash claims involving privately owned buses follow similar procedures to most car accident claims, but when a government entity owns the bus, the process changes.
The bus accident attorneys at Nessler & Associates can file your bus accident claim and help you get fair compensation for your injuries, allowing you to focus on your recovery. You can obtain compensation covering everything from medical bills to pain and suffering.
Accidents with a Privately Owned Bus
A mass transit accident involving a privately owned bus, such as Greyhound and Megabus, applies the same type of legal action as a car accident. Illinois does not limit the amount of damages you can recover in these cases, and the statute of limitations lasts two years from the date of the accident.
An experienced attorney with Nessler & Associates can file a personal injury claim with the bus company’s insurance. We can investigate your accident, interview witnesses, reconstruct the accident, and hire expert witnesses to support your claim. Our years of experience give us a vast network of experts to consult. We can take the case to trial if the insurance company fails to offer a fair settlement.
Accidents with a Mass Transit Bus Owned by a Governmental Entity
Illinois requires bus accident victims to file a claim for damages with the Court of Claims within one year of the accident or to notify the Court of Claims and Attorney General of your intention to file suit within one year if a governmental entity owns the bus involved.
Government-owned buses include school buses and buses operated by 63 government entities, such as Chicago Transit Authority, CityLink, and Pace.
Your bus accident lawyer must present your case before a panel of seven judges or one of 16 commissioners the judges appoint. A chosen representative or the Attorney General leads the defense. The judges must review the evidence, and four must reach a verdict.
If the defense raises arguments about the nature or extent of your injuries, the court might order you to undergo an independent medical exam by a physician, and you are entitled to a copy of the report if you request it.
Causes of Bus Accidents
The same types of negligence and recklessness that cause most traffic accidents can lead to bus accidents. These include speeding, driver fatigue, driver error, and failing to use the proper level of care for road conditions. Bus accident lawyers understand how to investigate these accidents to gather the required supporting evidence. Other common causes of bus accidents include:
- Bad weather
- Driver negligence
- Equipment defects
- Lack of maintenance
- Poor visibility
- Vehicle handling issues
- Weight distribution problems
Illinois uses a modified contributory negligence law that states victims cannot claim an award if their actions contributed more than 50% to the cause of the accident. If you contribute less than 50%, your award is reduced by the same amount of fault you bear for the incident. For instance, if the court awards you $100,000 and you contribute 10% to the accident, you will receive $90,000.
Damages You Can Request
If you have been involved in a bus accident, you may be entitled to recover economic damages and non-economic damages. Your personal injury attorney can assess these damages to help you recover and reduce the financial burden.
Economic damages are those that can be measured in dollars, such as lost wages and future and current medical bills. Your attorney can also compile receipts for out-of-pocket expenses such as medication and transportation to appointments. Your attorney can also figure out your lost wages and future loss of income.
Bus accident injuries also cause non-financial losses, such as emotional distress, loss of consortium, pain and suffering caused by physical injuries, loss of companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life. The injured party can claim loss of enjoyment of life when they can no longer participate in the same activities as they could before the accident.
Wrongful Death from a Bus Accident
A spouse or surviving family members can claim loss of consortium when the injured party dies or can no longer provide the same level of household services, parental guidance, love, and affection as before the accident.
A personal injury lawyer can help you hold the negligent bus driver accountable for your injuries, whether private companies or government entities own them. The legal team at Nessler & Associates has extensive experience with bus accident cases. We understand the types of injuries they cause and their impact on your life.
Hire a Bus Accident Attorney Team
A motor vehicle accident involving a bus can happen to experienced drivers. Hiring a professional bus accident attorney to file a claim for bus crash injuries gives you the best chance of holding the negligent party responsible and recovering the maximum compensation possible.
If your loved one received fatal injuries in any type of bus accident, the bus accident injury team at Nessler & Associates can help you seek financial recovery through a wrongful death claim. If the accident involved a charter bus or other privately owned bus, we can negotiate with insurance companies to get you fair compensation for your injuries.
Although these cases can be complicated, rest assured that we work diligently to hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence or recklessness. Depending on your circumstances, the liable party may be the bus driver, bus manufacturer, government entity, or bus management company.
Call our law firm at (800) 727-8010 to schedule a complimentary evaluation with a bus accident attorney. We will use our years of trial experience and aggressive representation strategies to get you the maximum compensation possible.
We operate on a contingency fee basis, so we don’t get paid unless we win a verdict or judgment for your case. If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, don’t settle for less than you deserve; instead contact our law firm for a free case review and learn your legal options.