Every day, hundreds of people rely on public transportation to travel around the area. Public transportation encompasses a number of means – anything from county-run buses such as the Madison County Transit (MCT) system, Uber or Lyft vehicles, trains that go through the area, to school buses. While Edwardsville, Illinois is a relatively small town compared to big metropolitan cities, bus, train, Uber, or Lyft accidents can still happen.
If you were involved in a public transportation accident and suffered injuries, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an Edwardsville public transportation accident lawyer at TorHoerman Law to find out more.
Typically speaking, you have two years from the date of injury to file the case. If you do not file within that time frame, a judge may refuse to hear your case at all and you could lose the right to receive compensation. It is important you contact a lawyer quickly after the accident.
Generally speaking, buses are not dangerous because of the size of the vehicle compared to others on the road and the fact that bus drivers are required to hold a special license that requires additional training. When a bus driver, bus company, or bus manufacturer acts negligently, the circumstances change and buses can become dangerous.
Bus accidents can be deadly, complicated, and costly. At TorHoerman Law, we will work with you to hold the negligent party responsible and get you the compensation you deserve. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation, call our office at 618-223-5657.
In Illinois, there is a specific law that applies to common carriers. A common carrier is “a person or company that transports goods or people for any person or company and that is responsible for any possible loss of the goods during transport.” Applied to public transportation vehicles, the law states that “a common carrier owes its passengers the duty to use the highest degree of care…”
Plainly put, the person driving the vehicle and the company that owns the vehicle have an obligation to provide safety to its passengers, not only from accidents, but from assault, injury, or abuse from other passengers or third parties. The law applies to planes, ships, buses, taxicabs, limousines, amusement devices such as a Ferris wheel, railroads, and elevators, but does exclude escalators.
When a passenger is boarding, riding, or leaving the vehicle, the carrier has an obligation to that individual’s safety. The law even explains further what leaving the vehicle entails – the passenger must have had “a reasonable opportunity to reach a place of safety” before the carrier’s obligation is terminated.
Public transportation accidents can include, but are not limited to:
Unfortunately, this is not a question we are able to answer without first discussing the details of your case with you. Each case is different, and the circumstances of the accident can determine if you qualify for compensation.
Typically, if you have been hurt, and were not at fault, or at least not in majority fault, for the accident, you can qualify for compensation.
You may be wondering, what kinds of injuries occur in public transportation accidents? Anything from head injuries, bruises and cuts, amputations, or wrongful death can occur, but again, it is dependent on the circumstances of the accident. If the bus hit a light pole at a slow speed, it is likely passengers will not suffer anything more than a few cuts and bruises. But, if a bus was hit by a moving train while attempting to cross train tracks, mass casualties could be a result.
We hope you have not been seriously injured in an accident, but we understand that incidents do happen. If you or a family member has been injured, call a personal injury lawyer today.
Again, this is a difficult question to answer since determining liability for an accident is dependent on the circumstances of the accident. Let’s review a few examples:
A bus is unable to stop because the breaks are no longer working, causing an inevitable accident that injures not only the passengers on the bus, but the two drivers of the other motor vehicles it hit before coming to a full stop. In this case, neither the bus driver nor other motor vehicle did anything wrong – the breaks stopped working. Liability will likely fall on the shoulders of the bus company or bus manufacturer for either failing to provide properly working breaks or failing to maintain the breaks. A car and bus are involved in an accident on a busy road because the car ran through a stop sign hitting the bus as it attempted to cross the intersection. The driver of the car will be held liable because of his or her failure to properly stop at an intersection. An Uber hits a parked vehicle while on its way to drop you, a customer, off at your house. After calling the police to report the accident, it becomes apparent the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Not only is it illegal to drive while under the influence, but it has caused you to suffer an injury. The driver of the Uber would be held liable.
While these are just examples, they illustrate how in many cases, it may not be obvious who the liable party, or in some cases, parties, is. The job of your Edwardsville injury lawyer will be to conduct a thorough investigation to not only collect evidence to support and file your case, but also to determine who will be held for your injuries.
Have questions about personal injuries and filing cases involving motor vehicle accidents? Our firm offers FREE, no-obligation consultations to assist you in the lawsuit process. Contact TorHoerman Law today to speak with an experienced Edwardsville public transportation accident lawyer today.
You can also use our chatbot to receive a free, instant online case evaluation now.
“Common Carrier.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 9 Mar. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_carrier.
“Particularized Standards of Conduct 100.00 Common Carriers.” Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions – Civil, Illinois Courts, www.illinoiscourts.gov/CircuitCourt/CivilJuryInstructions/100.00.pdf.
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