Mass transit accidents can be particularly devastating, often leaving victims with catastrophic and permanent injuries. If you or a loved one were hurt in a mass transit accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation. However, different rules apply when government agencies are involved, and obtaining the evidence you need can be challenging. Having a battle-ready Chicago personal injury attorney is critical.
The mass transit accident attorneys of Hale & Monico are here for you. We have extensive experience handling these claims, and we understand the legal complexities involved. We will investigate the facts surrounding your accident and demand the compensation you deserve.
Types Of Mass Transit Accidents in Chicago
Mass transit is essentially public transportation in a large, urban environment, such as Chicago. The means of transportation may be publicly or privately owned, which can present different factors in an accident case. Some of the most common types of mass transit accidents include:
- Bus accidents. These include accidents caused by school buses, charter buses, and public transportation buses. Some of these are operated by private companies such as Greyhound, while others are managed by public agencies such as the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).
- Rail accidents. Trains, including Metra commuter trains, are common in Chicago and the surrounding metropolitan area. In addition to passengers and pedestrians who get injured, railroad workers may get hurt and thereby invoke the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA).
- Airline accidents. Airline accidents are typically fatal, although passengers can get seriously injured in an air crash as well. But not all injuries involve crashes. Negligent airline personnel, from flight attendants to security officials, can cause serious accidents and injuries.
- Taxi accidents. Taxis are operated by private companies but regulated by governmental bodies. After an accident, usually, a negligent driver and/or the taxi company is to blame. This is not the same for ridesharing accidents such as Uber or Lyft.
Our firm has worked on these and numerous other mass transit cases. If you’ve been hurt because of a negligent mass transit entity, we want to hear from you.
Common Injuries In These Types Of Accidents
Victims of mass transit accidents may include not only the passengers but pedestrians and other individuals such as motorists. Because they usually involve large vehicles such as buses and trains, these accidents often cause significant and sometimes catastrophic injuries like:
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Permanent disability
After an accident, severe injuries could mean months of painful recovery, which in turn spells medical expenses, lost wages, and several other damages. It’s essential that an accident victim get medical attention immediately, even if the injuries seem minor. Also, due to the nature of these crashes, fatalities are unfortunately common. If a loved one has died because of a mass transit accident, the victim’s family may have a wrongful death claim against the responsible party.
Why Do Mass Transit Accidents Happen?
The individual, company, or governmental entity at fault for a mass transit accident can vary. Sometimes a crash is caused by a negligent driver or operator, which is further caused by inexperience, fatigue, drug or alcohol intoxication, or other factors. But often multiple parties are liable for mass transit accidents. For example, a negligent parts manufacturer may be responsible for brake failure that causes a train to crash. Or a company that performs maintenance and repairs could do a poor job. Identifying all potentially responsible parties is one reason to hire a knowledgeable mass transit accident attorney.
Unique Challenges for Chicago Cases
While the injuries caused by a mass transit accident are like those caused by other wrecks, that’s where the similarities largely end. If you’ve been injured, it’s your responsibility to make a case against the negligent party. Here are the challenges you will face:
- Governmental parties. Many mass transit systems are operated by the government, which presents another layer of difficulty in an already complex accident case. When suing a governmental unit, the rules are different than those that apply to private parties. For example, the statute of limitations is only one year for lawsuits against local public entities in Illinois.
- Obtaining evidence. After any kind of accident, there’s a limited amount of time to obtain critical evidence from the accident scene and other places. When a governmental party is involved, investigators may swoop in and start gathering the evidence it needs to defend itself. Those investigators don’t work for you, and getting evidence from them and other individuals will likely prove difficult.
- Settling cases. While accident cases typically settle, those involving the government are more likely to go to trial. The government has the resources it needs to fight lawsuits and will look for weaknesses in a plaintiff’s case. You need an attorney who is skilled at negotiations, but also ready to take your case before a judge if necessary.
How Hale & Monico’s Chicago Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help
Your accident attorney should not only be ready to handle the legal complexities of mass transit cases but should know how much your case is worth. Injuries from these accidents can mean several significant damages that are not easy to calculate. However, once your case either settles or goes to trial, you won’t have another chance to ask for more money. Getting it right the first time requires skilled legal counsel.
Hale & Monico represents clients from the time they retain us until the case is complete. We understand the enormous health, financial, and emotional challenges you will face after an accident, and we’re here to help. We thoroughly investigate mass transit accidents to uncover what went wrong and who is responsible for it. Then, we determine the amount of compensation a victim should expect from a lawsuit. Finally, we get to work negotiating a settlement or taking the case to trial if necessary.
Mass transit accidents deserve the committed representation that Chicago and Illinois clients expect from Hale & Monico. Give us a call today to get started on your case.