Just like every other driver on the road, bus operators must obey traffic laws and engage in safe driving behavior at all times. If a bus driver or their employer acts in a reckless or careless manner that ultimately results in a crash, they may bear liability for the costs of every loss suffered by their passengers, other drivers, and any bicyclists or pedestrians involved in the wreck.
Without representation from a dedicated personal injury attorney, holding the right party responsible for this kind of incident can be difficult to manage. A qualified Elgin bus accident lawyer could work to help you establish legal negligence and seek fair and comprehensive compensation for all your recoverable damages.
Injury Claims Against Private Individuals or Companies
Many different buses run through Elgin. In addition to school buses, Elgin serves as a central hub for Pace buses. Elgin’s Transportation Center is located near the Metra station, right between the bridges of Highland Avenue and Chicago Street.
Because both commercial and public buses are considered “common carriers” by law, the entities that operate them are held to particularly high standards when it comes to protecting passengers from harm. However, an injured party still must be able to prove that either the driver, their employer, or another third party was legally negligent in order to effectively pursue civil litigation after a bus crash.
An attorney in the community would focus on demonstrating through a preponderance of evidence that the named defendant in a bus accident claim fulfills all the following criteria:
- A duty of care, which is almost always a given in any auto accident case
- A violation of that duty of care through some reckless, careless, or intentional action
- A causal link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the accident the plaintiff was involved in
- Specific losses stemming from the accident for which the plaintiff is seeking compensation
Applicable duties of care can vary a lot depending on the circumstances. For example, a bus driver would be expected to follow the rules of the road, while a mechanic would be expected to use due care when maintaining a bus to prevent component failures. Additionally, under the principle of respondeat superior, private bus companies like Greyhound and Megabus can often be held liable for the negligence of their employees, if their negligent behavior occurs while they were on the job.
Suing a Municipality for a Bus Crash
If a public bus or a school bus is involved in an accident, the civil litigation process will work a bit differently than for private companies or individuals. The most obvious difference is the shortened filing period—while personal injury victims typically have two years after their accident to file suit, individuals filing suit against a municipality entity generally have a one-year deadline.
Additionally, there are often numerous restrictions on what constitutes actionable negligence by a municipal authority, as well as limits on how much a civil plaintiff may seek in recovery for certain types of damages. A savvy attorney could discuss legal options with bus crash victims looking to file suit against municipal entities in Elgin.
Seek Assistance from an Elgin Bus Accident Attorney
While both bus accident and car crash claims involve motor vehicles, they often progress differently through the civil court system once they are filed. Knowledge of those legal differences could be key in navigating the process successfully.
Whether your case ends with an out-of-court settlement or proceeds all the way to trial, guidance from a seasoned legal professional could make all the difference in enacting justice for your injuries. Let the experienced Elgin bus accident lawyers at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. serve as a steadfast ally throughout every stage of your litigation process. To learn more about how a legal advisor could help, call today for a consultation.