Articles Posted in Bus Accidents

Riding on public transportation is part of one’s daily life, particularly for people who live in cities. But buses, trains, and other vehicles have to be operated with care, since the people who depend on public transportation are forced to put their lives in the hands of these transportation operators. Often, operators manage vehicles negligently or recklessly, putting passengers and others at risk.

Bus InteriorNegligence Lawsuits Arising from Auto Accidents

Most transportation collisions are the result of negligent rather than intentional conduct. In a claim against another party for negligence in Illinois, a plaintiff has to prove a duty of care owed by the defendant to the plaintiff, a breach of the duty, and an injury proximately caused by the breach. Some courts in Illinois have defined negligence as “the failure to do something which a reasonably careful person would do or doing something which a reasonably careful person would not do.”

The plaintiff has the burden of proof to establish each element in a negligence lawsuit, generally by presenting evidence and expert testimony. This can be direct evidence, such as eye-witness testimony, or circumstantial evidence, such as skid marks in a car accident.

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In a recent case, a woman sued a casino after she was injured while boarding the casino’s shuttle bus. The woman was attempting to board a crowded shuttle bus provided by a casino when she claims she was pushed and fell. She suffered a broken bone in her hip that required immediate surgery. The casino operated the free shuttle for certain people and picked them up at different places to take them to the casino. One witness said that there was often a chaotic scene at the shuttle bus pickup at that time. Despite that, no additional precautions were taken by the casino to ensure passengers boarded the bus safely.

Casino ChipsThe woman sued the casino for negligence as a result. She argued that the casino was a “common carrier” and had a duty and a responsibility to ensure the safety of its customers who used its shuttle bus. She argued that the casino knew or should have known of the dangers inherent in boarding the crowded shuttle bus and that it should have made the process safer. The woman alleged the casino was a common carrier, which meant that the casino had a higher duty of care under certain circumstances. The casino argued it was not a common carrier and did not have a heightened duty of care.

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School bus drivers’ duties may be considered to start and end with children getting on and off the bus. But school bus drivers may also be responsible for making sure that students safely cross the street when entering or exiting the bus. In a recent case, a court held that a bus driver’s duties extended to helping children safely cross the street, and the bus’ car insurance was required to pay benefits as a result.

School BusA girl was on her way to take a school bus to school. After she received a signal from the bus driver, she crossed the street to get on the bus when she was hit by another car. The girl filed a complaint to receive benefits from the bus’ insurance company for her injuries. The state required that car insurance included coverage for “PIP (personal injury protection) benefits,” which provide benefits to those injured in car accidents. The girl was trying to recover PIP benefits that were available to those in the vehicle as well as other people involved in the accident, who were not in another vehicle.

The insurance company that insured the bus argued that it was not “involved in the accident.” However, that state’s supreme court found that it was. The bus driver controlled the process of entering and exiting the bus, and the accident happened when the bus driver signaled for the girl to cross. Part of a school bus’ operation is to safely pick up and drop off students, and that role was clearly involved in this accident. Also, the accident was within the common understanding of a motor vehicle accident, since she was hit by a car while crossing to board the bus. Finally, even if the other driver may have been at fault, the girl was still entitled to PIP benefits, since the bus was involved in the accident. Therefore, the girl was entitled to the benefits from the bus’ insurance company.

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Civil trials are often thought of as determinations about whether a defendant is liable. However, the issue of liability is only one of the issues decided in a trial. Trials also determine the amount of compensation awarded to the injured party. In a recent case against city and county governments, the defendants admitted liability but proceeded to trial only on the issue of damages.

bus-1263266_960_720A woman sued the city and county after being injured in a car accident. The woman was riding on a county bus when the bus was hit by a city fire department van. She was thrown from the bus and landed on the street. She then sued the city and county. The city and county admitted that they were liable, but they continued to trial on the issue of damages. The defendants argued that a spinal fusion surgery the woman had after the accident was an unnecessary procedure. The case was decided in favor of the woman for $575,203, including her costs for the spinal fusion surgery, and an appeals court affirmed the decision.

Governmental Immunity

Tort immunity afforded to the federal, state, and local governments generally makes them immune to lawsuits. It comes from the idea that a government that makes the laws cannot break the laws. It was also thought that lawsuits against the government could be so numerous that the government would never be able to pay them all. However, governmental immunity has been modified in recent years to permit tort actions against certain entities for specific reasons.

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For some vacationers, a Caribbean cruise is the epitome of relaxation. They envision sunsets on the deck, drinks by the pool, unlimited food, and duty-free shopping. For others, it is Disney on the high seas, with Snow White, Cinderella, or Aladdin leading daily activities to keep the kids occupied and amused.

cruise-ship-shot-2-1401482Every once in a while, however, Disney turns into disaster, and would-be vacationers end up nursing serious wounds in a local hospital, far from the paradise they hoped to discover. In some cases, vacationers even die due to the errors of their entrusted carriers, and loved ones who pictured their family members sunning themselves on a distant beach are forced to unexpectedly begin the mourning process.

These are, of course, dreaded vacation scenarios. Not many cruise ship passengers expect disaster when their beautiful luxury liner departs for sunnier skies and warmer waters. But when tragedy does occur, the law can provide relief to injured passengers and grieving family members.

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According to a recent news article, students traveling to Wheaton North High School were injured when the bus they were riding in was involved in an accident with another car. The accident occurred on Geneva Road near Purnell Street at approximately 7:35 in the morning.

schoolbus-1493014According to police, the driver of the car first hit a compressor being pulled by a van on Geneva Road. The car then spun into the path of the bus, which struck the car on the passenger side. Fortunately, the passenger seat was empty at the time of the accident.

The bus was carrying 50 students when the accident occurred. Along with the bus driver, 12 students were taken to Central Dupage Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, ranging from head pain to wrist soreness. The driver of the car was also transported to the hospital for minor injuries. Both the car and the school bus had to be towed from the accident site.

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According to a news report, a girl injured while boarding a city bus has sued the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and the bus driver for negligence. The girl is 16 years old. As a result of the accident, she required surgery to repair several fractures to her pelvic bones.

inside-doubledecker-bus-1561369In the lawsuit, it is alleged that the bus driver opened the doors for the young girl to board the bus, but he pulled away from the stop with the doors still ajar. The girl then fell out of the bus, hit the ground, and was run over by the bus as the driver pulled away from the stop. The complaint also alleges that the driver left the scene of the accident without stopping to help the injured passenger or calling for help.

A lawyer for the girl’s family said that the lawsuit is intended to provide “justice for the family.” The lawsuit is seeking more than $50,000 in damages, including medical expenses. As part of the lawsuit, the family’s lawyer has asked the court to ensure that any videos or reports made by the CTA relating to the accident be preserved for review.

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