Recovering Damages For Public Transit Injuries in Illinois
Earlier this month, there was a scare in Park Ridge, Illinois, when a Metra train struck a car that was stuck on the tracks. Fortunately, no injuries have been reported in this instance, but it is certainly possible for people to suffer serious injuries when a commuter train collides with a passenger vehicle. If you are injured in such an accident, or any accident involving public transportation, you can benefit from a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who can work through the complications of the case and help you get the compensation you need.
Liability in Public Transportation Accidents
Perhaps the most complicated aspect of an accident involving public transportation is determining which parties are at fault. For example, in a railroad crossing accident between a passenger car and a Metra train, the driver of the car could be partially at fault if they disregarded a railroad crossing sign or signal. However, if there was no clear signage or the crossing signal was not working properly, some fault could lie with a local government entity.
Operators of public transportation vehicles like trains and buses may also be liable for injuries suffered by passengers and drivers of other vehicles. Illinois legal doctrine considers these public transportation vehicles to be “common carriers,” which means operators have the highest duty of care to ensure the safety of their passengers, and they can be held responsible for many different types of injuries a passenger may suffer. If the operation of a vehicle causes injuries to non-passengers, the standard of negligence is similar to that of any other accident between motor vehicles.
When a person is injured due to the negligence of a private citizen, they have the right to pursue compensation from the negligent party through a personal injury claim. However, if the negligent party is a government entity, which may be the case in an accident involving Metra or another Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) system, the process of pursuing compensation can be more complicated. For example, there may be shorter timelines and additional requirements for filing a claim, and it will be extremely important to have clear evidence of the negligent actions or oversight that caused the injuries. It is important to act quickly and to work with an experienced attorney who can help you gather the evidence you need.
Contact a Cook County Personal Injury Lawyer
Public transportation accidents can affect anyone in Cook County and the surrounding areas, and it is important to know where to turn for help if you are injured. At Schwartz Injury Law, we can represent you in your claim for compensation and advocate for the full recovery you deserve. For a free consultation with an Orland Park personal injury attorney, call us today at 708-226-9000.