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Understanding Public Transit Accidents

 Posted on April 04, 2023 in Personal Injury

South Side of Chicago Personal Injury LawyerOn February 11, 2023, WLS-TV reported that a person was struck and killed by a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Yellow Line train in Skokie, even though all signal devices were properly functioning at the time of the accident. Public transit injuries in Chicago are much more common than people realize, and it can be difficult for people to know how to pursue these types of personal injury claims.

The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) oversees three transit agencies in Illinois: the CTA, Metra, and Pace. The city is also served by Amtrak, tourist trolleys, and various taxis.

Differences with Public Transit Injury Claims

The Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act under 745 Illinois Compiled Statute (ILCS) § 10/ can make it much more challenging for a person to obtain financial compensation from a public entity. The good news for most injury victims is that the CTA is not afforded the same immunity from legal actions as other government entities.

The first thing people need to understand about a public transit injury case is that the traditional personal injury statute of limitations imposing a two-year limit on filing a claim may not apply in these cases. People may instead only have up to one year to file a claim, and this limit is actually more than the six months that had been the rule before 2009.

Entities such as the CTA are considered common carriers, which is defined as a person or commercial enterprise that provides transportation services to the general public for a fee, including passengers and goods. This distinction is important because common carriers are held to a much higher standard, meaning they owe a higher duty of care to others. 

The duty of care applies not only to passengers while they are actually on public transportation vehicles, but also while they are boarding or leaving such vehicles. The duty virtually continues until a passenger has the opportunity to reach a place of safety, at which point the common carrier only needs to exercise ordinary care.

An accident claim against a public agency will require a person to prove that there was a connection between a public agency’s negligence and a person’s injury. A court will be looking for proof that the condition leading to the victim’s injury was foreseeable and avoidable.

Some of the common kinds of public transit claims can involve criminal acts or injuries caused by third parties, defective vehicles, inadequate maintenance, collisions, or poorly trained vehicle operators.

Contact our Chicago Public Transit Accident Lawyers

If you suffered serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a public transit accident in the greater Chicago area, you are going to want to seek legal representation for assistance filing the proper claim. Our Hyde Park personal injury attorneys will be able to walk you through the entire process. 

Kadzai Law Group, LLC has recovered more than $10 million for its clients. You can call 312-229-0050 and set up a free, no-obligation initial consultation.





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