CTA train in Chicago

Assigning Responsibility After a Public Transit Accident

Public transit systems are the backbone of major U.S. cities, and the Chicago area is no different. Every day, CTA, Metra, and Amtrak get millions of residents and visitors where they want to go. When accidents inevitably occur involving public transit, the question of responsibility will necessarily arise. Assigning responsibility after a public transit accident in Northbrook and greater Chicagoland will require a thorough investigation to see if it was the agency, an employee, or another party who was at fault. 

Each entity that operates a form of public transit has a specific process that must be followed in order for someone to collect damages. In addition, individuals who were injured in an accident caused by a public transportation vehicle but who weren’t passengers at the time have different rights than those who were passengers at the time of the accident. It can be a complicated area of law to navigate on your own. If you or a loved one was involved in an accident involving public transit, contact a public transportation attorney as soon as you are able. 

Was the Agency Responsible?

Any investigation into a public transit accident should involve transit authorities, the police, and independent experts if necessary. Key factors to consider include the cause of the accident, whether it was due to human error, mechanical failure, or other factors like weather conditions or infrastructure issues.

In many cases, responsibility for a public transit accident may lie with the transit agency itself. This could be due to negligence in maintenance procedures, failure to train the staff adequately, or failure to implement safety protocols. So, for example,  if an accident is caused by a train derailment due to faulty tracks that were not properly maintained, the transit agency could be held liable for negligence.

In some cases, the behavior of individual employees may also contribute to an accident, making them liable for their negligence or misconduct. For example, if a bus driver is found to have been operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they could be held personally responsible for any resulting injuries or damages.

Were Other Parties Responsible?

Responsibility for a public transit accident may also go beyond the transit agency to other parties involved in the operation of the system. This could include manufacturers of faulty equipment, contractors responsible for maintenance and repairs, or maybe even government agencies responsible for oversight and regulation. For instance, if an accident is caused by a defective brake system in a bus, the manufacturer of the brakes could share responsibility for the accident.

What Damages Could I Pursue for my Injuries?

A person who has been injured by another party’s negligence in a public transit accident may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. In addition to damages, changes could be implemented to prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future, such as improved safety training for employees or upgrades to equipment and infrastructure.

Contact our Northbrook Public Transportation Accident Attorneys Today

Public transit accident cases can often be tricky cases to prepare. The transit systems have immunity from certain kinds of liability and there are complicated legal issues to be aware of. You’ll want the experienced public transit accident attorneys of Stein and Shulman, LLC on your side. They will be well versed in the transit authorities’ rules and regulations and the strategies they will use in their defense. Contact our office to schedule a consultation today.