Reports show that you are not alone, and that there are a lot of reasons for the crashes that CTA should be working harder to fix. But they do not.
According to records and interviews conducted by the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, there have been 5 people killed and over 1000 injured in CTA caused crashes. And that is only from a CTA bus crash, not all the other ways people can be hurt on the CTA, like being hurt on a train, for example. And these are just the ones which have been reported. These crashes have cost taxpayers over $16 million dollars over the same 2 year period.
You see, the CTA only has to report the crash to the Federal government if there is a death, a hospital trip or property damage of more than $25,000.00. So these figures do not even factor in how many minor injuries have occurred that were not required to be reported.
In the last 2 years, more than half of the injured people were passengers of the CTA who were hurt by negligent driving by the CTA bus driver. The remaining injured people were the bus drivers themselves (around 250); other drivers (about 200); and pedestrians (55) and bicyclists (20). That is a lot of people being injured in a a lot of different ways.
I’ll be honest: I am often a critic of the Sun-Times because their paper is often fluff. But in this case, their investigation is a good service to the people of the City of Chicago and anyone who rides the CTA. We deserve to be warned of the dangers of riding the CTA and the preventable injuries that its negligence causes.
The first thing you should do is assess yourself. Are you in pain? Can you walk or move?
If you are able, you should ask for help or assist others who are hurt.
Next, make sure that the CTA bus driver calls in the crash and makes a report. I have talked to lots of people who get hurt on the CTA, and sometimes, bus drivers do not want to make a report. Then, the CTA can later claim that the injury never happened. So make sure to report it, and make sure CTA does a report of injury.
The third thing you have to do is see a doctor, right away. You do not want to wait weeks or months. There are two reasons for that. First, there are no medical injuries which get better faster without medical care, and you may think your problem is a minor sprain, but it may be something more serious. Second, delays in medical treatment make Juries suspicious that you were not really hurt. So when in doubt, go get checked out. But obviously, if you are okay and in no pain, and no pain develops in the days or weeks ahead, do not go to the doctor for no reason.
Another thing to think about is whether you know anyone who saw the CTA bus crash or whether you can get photos of the scene or of the crashed vehicles. These days, almost everyone carries a cell phone capable of taking really good photos. I know it is hard to think to do that, but it is important.
Finally, DO NOT try to handle the case yourself. Years ago, the CTA would occasionally settle cases. That has more or less disappeared. They now only settle slam dunk cases, and they are experts at interviewing unrepresented injured people and poking holes in their case.
Are There Differences In CTA Bus Crash Cases?
The answer to that queston is “Yes”.
Of course, the basics of a crash that happened on the roads of Chicago are the same whether we are talking about a car crash or an injury on the CTA.
But there are differences. The first is that there is a ONE YEAR STATUE OF LIMITATIONS. That means that you have one year from the date of your crash to file a lawsuit. This confuses some people because most injury cases involve a 2-year deadline. Since the CTA is a part of the City of Chicago, it benefits from the one-year deadline which most municipalities enjoy. Miss the date, and your case is over.
Another thing to keep in mind is that having a clear diagnosis from your doctor, for an injury which is clearly related to the crash, makes the case easier to settle and will give us fewer problems if we have to take the CTA to trial to win your case.
Believe it or not, I have several clients where the Hospital or the follow up doctor make medical notes in the patient’s medical records and it described how the injury occurred incorrectly. For example, I represent a lady who had a car accident and was taken to the Emergency Room by ambulance, but the ER nurse wrote down that my client hurt her knee in a fall. Obviously, that was wrong, but Defendants in these cases will try to confuse the Jury and defend that case however they can. it isn’t always honest or fair. Their job is to save money and they have to give you nothing and defeat you claim to do that. And believe me, they will.
That’s why I believe that the most important thing any injured person could do is hire an experienced lawyer for CTA injury, who is also courteous and easy to talk to. Sometimes these cases go on for many years, and it is a mistake to hire a mean lawyer who acts like you are bothering him when you have a question.
Like many injury lawyers, I offer a free consultation through my telephone line and you can call 24 hours a day, and every day of the year, so answers are just a call away whenever you want to call.
The number is 1-888-HURT-318 (888-487-8318).
If you aren’t ready to speak with a lawyer, I have written an Injury book and created an Injury DVD and CD. I created these and I give them away for free to anyone who is hurt and honestly needs to know about injury case and how they work.
If you’d like a copy, you can fill out the form on the right of this web page, or you can call the toll free number and tell them that you want “The Free Injury Book”. The operator will take your information and we will mail the book right out to you.
I hope that this information helps you, and if I can help set your mind at ease, please give me a call.
WOULDN’T TRUST MY CASE WITH ANY OTHER LAWYER!
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