Illinois has become a major hub for public transportation. Whether it is the everyday commuter traveling to work, children going to school, or passengers taking an interstate trip, thousands of Bolingbrook residents rely on buses every day.
When people take the bus, they trust that the driver is properly licensed, experienced, and ready to operate the vehicle in the safest manner possible. Passengers also trust that the vehicle has been properly inspected and is fully operational. The last thing they may expect, however, is to be involved in an accident with a bus or while riding one.
The devastation and repercussions of bus accidents can create may last an entire lifetime for both accident victims and their families. However, in the wake of such a tragic incident, a skilled personal injury attorney may be able to help you seek justice through the court system. By consulting a seasoned Bolingbrook bus accident lawyer, you could obtain an aggressive legal advocate who would fight for accountability and fair compensation on your behalf.
Determining Liability in Bolingbrook
The specific cause—or causes—of a bus accident is characteristically the basis by which courts determine both fault and liability. For example, the laws and regulations surrounding vehicular accidents are different when it comes to a school bus since those drivers are employed by the school district.
Normally, when a school bus driver is considered “at-fault” in a bus accident, the victim may file a claim against the school district. However, most school districts have insurance coverage in place to protect themselves against cases such as these. In addition, because a school district is a government entity, recovering damages may be a long and arduous process.
In the aftermath of a school bus accident, it is crucial to understand Illinois’ shortened statute of limitations. Generally, in standard vehicular accidents, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is set at two years from the date of the accident. In cases regarding state or government entities, though, this period is shortened to one year.
Important Fault Factors to Remember
Depending on the circumstances surrounding a bus accident, some special investigation may be required to determine fault and liability. A number of factors may have contributed to the accident, including:
- Inadequate training
- Driving under the influence
- Driving over capacity
- Improper maintenance
- Fatigued bus drivers
Regardless of the reason, it is essential for victims to seek proper medical care after such an incident. In addition to ensuring they are physically safe and identifying any issues requiring treatment, any ensuing medical records and bills may be used by a Bolingbrook bus accident lawyer to support an injury claim.
Joint and Several Liability
Joint and several liability often plays a critical role in bus accidents. This term essentially means that multiple parties may be held liable for the total amount of damages a plaintiff suffers, regardless of individual responsibility.
A defendant in Illinois holding less than one-quarter of the plaintiff’s total liability is jointly and severally liable for expenses but is only severally liable for miscellaneous damages. Furthermore, a percentage of noneconomic damages equivalent to the percentage of fault the defendant displayed in the accident may be charged to that defendant.
Talking to a Bolingbrook Bus Accident Attorney
After an injurious bus accident, victims often struggle to pay for their medical bills and make up for wages lost from time off work. The long-term impacts of these accidents can be unforgiving, which is why obtaining legal counsel from a well-informed Bolingbrook bus accident lawyer could be critical to your case. To learn more about your options or to schedule an initial consultation, call today.