Chicago Bus Accident Lawyer

December 24, 2023 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman

Chicago relies heavily on public transportation systems like buses, trains, etc. At this point, you might assume they are well-oiled systems, but that is far from the reality. Bus accidents are preventable in The Windy City, yet they happen regularly.

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, handles many bus accident cases. We have a combined 120+ years of experience and have helped clients recover over $400 million in settlements following injuries.

Contact our dedicated Chicago bus accident lawyers for your free case evaluation today.

Why Choose Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers’ Chicago Bus Accident Attorneys?

Dolman Law Chicago Bus Accident Lawyer Team standing and sitting behind large table

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, will fight for your legal rights following any type of bus crash and injuries. We want you to get the maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. This is challenging to accomplish without the right legal team advocating for you.

We are an award-winning, nationwide personal injury firm with extensive experience and resources. We dedicate everything possible to each case, always seeking maximum recovery for your losses.

For your convenience, you can find our office in Rolling Meadows near the Woodfield Mall and Northwest Community Healthcare Hospital. When you meet with our team, we will listen to your situation and determine the best way forward.

These cases may involve multiple parties and insurance policies. We are ready to negotiate your case with everyone involved. We are confident in going up against these companies and fighting for our clients.

To learn more about our firm and satisfied clients, set up your free consultation right away.

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Causes of Chicago Bus Accidents

Chicago bus drivers encounter some of the same challenges as other drivers, with some exceptions. They also have a higher standard of care compared to other drivers. The following are common causes of bus accidents.

Some do overlap with car accidents:

  • Distracted driving: Bus operators entertained by electronic gadgets and other distractions are more likely to be in an accident than motorists. Bus drivers may experience passenger distractions since they carry a more significant amount of passengers than others.
  • Speeding: Bus drivers have strict schedules they must adhere to and can disregard speed limits to ensure they meet them. Speeding can lead to a collision where the bus driver never reaches their next stop.
  • Fatigued driving: Bus drivers must follow a specific itinerary and take rest breaks. Sometimes, they work long hours, far surpassing the hours they should be on the road. They also do not have any relief and are on a bus all day. This can get exhausting, but bus drivers can take steps to avoid fatigue and ask for help if they cannot safely drive their route.
  • Vehicle maintenance: This is of the utmost importance because if a bus doesn't have adequate vehicle maintenance, a part can fall off, or the driver can lose control.
  • Inadequate training: All buses are significantly larger than other vehicles on the road. They require training on how to maneuver them. Additionally, drivers should get a special license before they drive. They should be aware of bus safety procedures when something happens. Insufficient training can make drivers operate a bus when they shouldn't, causing severe accidents.
  • Another driver on the road can also cause bus accidents. They may drive recklessly, make an illegal turn, or brake abruptly in front of the bus. Even if the bus driver takes preventative actions, it can be challenging to avoid a collision.
  • Road conditions can also play a role in causing a bus accident. Government agencies are responsible for maintaining Chicago roads. They may be liable in specific situations.
  • Chicago weather is sometimes unpredictable, making driving in the windy city dangerous. Some bus drivers might fail to slow down to safely accommodate the adverse conditions.

Bus accidents happen for numerous reasons, and consulting with a Chicago bus accident attorney is the ideal step to take. We can assess how the accident occurred and who you can hold responsible. You will need this for your financial recovery.

Different Types of Buses in Chicago


Chicago is vast, and everyone has different transportation needs. That also means there are various buses you can encounter. Depending on the bus you are on, there can be different legal ramifications.

Some types of buses you may see around town include:

  • The public transportation authority owns city buses like the CTA. This can mean a government agency is involved in your claim.
  • School buses transport children daily, and the school district employs some. Others are third-party companies.
  • Intercity buses like Greyhound and Megabuses travel long distances through the city.
  • Companies or social groups might charter tour buses, although the transit authority may employ some.

Prevalence of Bus Accidents

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported 5,237 fatal bus and truck accidents last year. There were 127,000 non-fatal accidents. The percentage breakdown is 39 percent for school buses and 34 percent for intercity buses.

While these are national statistics, the Illinois Department of Transportation reports over 2,200 bus accidents for a prior year. That equals about six accidents daily. There were 407 injuries and two fatalities from these accidents. Additionally, there were 379 school bus accidents, resulting in 68 injuries and one death.

Common Bus Accident Injuries 

While bus accidents are uncommon, when they do happen, they often have devastating consequences. They result in catastrophic injuries for passengers, bystanders, motorcyclists, etc. Anyone can suffer an injury from a bus accident.

The most common examples of bus accident injuries include:

  • Nerve damage can happen from back and neck injuries like herniations that impact mobility. You may also suffer chronic pain or require surgery.
  • Spinal cord injuries can lead to paralysis and nerve damage. The spine controls the entire body. These injuries are some of the most expensive to treat. They may require years of injection treatment and invasive surgeries to get some semblance of pain relief.
  • Traumatic brain injuries affect people physically, financially, and emotionally. These can lead to lifelong impairments.
  • Amputations can occur if a limb gets crushed at the scene. It may also happen later if the person's life is at risk and requires the removal of the limb. The medical team carefully considers the decision to amputate in this life-altering situation.
  • Skull fractures may happen from passengers hitting their heads on objects inside the vehicle. It can open the skull or cause a brain bleed. These injuries can lead to other complications as well.
  • Partial or complete paralysis is possible, depending on the severity of the injuries. Sometimes, it is partially affecting one part of the body. Other times, it is impacting the person's life substantially.
  • Internal injuries like bleeding or organ damage. These are hidden injuries that require extensive diagnostic testing. They may also require invasive surgeries and medical treatments.
  • Broken bones can require a cast, surgery, and physical therapy. Some fractures are severe and require more treatment. 
  • Road rash from hitting the asphalt or being dragged on the ground. Thrown out of a vehicle, individuals often sustain these as secondary injuries.
  • Lacerations and bruises can seem minor, and they may heal with time. They happen from broken glass and other sharp objects. They can lead to infections and scarring.
  • Wrongful death is sadly common in Chicago bus accidents because of the size difference and force of these vehicles. This is more than a superficial injury because someone has lost their life. Families can take legal action.

Follow through with your medical treatment plan and take as much time as you need to feel better. Our Chicago bus accident attorneys will review your medical records and treatment to build a case the insurance company will pay fairly.

Determining Fault in a Chicago Bus Accident 

Stanley Gipe

The Chicago transit system transports thousands of passengers daily. Since there are so many buses on the road, it takes various people to maintain and operate them.

That also means multiple parties can be liable for your injuries, such as:

  • Private bus companies
  • Bus driver
  • Other negligent drivers
  • Bus management company
  • Government entities
  • Pedestrians, motorcyclist and cyclist
  • Bus manufacturer

Any or all of these entities may bear responsibility for causing the accident. That also means various insurance companies can be involved. This can easily complicate your case. Let our Chicago bus accident attorney determine who is liable and who should pay for your losses.

Schedule A Free Consultation

Potential Damages for Your Lawsuit 

The amount of your settlement will depend on various factors, including your injury severity, the responsible party, and the amount of damages you incurred. The worse your injuries are, the more money you will generally need to recover.

Some of the damages you can recover include:

  • Caregiver expenses
  • Emotional distress
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of consortium
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Rehabilitative expenses
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Counseling

Every case will have different damage awards, and our Chicago bus accident attorneys will look at various factors to calculate your potential settlement.

Some factors we will use to calculate your losses include:

  • Injury you suffer
  • If your injuries result in a disability or permanent impairment
  • Your injury impacts on your ability to work
  • Your current earning capacity
  • Your earning capacity before the accident
  • If the collision aggravated a pre-existing injury
  • The psychological impacts of the crash
  • Fault and insurance policies

The bus accident attorneys in Chicago from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, will use our resources to calculate your losses. We will consider many factors when assessing your claim.

Our team has garnered over 400 million dollars for our injury clients. We are well versed on available compensation and how the insurance company determines settlement amounts.

They will use their system, which often results in a meager offer. We will fight for a fair settlement by negotiating and providing evidence that you deserve this compensation.

Common Carrier Laws Can Complicate Your Case

Doman Law Group - Team of Chicago Bus Accident Attorneys

Certain transportation methods fall under special laws in Illinois. Common carrier laws place a higher standard on anyone with this designation.

They can apply to any company that offers paid transportation services. These entities put more people in danger than others and, therefore, must take extra care.

Illinois law states that common carriers are responsible for your safety. The law goes more in-depth, so you should work with a Chicago bus accident attorney.

Bus passengers are owed a duty of care from the moment they enter the bus until they exit the vehicle. When passengers are standing waiting for a bus, they are also owed a duty by the property manager, according to Illinois Courts.

Duty extends to the following situations:

  • Intentional acts by public transit employees
  • Actions of strangers that endanger others in certain situations where the common carrier did not provide a safe environment. 
  • Actions by other passenger transit employees were aware of.

Common carrier laws extend to buses, trains, Ferris wheels, elevators, etc. Carriers can legally eject a passenger for disorderly conduct if their actions can endanger others.

The Illinois Railroad Police Act provides protection and grants police power to individuals to expel or arrest unruly passengers who are committing or going to commit crimes.

There Are Time Limits for Filing 

There are time limits to filing any personal injury case in Illinois. Generally, you will have two years to take legal action. If a government agency is involved, this deadline can be much shorter.

Since these are stringent deadlines, you must move quickly to get legal representation from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA. We will investigate the case and ensure you stay within all relevant deadlines.

Speak with Our Chicago Bus Accident Lawyers

Following a bus accident in Chicago, you must protect yourself and your legal rights. The first step is following through with your medical treatment.

Next, you should also:

  • Refrain from posting on social media
  • Keep track of your expenses and receipts
  • Start a journal outlining your treatment plan and recovery
  • Gather any relevant documents like a police report and medical prognosis

Most importantly, schedule an initial consultation at (312) 500-2901 with a Chicago personal injury lawyer from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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