School bus accidents often result in complex litigation involving multiple plaintiffs and multiple defendants. The legal issues become even more complicated when the defendants are municipalities and school districts. With so many parties involved, it is important for victims to seek the counsel of an experienced Chicago school bus accidents lawyer with the expertise, resources and dedication to wade through the complexities of the case and secure full compensation for those that have suffered injury or loss.
In Chicago and across the country, most school age children ride the bus on a daily basis during the fall, winter and spring. And when children get on the bus every morning, they are trusting that the driver is fully rested and ready to safely operate the vehicle. They are also trusting that the vehicle is mechanically sound, properly maintained and fully operational.
Illinois law explicitly governs virtually all aspects of school bus operation, including the manner in which they are to be loaded and unloaded. In certain circumstances, the law requires that the bus owner and operator provide a special level of protection for its riders.
Unfortunately, bus drivers, bus owners and school districts do not always follow the law, sometimes resulting in tragic consequences. Some reasons why school bus accidents occur include:
- Driver Intoxication: School bus drivers do not always come to work sober. Drunk drivers or drivers with other illegal substances in their system pose a far greater danger of causing an accident on the road.
- Driver Fatigue: Some bus drivers are overworked and/or have not had enough rest to concentrate fully and safely operate the vehicle.
- Aggressive/Unsafe Driving: Bus drivers that speed or fail to slow down for pedestrians and bicyclists often cause senseless accidents.
- Driver Distractions: Talking/texting while driving, eating, overly engaging with unruly passengers and other distractions can cause the driver to lose focus on the road.
- Mechanical Failure: When the bus owner or school district fails to keep the buses in working order, brake failures and other mechanical breakdowns can lead to serious accidents and injuries.
The law governing bus accidents is highly complex and the statute of limitations (the deadline for you to file a claim) may be shorter than in other types of transportation accidents. At Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., we have over two decades of experience representing clients injured in school bus accidents in Chicago, Cook County and throughout the nation. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a bus accident, time is of the essence. For this reason, it is important that you contact the highly experienced Chicago school bus accidents lawyers at HM&M immediately.