Open Accessibility Menu

Chicago Transit Authority Accidents

Casey Woodruff
undefined

CTA buses are a common sight on Chicago streets, and L trains go by so often that you don’t even notice them.  Not surprisingly, the CTA is involved in a large number of accidents.  According to a 2010 Chicago Tribune report, the CTA averages at least one accident per day.

CTA buses and trains are a special class of vehicles known as “common carriers.” Common carriers are entities that advertise themselves as publicly available services for conveying freight or passengers. CTA buses, trains, limos, planes, and even elevators are considered common carriers.  This classification is important because it has implications for the CTA’s “standard of care.”

Common Carrier Standard of Care

The standard of care is a legal term that articulates the level of care a person or entity has a duty to use to ensure that they do not harm other people. Ordinarily, traffic accident cases are judged under the reasonableness standard. Was the defendant exercising the degree of care an ordinary person would do in the same situation?  If not, they are driving negligently.  Common carriers must do more than just exercise ordinary care.

Common carriers occupy a special legal status, and that status comes with an increased responsibility to protect passengers. Rather than exercising ordinary care, common carriers must exercise “the highest degree of care consistent with the type of vehicle used in the practical operation of its business.” This duty even extends to protecting passengers from injuries done by other parties.  For example, in cases where the CTA should anticipate violence between passengers, it has a duty to protect passengers from each other. However, the common carrier standard does not always apply, so it is important to understand when the CTA has this heightened duty.

When Does the Common Carrier Standard Apply?

The common carrier standard only applies to passengers on the CTA.  While this heightened standard of care does not apply to non-passengers, the CTA still has a duty to exercise reasonable care with regard to bystanders like pedestrians and other drivers.  Of course, this raises the question of– who qualifies as a passenger?

An individual is considered a “passenger” not only while riding a CTA vehicle, but also when one is entering and exiting the vehicle.  The common carrier’s duty to exercise a heightened duty of care begins when the passenger starts boarding the vehicle, such as when they are waiting to get on the train.  It continues until the passenger gets off the vehicle and has a reasonable amount of time to get to an area of safety.  Consequently, a person who gets off a CTA bus only to be struck by it moments later may still qualify as a passenger for legal purposes.

CTA accidents have a one year statute of limitations. There are also a number of technical notice requirements that must be met in order to make a claim against the CTA.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a CTA accident, contact a Chicago transit accident attorney at Woodruff Johnson & Evans today.

Categories:
  • "I had an awesome experience with Dexter Evans!"

    "I was recently injured in an auto accident and Dexter Evans handled my case. He is the best. Awesome experience. Definitely would recommend to anyone!"

  • "They always keep in touch & are quick to respond."

    "I want to thank attorney Jon Walker for all his work on my worker's comp case. He explains everything in detail to you so you understand. Always kept in touch, you didn't have ..."

  • "I will definitely recommend them!"

    "I was injured in an auto accident and Dexter Evans handled my case. He was awesome. I will definitely recommend them to friends and family."

  • "I was very happy with the outcome of my case!"

    "A friend referred me to Woodruff Johnson & Evans. Attorney Jay Johnson explained the process so that I understood what was going on with my case. He was responsive to my ..."

  • "I was very satisfied with the results!"

    "I was referred to Woodruff Johnson & Evans by a friend who had used them in the past. Everyone I had contact with was so kind and polite. My lawyer, Jay Johnson, explained the ..."

  • "Woodruff Johnson & Evans helped settled my case when the insurance company refused to pay my medical bill!"

    "I consulted the lawyers from Woodruff Johnson & Evans and they settled my case when the insurance company refused to pay my medical bill! I think I will recommend people to ..."

  • "Dexter Evans was incredible at handling my auto-accident case & provided constant communication about any questions or concerns I had!"

    "Dexter (DJ) Evans was incredible at handling my auto-accident case and provided constant communication about any questions or concerns I had. He addressed every concern I had ..."

  • "Steven was helpful in preparing me for a deposition and was very instrumental in gathering details about the location of my slip and fall!"

    "Steven was helpful in preparing me for a deposition and was very instrumental in gathering details about the location of my slip and fall. He negotiated what I thought was a ..."

View All Testimonials

Get Your Free Consultation

  • Please enter your First Name.
  • Please enter your Last Name.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
    You entered an invalid number.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.