The term ‘public transportation’ encompasses many things. Buses, subways, rail lines, trolleys, and ferries are just a few examples, and with gas prices rising significantly over the past decade, many Americans now utilize public transportation much more frequently. Although it’s rare, accidents do happen, and when they do, they have the potential to create serious devastation. Public transportation is responsible for making over 10 billion trips each year, so it is incredibly important that we do everything we can to keep our common carriers, and the people who use them safe.
Earlier today, a runaway Chicago CTA train collided with another train on the Blue Line in Forest Park, injuring dozens of people. The CTA accident, which happened around 8 a.m., occurred when the outbound train was hit by an empty out of service train headed in the opposite direction at the Harlem Avenue station. According to the CTA, 33 people were transported to local hospitals, but no one was seriously injured, however conflicting reports say that as many as 48 may have been hurt in the crash. It is unclear what caused the collision, but the CTA, as well as the Forest Park police, have informed the union that they suspect no criminal activity or foul play related to the incident. “The train should have been tripped and gone into emergency,” one official commented. “It’s starting to look like a mechanical malfunction.” (Chicago Tribune)
Today’s events show how dangerous public transportation accidents can be; thankfully, in this case no fatalities occurred, but this isn’t always true. Common carriers are required by state and federal law to use a higher degree of care to ensure the safety of all, and when they fail to do so, they are putting thousands of people at risk. Defective equipment, driver negligence, improper maintenance practices, and inadequate safety measures are some of the most common causes of mass transit accidents, and these can usually be avoided simply by using proper caution.
Litigation and lawsuits involving public transportation are very complex, and it is easy to be intimidated by large municipalities and city officials. Our lawyers will ensure that no one impedes your right to receive proper compensation for your injuries. We have represented clients from all over the state of Illinois, and we have recovered more than $520 million dollars in personal injury settlements and verdicts for our clients and their families.