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By Shawn Kasserman

Recently, a double-decker Megabus traveling from Atlanta to Chicago was involved in a rollover crash, injuring at least 26 people.  According to the bus driver, in the early morning hours, he tried to avoid an accident and overcorrected his steering. The bus flipped on its side and over the median of I-65. One passenger shared that due to rainy weather conditions, the driver may have had limited visibility or that the driver swerved to avoid something.

The Chicago area is serviced by companies like Megabus, including Greyhound, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), and Pace Bus Company. Though public transportation offers a convenient and cost-effective way to travel, passenger bus accidents are all too common. Due to the size of buses, injuries involved can be minor to serious, life-threatening matters. The consequences of a bus accident injury can be devastating, so it is crucial to take action to ensure your rights are protected.

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By Robert Geimer

A shuttle bus carrying passengers from Economy Lot “E” to the departure terminals crashed into a concrete barrier on the main entrance roadway into O’Hare airport Friday morning. According to news reports, a number of passengers were seriously injured.

“These cases can be very complex, and early investigation by attorneys who are experienced is critical,” according to Dan Kotin, who has successfully worked on many such cases, including a $43 million combined recovery on behalf of 35 passengers injured in a commuter train crash; a verdict of nearly $29.6 million on behalf of a woman who sustained a serious brain injury in the derailment of a Metra train; an $8.4 million recovery against Pace Bus Company on behalf of a woman who was seriously injured; a $4.5 million settlement with the CTA for a family who lost their 10 year-old child when she was struck by a bus; multi-million dollar recoveries against a major bus company for two separate incidents in which pedestrians were struck and killed; and a $2.6 million verdict against the CTA for a man injured by a bus.

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By: Daniel M. Kotin

Initial reports from the O’Hare Airport CTA Station indicate that operator fatigue and speed may have been factors in the 2:50 a.m. derailment of the CTA Blue Line train at that station on March 24, 2014. As lead counsel in multiple commuter train derailments in the past, we have seen that operator error in failing to reduce speed is a common cause of a train leaving its tracks and crashing.  In 2005, two women were killed and 117 injured when a Metra train failed to reduce speed at a track crossover causing it to leave its tracks and crash into a bridge.  Despite all of the automated technology, primary control of train movement and speed still remains the responsibility of the train operator. Initial witness reports from the early morning derailment at O’Hare indicate that the train entered the station at a far greater speed than usual.  If these indications are proven true, a primary cause of the derailment may lie with the operator. Although no consolation to the 30 people reported injured, the fact that this derailment took place at 2:50 a.m. during a time of light commuter traffic may have prevented a much more catastrophic tragedy.  As lead counsel of a claim involving another CTA Blue Line derailment in 2006, the injuries numbered in the hundreds since the derailment took place in a CTA tunnel just outside the Loop during rush hour on a Tuesday afternoon.  Investigation of that derailment revealed that track maintenance was the primary cause. Despite the fact that lawyers for injured passengers still must prove negligence on the part of the CTA and/or its employees in order to recover money damages for these victims, the task of doing so is made easier by the fact that Illinois law places a heightened responsibility on public transportation operators to avoid injuries to its passengers.  As a common carrier, the Chicago Transit Authority owes the “highest duty of care” to safely transport members of the public who use its trains and buses.
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