In Chicago, you will find many methods of transportation. These include cars, motorcycles, bicycles, boats, semi-trucks and delivery trucks, limousines, party buses and trolleys, taxicabs and ride-sharing vehicles such as Uber and Lyft. This also includes passenger trains such as Metra and Amtrak, city-owned mass transit options including Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) buses and elevated or “El” trains, freight trains, airplanes, tour boats and cruise ships, school buses and hotel shuttle buses. While there are advantages in having so many means of transportation, any individual, whether a driver, cyclist, passenger, or pedestrian, faces the risk of potential injury or harm when he or she utilizes any of these means. No matter the means of transportation, the operator of the vehicle has several responsibilities such as proper licensing and training, staying alert, operating the vehicles at a proper speed, maintaining a proper look out and proper speed, and regularly inspecting the vehicle to ensure all parts are fully functional and working properly.
A negligent or reckless driver must be held accountable when his or her behavior causes injury or death to other drivers, passengers, bicyclists, or pedestrians with whom he or she shares the road. Distracted driving has become a progressively common cause of transportation accidents with the increase in use of mobile devices, such as cell phones, while driving. This may be especially common during ride-share trips, as drivers receive notifications and follow GPS directions on their mobile devices. Other hazards of ride-sharing may include a driver’s inexperience or lack of familiarity maneuvering through busy city streets. Bus, trolley, shuttle, and limousine drivers must have proper training to safely operate these vehicles which are considerably larger in size but much more limited in maneuverability than most vehicles.
Train accidents often involve substantial injuries, damage and destruction due to their massive size and weight and high speeds. Negligence on behalf of a train operator or railroad may cause or contribute to train derailments, defective equipment, and collisions with other trains, vehicles, bicyclists, or pedestrians, especially at railroad crossings.
Boat and ship operators are faced with similar hazards as motor vehicle drivers, like mechanical problems or collisions with other water vessels or stationary objects; however, the added element of water also adds risks such as slippery surfaces that may cause a passenger to fall overboard and drown. Boating accidents are frequently caused by reckless operation, involving speed or alcohol.
Chicago is home to two major airports: O’Hare International Airport and Midway Airport. An aviation accident may occur as a result of human error or mechanical error, or sometimes both. The most common causes of airplane accidents are pilot or air traffic controller error or negligence, an equipment defect, malfunction or design flaw, improper or poor maintenance of the aircraft, poor weather conditions or a violation of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.
The injured person may seek compensation for his or her medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress and physical disabilities and disfigurement caused by the incident.
To consult with our office regarding a potential motor vehicle or transportation accident claim, please call (312) 346-6800 or complete and submit the contact form. We urge you to contact an attorney as soon as possible, to ensure all of your rights are protected.