Top Chicago CTA bus crash lawyers and other transportation accident attorneys keep abreast of the frequency and types of accidents involving public transportation buses. Recently in Chicago, a CTA bus crashed into a home in the Morgan Park neighborhood. Fortunately, no one inside the home was injured or killed as a result of the bus crash. However, several passengers on the CTA bus were injured as a result of the accident. According to reports, the CTA bus driver received a traffic citation for negligent driving.
Bus safety is a concern not just with CTA buses, but also other public transportation buses, including school buses. A separate Chicago Tribune story last week reported that there are nearly 2,000 school buses currently operating across the country with serious safety violations despite government and manufacture knowledge of defective parts. Those injured in a bus accident involving safety violations or product defects may have a viable cause of action against the bus company, manufacturer or driver, and should contact an experienced bus accident attorney regarding your rights.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the governing body for motor vehicles in the US, has known about the defects for eight years. The Tribune reports that it has taken eight years to track down the companies responsible for the defective parts.
Defective parts can cause serious, if not fatal, injuries. Defective parts that cause serious injuries fall into the category of product liability, or the area of law that holds manufacturers, distributors and retailers responsible for errors in design, manufacturing or marketing of a product. An experienced personal injury lawyer understands state as well as federal product liability law, and can help you identify all responsible parties.
The defective parts bus parts may include:
• Seat backs that fail strength requirements
• Weak seatbelt anchors
• Wheelchair lifts
There are federal standards for bus parts, and the minimum standards must be met in order to ensure the safety of children riding school buses. Seats on school buses, for example, provide what is called compartmentalization. The NHTSA defines compartmentalization in the “Highway Safety Program Guide No. 17” (March 2009) as “a protective envelope of strong, closely spaced seats that have energy-absorbing padded seat backs that help distribute and reduce crash forces.” Seat backs that fail federal strength requirements create weak compartmentalization, which can cause serious injury to children in the event of an accident.
Failure of the NHTSA to track down and follow up with the companies is disconcerting, and it is frightening that the bus companies noted in the Tribune report, U.S. Bus and Transportation Collaborative Inc., have been lax in their mandatory reporting requirements and recall of parts they know to be defective. Such willful negligence should not be tolerated.
For a free consultation with a top Chicago bus accident injury lawyer, call Passen & Powell at (312) 527-4500.