Party Bus Accident on Chicago Interstate Highway Leads to One Death and Legal Action

Party BusWhen you are injured in a bus accident, you may have multiple different ways that you can secure a legal recovery for the damages you suffered. If the driver of the bus drove the vehicle in a manner that was not consistent with reasonable standards of safety, that may create liability. If the owner did not maintain the bus properly in terms of safety or if the bus had safety issues in the way it was manufactured, these too could create a viable case. However you’ve been injured in a bus accident, you should contact knowledgeable Illinois bus accident counsel to help you protect and pursue your case.

One tragic recent bus accident situation involved a suburban Chicago man. Jimmy was out with friends on the night of June 2, 2017 to celebrate the birthday of a former co-worker. To facilitate the festivities and promote safety, none of the group was driving – they traveled aboard a party bus. At a little before 3:00 am, the group was still traveling and partying. They were headed northbound on the Tri-State Tollway when Jimmy got up to turn up the volume on the bus’ radio, according to Patch.com.

However, as Jimmy reached for the volume knob, something went wrong. He tripped and fell, and, when he did, he tumbled down the bus’ stairs toward the doors. When he hit the doors, the doors flung open, leaving Jimmy to fall out of the bus and onto the surface of the I-294 travel lane immediately to the bus’ right. The driver of an SUV, who did not stop, ran over Jimmy and killed him, according to the Patch report.

The owner of the 2012 limo told the Daily Herald that the vehicle passed an inspection just three weeks prior to the accident.

Less than one week after the accident, the Sun-Times reported that Jimmy’s mother sued over her son’s death. In a situation like Jimmy’s, there may be multiple avenues for recovery for the family, as well as multiple potential parties that could be sued. In general, the driver who ran over the deceased man could be a party to a lawsuit. The family would need to prove that the driver failed to use reasonable care in his driving at the time that the collision took place. In this case, however, Jimmy was struck by a hit-and-run driver who had not been identified at the time of the news reports.

Clearly, the bus company could also be a potential party to sue, and the mother did in fact sue them in this case. Given the facts of Jimmy’s case, there were two separate potential bases for liability, both of which the mother asserted in her lawsuit. The driver of the party bus owed the passengers a legal duty to operate the vehicle in a safe manner at all times. According to the lawsuit, the driver of Jimmy’s bus violated that duty when navigating the bend in I-294 as the tollway approached Lake-Cook Road. The driver’s unsafe handling of the bend caused Jimmy to lose his balance and fall down the stairs, according to the lawsuit.

The bus company also had a legal obligation to maintain the bus in a safe manner. The mother alleged that the bus company violated this duty as well. If the doors had been properly maintained and functioning, they would not have flung open when Jimmy fell into them, which would have prevented him from falling onto the road surface of the tollway. The fact that the bus passed an inspection recently does not necessarily mean that Jimmy’s family cannot win regarding the issue of proper maintenance.

The mother also advanced another theory of liability. She argued the bus company, by requiring partiers to manually adjust the bus’ sound system at a control located at the front of the vehicle and very near the stairs and door, improperly failed to safeguard riders’ safety.

For answers and representation upon which you can rely with regard to your bus accident or other personal injury case, reach out to the experienced Chicago injury attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck. Our attorneys have been helping injured people take on their cases and get results for many years. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 800-444-1525 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Illinois Residents Injured in Indiana Bus Crash Defeat Effort to Move Their Case Out of State, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, May 8, 2017

Woman Hit By Champaign City Bus Obtains $9M Injury Verdict Award, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, March 15, 2017

Photo Credit: TRU LIMOUSINE, [CC0 License], via Wikimedia Commons.