We can provide online consultations or phone consultations
Please click here for more information on Zneimer & Zneimer’s Coronavirus policies.

Articles Posted in Bus Accidents

The Chicago personal injury attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer have recently talked to a number of people injured on public transportation.  In 2021 there were 195,980,563 riders who used the Chicago Transit Authority System (“CTA”). In the month of October 2022 there were 23,576,296 riders who used the CTA rail /the CTA rail system for the 2022 year. As indicated by the numbers, public transit is a way that a significant number of people in use to get around the city of Chicago.  But with the huge number of riders that use the CTA, the odds of a passenger getting injured while riding is likely to occur. But who exactly is considered a passenger?

A contractual relationship between passenger and carrier begins when a passenger has presented himself at the proper place to be transported with the intention of becoming a passenger. Chicago & Eastern Illinois R.R. Co. vs Jennings, 190 Ill. 478, 484. A person becomes a passenger when, intending to take passage, enters a place provided for the reception of passengers, as a deport, waiting room, or the life, at a time when such a place is open for the reception of persons intending to take passage on the trains of the company. Id at 485. However, the mere fact of having a ticket or intending to take the train in not sufficient to be considered a passenger. Id at 486. The carrier then has to expressly or impliedly accept the passenger. Illinois Cent. R. Co. v. O’Keefe, 168 Ill. 115 (Ill. 1897)  Whether there is an acceptance by the carrier is judged largely by its own facts. Todd v. Louisville & N.R. Co., 274 Ill. 201, 207 (Ill. 1916)

According to the Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions, to be a passenger one must be in the act of boarding, be upon, or be in the act of alighting (departing) from the carrier’s vehicle. Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions – Civil No. 100.09. The plaintiff in the Illinois Appellate court case Pence, was not considered a passenger when he had purchased a Metra train ticket, parked his car in a Metra owned parking lot, and while crossing the street to the train station tripped on a bolt protruding from a railroad tie. Pence v. Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter R.R. Corp., 398 Ill. App. 3d 13 (2010). The Illinois Supreme court held in Katamay, to come within the definition of a passenger it is not necessary the person have come into actual contact with the train to be qualified as a passenger as long as that person had the intention to board the train, paid the fare, and made steps to that end. Katamay v. Chicago Transit Authority, 53 Ill. 2d 27, 29 (1972). In Katamay, while Continue reading

The Bus and Train Injury Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. take note of the continued increase in Chicago Transit Authority employee firings, since 2011, when Forrest Claypool took over as president of the agency. According to reports, roughly 900 CTA employees have been dismissed under Claypool’s watch, a significant portion of which were related to violation of agency rules. As personal injury lawyers, we certainly welcome Claypool’s efforts to clean-up the transit authority. Yet, when considering both the reasons behind such dismissals, as well as the reinstatement of approximately a fifth of these workers, we remain concerned over the safety of public transportation passengers.

Continue reading

Our train injury lawyers have learned that the railroad experts investigating the CTA Blue Line crash on September 30, 2013, considered emergency recommendations to the Chicago Transit Authority. According to Jon Hilkevitch of Chicago Tribune, the recommendations “could signal concerns of a future accident.”

The accident happened when an empty out-of-service CTA train hit a stopped Blue Line CTA train carrying passengers, injuring many of the passengers.

According to the NTSB’s letter to Forrest Claypool of the CTA,” the unoccupied train had been stored at Forest Park Repair Terminal awaiting repairs when it began moving under power and departed the terminal entering main line track. The train traveled almost one mile downhill through five mechanical train stop mechanisms before reaching the Harlem Station. The emergency brakes were applied and the train was momentarily stopped several times by the mechanical train stop mechanisms as it proceeded to the Harlem Station. Following each stop, train movement resumed because the master lever on the operator console had been left in a setting that allowed the train car brakes to recover and reset from the emergency brake application and proceed through a mechanical train stop mechanism after a momentary stop.”

Contact Information