A collision between a CTA bus and a car resulted in injuries to six people. The accident occurred when the car moved into the lane occupied by the bus. The bus hit the car, causing the car to spin out of control and the bus to leave the roadway, where it hit a pole.
Three of the injured people were passengers on the bus. The two passengers and the driver of the car were also hurt. One of the passengers in the car was in critical condition.
This accident presents an interesting legal situation which shows the different legal obligations owed by common carriers and other people occupying the roadway.
A common carrier is anyone who agrees to to transport someone for hire. Airlines, railroads, taxis, and buses are typical types of common carriers. They owe their passengers an obligation to exercise the highest degree of care to ensure the safety of their passengers. The reason for this is that the passengers have paid the common carrier and have entrusted their safety to the common carrier.
Everyone else on the roadway only has on obligation to exercise ordinary care. The law defines this as doing that which a reasonably careful person would do under the same or similar circumstances.
As to this particular accident, the CTA is a common carrier for the people on the bus. Therefore, they owe the passengers an obligation to exercise the highest degree of care. However, as to the people in the car, they are not a common carrier and therefore only owe the people in the car an duty to exercise reasonable care.
Anyone considering making a claim against the CTA should seek legal advice promptly because there is a special six-month notice requirement which must be followed in order to pursue a lawsuit against the CTA.