How Does Special Duty of Care Apply to an Illinois Car Accident?

Posted on in Car Accidents

negligenceWhen people hit the road for a vacation or to commute to their jobs, they typically do not expect to be involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, vehicle collisions can and do occur on a fairly regular basis throughout the United States. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), there have been just over 500 vehicle fatalities on Illinois roadways as of this writing. In some cases, crashes can be caused by inclement weather. However, sometimes they are the result of the reckless behavior of a motorist.

Every driver has a duty of care to drive safely in an effort to protect himself or herself, as well as other motorists and passengers who are traveling on the road. Due to its size, the city of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs have many public modes of transportation. The drivers of these vehicles have a special duty of care to protect their customers from harm, including injuries sustained in a car accident.

Common Carrier Vehicles

Any vehicle that transports passengers for hire is referred to as a “common carrier.” Examples of these types of vehicles include buses, taxis, or limousines. Typically, the duty of care that the owners or operators of these automobiles have to their passengers is considered higher compared to other drivers. An example of this enhanced care requires the driver of a common carrier vehicle to look multiple times when checking oncoming traffic before turning at an intersection, when changing lanes, or before merging onto the highway to ensure it is safe to do so. When a driver fails to enforce or enact a high level of care, it may be classified as negligence, and any victims of an accident may be entitled to compensation for injuries suffered.

In Illinois, the special duty of care law applies to public vehicles, such as taxicabs or limousines for hire or that charge a fare to ride. This includes the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) buses and elevated (El) trains, METRA commuter trains, PACE buses, school buses that transport children, as well as buses for hire.

Negligent Actions Behind the Wheel

All drivers are responsible for operating their vehicles in a way that does not put others on the road at risk, regardless if they are traveling alone or carrying a busload of people if they are a professional driver. This duty of care is breached when they engage in reckless or negligent behaviors such as:

  • Traveling above the posted speed limit
  • Failing to stop at a red light or a stop sign
  • Not yielding the right of way
  • Failing to properly maintain their vehicles
  • Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol
  • Distracted driving (texting, eating, reading)
  • Tailgating the care ahead of them
  • Driving while drowsy or fatigued

Contact an Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer

A vehicle collision of any nature can result in devastating consequences, including costly vehicle repairs and medical bills. In certain situations, you may have been a passenger in a common carrier vehicle and wonder if you can file a personal injury claim. That is why it is important to consult a tenacious Orland Park, IL car accident attorney who will diligently fight for your rights to compensation when seeking damages. With more than 10 years of experience securing financial relief for those injured in automobile accidents, Issa Law, LLC understands the Illinois laws regarding duty of care. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 708-966-2408.


Khaled Issa

10660 W. 143rd St., Suite A2
Orland Park, IL 60462

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