Filing a Civil Lawsuit if You Were Harmed on Chicago Public Transit
Many of us in Chicago regularly rely on public transportation to get around the city. Whether on the train, bus, or even walking on property owned by the Chicago Transit Authority, accidents can happen. What should you go if you sustain an injury while on Chicago Transit Authority property? Filing a civil lawsuit against the CTA may seem like a tall order; however, the good news is that the law is very much on your side.
The first thing you should do if you sustain an injury on CTA property is file a police report documenting the incident. It is essential that you have a written document that details what your injury is, how it happened, and anyone who may have witnessed or have knowledge of your accident. If you are involved in an accident on a CTA train or bus, the police will likely come and take your statement along with the other passengers. You should ensure you get a copy of this police report number for reference.
Most civil lawsuits have a 2-year statute of limitations, meaning that you have up to 2 years to file a lawsuit from the day you sustain your injury. However, with cases against the CTA, you must file your lawsuit within 1 year of your injury. This is because the CTA is a municipal entity, and so you must act quickly to preserve your lawsuit if you are injured.
Filing a Lawsuit
Once you are ready to file your lawsuit, you should consult with a personal injury attorney who can assist you in drafting a Complaint against the CTA. A Complaint states what happened to you, how it happened, and why you believe CTA is responsible for your injury. Your Complaint will also state a dollar figure you believe your case to be worth, which will determine which Court your case is heard in. Your Complaint will officially start your lawsuit once filed with the Clerk of the Court.
After your Complaint is filed, your next step is to serve the Defendant, or CTA, with notice of your lawsuit. You can use the Sherriff’s office to serve your Complaint against the CTA. Your attorney can assist you further once service is achieved, as you will then enter the litigation portion of your lawsuit once CTA appoints an attorney to defend against the case.
The two most important elements of filing a civil lawsuit against the CTA are ensuring that you properly document your accident, and that you file your lawsuit no later than 1 year following your injury.
Talk to an Attorney When Filing a Chicago Public Transit Lawsuit
While hiring an attorney is not essential, it is highly recommended that you consult with one. Here at the McCready Law Group, we have decades of experience litigating cases against the CTA, and can assist you with all of the challenges you may encounter throughout your lawsuit.