A 17-year-old boy was struck and killed by a Metra train in the Montclare neighborhood on Chicago’s Northwest Side.
On June 25, 2017, at approximately 9:00 p.m., Isaiis Ceja, of the 2300 block of North Rutherford Avenue, was walking near train tracks by the Mont Clare Station around the 7000 block of West Medill Avenue. At that time, the outbound No. 2721 Metra train on the Milwaukee District West line struck Mr. Ceja.
Emergency workers from the Chicago Fire Department responded to the scene of the collision, where they pronounced Mr. Ceja dead.
According to eyewitnesses, another person was also crossing the tracks with Mr. Ceja when he was struck and killed, though that person was uninjured.
After what was characterized as an “extensive delay,” the train began moving again at 10:58 p.m. Authorities do not yet know why Mr. Ceja was crossing the tracks at the time that he was killed by a Metra train.
Public Transportation Accidents
Chicago has a vibrant public transportation system. Every day, millions of the city’s inhabitants rely on L trains, CTA buses, and the Metra to go to work, school, or anywhere else they need to be. In fact, over 500 million public transportation rides are taken in Chicago each year.
With that many trips being taken, however, the risk for injuries is immense. Trains derail, buses crash, and commuters slip and fall in stations every day.
Buses and trains are defined as “common carriers” under Illinois law. Because they are paid to transport the public, these common carriers are subject to a higher duty of care for the safety of their passengers, and they are therefore expected to be more cautious than regular drivers. Any failure to do so could be considered negligence, and people injured because of this negligence may have a claim against the company operating the carrier, such as Metra, for example.
Public transportation accidents are complicated, however, and recovering these damages is not a simple matter. There are many potential causes, including faulty traffic and train signals, distracted, negligent, or inexperienced drivers, improperly-maintained tracks, mechanical failure, or overloaded trains and buses. Sometimes another driver might be at fault instead of the public transportation operator, meaning that that driver’s insurance is the one that must be pursued.
A personal injury lawyer with the necessary resources and experience in public transportation accidents can promptly initiate a detailed investigation to figure out exactly what happened. Only by determining the cause(s) of the accident can the responsible party or parties be properly identified. Depending upon the nature of the accident, you may be able to pursue a claim against the company operating the vehicle, the company maintaining the tracks, if any, the manufacturer of the public transportation vehicle, the driver of another vehicle, or some combination of these. Identifying all the potentially at-fault parties in a timely fashion is important because people who fail to bring their cases forward within the time frame specified by law may find themselves forever barred from obtaining justice and compensation for their injuries.
Moreover, the time specified by law in which you have to bring suit or resolve your claim – known as the “Statute of Limitations” – is shorter in cases involving public transportation systems, which are owned by cities, municipalities, or other government entities. In the state of Illinois, the Statute of Limitations is one year for personal injury cases involving municipalities, as opposed to the two years that you have in cases against private parties. Again, failure to bring suit or resolve your personal injury claim against a public transportation system within one year will result in your being forever barred from doing so.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident on public transportation, the public transportation accident attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers are an excellent choice for legal representation because they have decades of experience bringing justice in cases exactly like this.
If you or someone you know has been injured, from a public transportation accident or by some other means, please contact GWC Injury Lawyers for a free legal consultation to see if you may be eligible for financial compensation for your injuries. Call our office 24/7 at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with one of our representatives today.