Many people in Illinois use the Pace public transportation system, which serves the suburban areas around Chicago. Pace buses carry passengers all around the Chicagoland, area seven days a week. But Pace also oversees a paratransit program for riders with disabilities, as well as a vanpool fleet that it leases to various groups.
One of the leased vans was involved in an auto accident earlier this week. Around 8:45am on Monday morning, the Pace van was driving south on South May Street in Chicago just prior to West 115th Street (and less than a mile west of I-57) when it slammed into a tree. A total of nine of the van’s occupants were injured in the single-vehicle crash. All were taken to nearby hospitals in either fair-to-serious condition or good-to-fair condition.
Authorities suspect that the icy roads were a major factor in the collision. The van was leased by Pace to the Sertoma Centre in Alsip, which provides services to people with disabilities. So unless the van itself experienced a mechanical failure, it’s highly unlikely that Pace would share any liability in the accident.
Even though inclement weather may have been present, the van’s driver, who is believed to be employed by the facility, will probably be held solely responsible for the auto accident. That means that the victims could choose to file personal injury lawsuits against both the driver and the center (which is responsible for the driver’s actions). These suits could allow the victims to be reimbursed for medical expenses incurred as a result of the wreck.
Hopefully, the facility has insurance against these types of calamities. But given that the combined medical bills for the nine occupants (some of whom were likely disabled) could easily reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, it’s possible that the center’s insurance coverage might not be enough to take care of all the costs. That’s when a personal injury lawsuit might be necessary to further compensate the victims.