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Public Transportation Accidents: How to Act Upon Them?

Public Transportation Accidents: How to Act Upon Them?

Accidents happen anywhere at any time. People get hurt as a result of these events. Most of the personal injuries lawsuits are related to traffic accidents. Public transportation isn’t free from them. If you get hurt while riding a bus, you can sue the company responsible for the service. The severity of the injuries depends on the accident itself. The worse the injury is; the more money is needed to repair the damage. If you get injured by the negligence of a public transportation worker, you can try to find compensation. Normally, the injuries inflicted in these accidents aren’t too serious.

There are many laws behind the process. By reading this article, you will gain some notion of what you must know to face the consequences.

Legal Background

Before you sue someone, you must prove that he is responsible for your injuries. This also applies to public transportation accidents. The laws behind this particular event is a little different from the rest.

Public transportation workers must follow the “Common Carrier” Law. Which states that drivers must treat their passengers with a greater level of care. For example, a bus driver has a bigger responsibility than a normal driver. Meaning that he must make sure that his passengers safely arrive to their destination. Still, if you suffer from an accident that involves a public transportation worker, you must show that this happened because of his negligence. If you can do it, the transportation company has to cover for all the damage inflicted.

To clearly explain the meaning of “greater level of care” let’s see the following example. You are inside a bus, then the bus driver puss the brakes hard. As a result, you get thrown from your seat and hit your head. Is this enough to press charges? Well, you have to analyze why the accident happened. If the bus suddenly stops because a child runs towards the street, you will be able to sue neither the company nor the driver. Contrarily, if the driver gets distracted while talking with a passenger, and he presses the breaks to prevent the bus from hitting the kid, you can sue the company. Even if the child was carelessly walking through the street.

Bus drivers, subway workers, taxi drivers, and even school bus drivers must follow this regulation. They are expected to do whatever it takes to ensure the user’s safety. You are only able to sue the company if you are injured during the operation of the vehicle. But in some states, public transportation companies must prevent any accidents from happening in their installations. For example, if you are in the subway and you fall from the stairs because they are wet, you can sue the company. Providing proof for these scenarios is harder. Because you need to demonstrate that the stairs were wet and there was no warning sign.

Public transportation companies have to follow certain rules. Their drivers must perform with the highest skills and care. For example, bus drivers can’t talk to the passengers while the bus is moving. Sometimes the bus has warning signs to remind the users that this is forbidden. Also, all hazardous zones, inside the installations, must have the appropriate sign. This could free them from any responsibility. Regardless of how the accident went down, you must provide sufficient evidence to support your claim. For this, you will need help from an experienced personal injury attorney.

Filling Up the Claim

Public transportation agencies are owned by the state. They operate within the local laws; you must follow those laws if you want to bring a lawsuit against the company. This complicates these types of claims even further. Because the law establishes a window in which you can make the claim. The time frame depends on the local legislation. By hiring an accident attorney, you won’t have to worry about this. Your lawyer will be responsible for submitting all the documents needed according to the deadlines.

You must divide your claim into two steps. During the first one, you must alert the transportation company about your accident. You can do this through a simple card. As said before, the window of time depends on the local law, but in most cases, you have less than six months to complete the first step. After it, you must sue the company within a shorter window of time. The statute of limitations contains the time frame for each step. It is your lawyer’s job to know how to fulfill those steps within the deadlines.

Unfortunately, the amount of money that you could get from these claims is also fixed. The amount depends on the local laws. It could get as high as 100,000 USD. It may be less than the amount invested in your recovery. These happen because, in a single accident, many people can get injured. If the company has to pay for all the expenses from all the passengers, they could end in bankruptcy.

Don’t Go Through This Alone

Hiring the best accident attorney is the wisest move you could make. Because public transportation companies are owned by the state, you must channel all the claims through government agencies. Your lawyer will know where to submit the paperwork. Avoiding any kind of problem during the process. Moreover, the chances of getting your claim approved are better if you have an attorney by your side.

Making a Claim? Hire an Accident Attorney!

To have higher chances of getting compensation for all medical bills, you have to hire an accident attorney. He will make sure that your claim gets approved. Meaning that you won't have to pay for all expenses. The sooner you make your claim; the better. this way you will avoid losing important witnesses and evidence.

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Posted by John Asplin
The editorial staff of ProAccidentInjuryLawyers.com is comprised of legal content experts. Our editors and reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in law related content editing and have reviewed thousands of pages for accuracy and relevance. Our reviewers consistently monitor the latest news, research articles and documents to provide our readers the most accurate content on the web.

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