Who is Held Liable in a Public Transportation Accident?
You may think that public transportation is always safe. However, contrary to popular belief, in many cases, for those sharing the road with public transport, it is not always that safe. Over the years, there have been numerous accidents that involve mass transit, such as a Phoenix city bus accident or school bus accident. But, who do you sue when a form of public transportation hits you? And, how can you claim damages when a city bus injures you on the road?
You should know that public transportation accident cases often involve negligence. That means you will have to prove that the defendant was negligent during the crash. What’s more, you will also have to prove that you did not get hurt intentionally — adding insult to injury in a quite literal sense.
What Constitutes a Public Transport Accident?
In general, public transportation is mostly safe. You may even use common forms of public transport to commute to and from work. But what you may not already know is that hundreds of personal injury claims involve train and public bus accidents every year in the US.
For instance, if you are traveling by train or light rail, and it comes to a sudden halt, you may suffer an injury but the sudden force. In an instance like this, you could sue the city for personal damages and medical bills. This means you can claim your rightful compensation from the court. The local transportation authorities or the city will have to pay for your damages if they are found to be responsible for the injury.
Moreover, if you are traveling by bus and it gets into an accident, you can also claim compensation from the city. And, if you get hit by a city bus, the court can order the city to pay you for your medical bills.
Hundreds of thousands of people get into public transportation accidents every year. Thousands of them involve public transport injuries and even fatalities. According to this report from the Bureau of Transportation, there have been over 65,000 Bus Accidents every year since 2013. Arizona Department of Transportation accident statistics reports that in 2019 alone, there were almost 2,900 bus related injuries and 92 fatalities.
Here are some of the most common forms of public transportation accidents that cause injuries:
- City buses
- Subway systems
Some of the Most Common Ways You Can Get Injured by Public Transport
- You can trip, slip, or fall over on a bus due to the driver’s negligence
- The collision between a car and a bus can cause whiplash and also injure you in other ways
- You can suffer from broken bones, bruises, and cuts during a train crash
- When you are trying to step on the bus, and the driver starts driving, you can easily get hurt
- You can get injured if you slip or fall on a subway platform due to maintenance negligence
- If a bus drives into you or your car, you can easily get severely injured
What Is Common Carrier Law?
Any accidents involving public transportation, such as a city bus, fall under common carrier law. A common carrier is an individual or as a business that offers transportation services for a fee, and this business or individual is also licensed to offer services to the public. In addition, the local government body regulates their services.
Therefore, common carriers can range from private companies to public authorities. Here are some modes of transportation that fall under the umbrella of the common carrier law:
- School buses
- Cruise ships
- Cable cars
- Tour Boat
All common carriers are required to show responsibility toward both passengers and non-passengers. And, while it should go without saying, this means they cannot be negligent. Therefore, common carriers must operate under reasonable care. Additionally, these drivers must be efficient and vigilant toward the safety of passengers and the public around that transportation.
Speeding, maintenance failure, tire failure, incomplete driver training, and fatigue can constitute negligence in the eyes of the law. If a bus accident happens due to these reasons, the private company or the government authority will have to pay compensation to the victim. And, the cases of accidents involving public transportation range from personal injury to wrongful death tort law and more.
How Can You Claim Compensation?
If you are currently involved in a public transport accident, you need to understand how to move forward. That means finding out who you can file your case against. Moreover, you need to understand who will pay for the injuries you sustained, and you must also investigate who the authorities that will compensate for your medical bills are.
You may think that the drivers themselves are responsible — they are not. Drivers are merely employees of different transport companies. Therefore, the company operating the public transport itself is liable for your compensation.
Finally, it is the transport company’s duty to make sure that their public transport is safe for everyone. So, if you get hurt or injured in a public transport accident, you can claim damages from the transport company. For example, in a case where a public city bus injured you on the road, you could claim damages from the city itself.
How Long Do You Have to Make a Personal Injury Claim?
Some companies or local laws offer a claim time of six months. However, the majority of the laws allow you to make a claim up to three years after the incident. Therefore, getting in touch with a lawyer immediately and filing a personal injury claim against the responsible parties as soon as possible is the best idea.
When your case involves a public transportation company, you will have to provide a short deadline to notify the company of the actual case. And, in these cases, there are also shortened deadlines for filing personal injury claims against public transportation companies.
There are also limits on damages in public transportation injury claims. This means you cannot get as much money as you may want or need from the responsible parties. In addition, there are caps and limits for these claims against state and government bodies. While these limits vary from state to state, you should know that these limits are very low: you may only get $100,000 or less in the majority of these cases.
Why Should You Trust Hutzler Law?
The lawyers at Hutzler Law make sure to offer affordable services to clients while ensuring their every need is met, and to our clients, that means one of the winningest track records in the Phoenix Metro Area for personal injury claims.
Our attorneys will help you get your rightful compensation from the court, and you’ll be able to claim your personal injury damages from government bodies without any problems.
Contact the injury lawyers at Hutzler Law right now to share the details of your personal injury case involving public transportation during a completely free legal consultation. We will begin the process of creating a winning defense for you to ensure that you get the rightful compensation from the authorities. If you or your loved one have been injured in a public transportation accident, contact Hutzler Law today for a free Phoenix personal injury lawyer consultation about obtaining personal injury legal representation in Arizona.
To begin with your free legal consultation, Schedule your Free Consultation Here or dial 602.730.4530 today.