Americans of all kinds depend on public transportation to get them where they need to go on a daily basis. Roughly 500,000 school buses will transport 25 million kids to school 5 days a week.
Unfortunately, not all of these rides to school are safe and, if you include public buses that transport millions of adults to work every day, bus accidents will eventually occur.
However, there are ways you can receive compensation from an injury suffered on public transportation. Even if it is not a bus, many other transportation entities fall under public transportation and can be held liable for any injuries that resulted from negligence. This article will explain all the details you need to know.
Common Public Transportation Accidents
These accidents happen more often than you may think, and they can be due to all kinds of factors like driver negligence, equipment malfunctions, or even inclimate weather. Here are some examples of some common ways public transportation accidents happen:
- Collisions with other vehicles
- Collisions with solid objects
- Slip and falls
- Criminal activity
The most common of these is collisions on the road, usually involving busses. When it is a collision between two vehicles, it is usually determined by witnesses or the police report who was at fault and, if the driver of the public transportation vehicle was at fault, you can hold them liable for any injuries.
The other two can be tricky but the public transportation company could be held liable if they were negligent in preventing these things. No one can stop it from snowing or raining, but warnings should be in place to make people aware they could slip and injure themselves.
Also, busses and other forms of public transportation can’t completely prevent criminal activity but, if there was proof of any negligence to prevent it from happening, you could hold them liable for any injuries you received as well.
Common Public Transportation Accident Injuries
You could get all kinds of different injuries in a public transportation accident that can range from mild injuries, to more severe, possibly even life threatening ones. Some injuries that you might suffer from are:
- Cuts and scrapes
- Muscle sprains
- Broken or fractured bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Lost limbs
- Spinal injuries
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
If you or a loved one has experienced any of these injuries in a public transportation accident, you should contact an attorney to help gain a settlement to pay your medical bills and make up for any pain and suffering caused by the accident.
Who Could Be At Fault in Public Transportation Accidents
If you are injured in a bus collision with another driver being at fault, it will be the driver’s insurance company that pays for any injuries you may have incurred.
If the driver of the public transportation is at fault, this makes things a bit more complicated. The public transportation company could be the one paying for any injury compensation claims or the driver themselves if they were proven to be recklessly operating the vehicle.
The public transportation company can also be held liable if the vehicle was proven to be not properly maintained or malfunctioned before the accident occurred. Sometimes, the public transportation is government owned, in which case they will be liable if the public transportation vehicle is not up to standard.
Statute Of Limitations
Every state will have a statute of limitations in place for when you can file a personal injury claim. Keep this deadline in mind when filing a claim because if you file one after this deadline you will not have a case at all.
Claims against the government can sometimes have an even smaller window for their statute of limitations, so it is very important to file a case as soon as you can if you have been injured in a public transportation accident.
Common Carrier Laws
Any business or individual that is licensed to transport people for a charge is considered a common carrier. Busses, trains, and many other public transportation options are considered common carriers.
There are many federal and state laws that surround common carriers to ensure they routinely transport passengers safely to their destinations. Some of the standards that common carriers are held to are:
- Providing safe entrances and exits passengers can safely go through
- Providing security to ensure the safety of passengers when necessary
- Qualified drivers that are experienced in operating the particular public transportation vehicle
- Machinery is maintained and fully functional
- Any design flaws are monitored and efforts are made to fix them
These are the basic outlines of these laws that, of course, go into much further depth. Also, there are more than just these laws surrounding common carriers, so keep in mind that public transportation is held to a very high standard.
Proving Operator Negligence
In many cases, the public transportation vehicle is at fault or another person other than the operator is at fault. However, there are times when the operator is the one at fault and proving their negligence can be difficult. Some examples of operator negligence include:
- If they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- If they are not qualified of properly trained
- If the operator is clearly fatigued
- If the operator has let too many passengers on
Again, proving these things can be difficult but having multiple witnesses or video evidence of the driver clearly violating the rules will help immensely in building a case for operator negligence for public transportation injuries.
Contact Trusted Lawyers for Public Safety Injuries
The team at Law Leaders has an experienced network of attorneys that are all committed to helping injured Americans with getting the compensation they need to pay off medical expenses and make up for the time they may have lost at work due to public transportation injuries.
Law Leaders can help you build a case and win in court if you have suffered from an injury due to negligence of public transportation.
Contact Law Leaders today for more information on how they can help!