Public transportation is an affordable and convenient way to commute to work and get around town. It should provide a safe and efficient travel experience for passengers. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In 2018, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported 65,000 bus accidents and 10,046 railroad accidents. If you get injured while taking mass transit – such as a bus, subway or train – you may have grounds for a claim against the city or state for negligence.
Common Causes of Public Transportation Accidents
Determining the cause of your accident and injury is one of the first steps toward collecting compensation. In Texas, the party most at fault for causing an accident will be liable, or legally and financially responsible, for related damages. Public transportation can pose many risks to riders, from vehicle part breakdowns to negligent bus drivers. An investigation of your mass transit accident can help you pinpoint its cause.
- Dangerous premises
- Slip and fall accident
- Criminal attack
- Lack of security at a station
- Negligent operator
- Drunk or distracted driving
- Negligent third party
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Low-quality repairs
Most public transportation accidents are preventable. They occur when the government or one of its employees is negligent. Negligent vehicle maintenance, inspections and repairs can lead to a state of disrepair that exposes passengers to injuries. Poor operator training or driver negligence can cause collisions in transit. Once you or your personal injury lawyer identifies the cause of the wreck, you can determine who may be liable for your damages.
Your Rights as an Accident Victim
If you did not cause your public transportation injury, you should not have to pay the related medical bills, legal expenses, lost wages and other damages. Instead, the entity in charge of the bus, train or subway should owe you compensation. It is your right as an injured accident victim to file a claim against one or more parties to pursue financial compensation. You may have a claim against the government.
The government is generally responsible for a city or state’s public transportation. It will be the government’s duty to hear and investigate injury complaints, as well as to respond appropriately. In an injury claim against a government agency in Texas, you must show the entity or one of its employees was acting within the scope of its duties, failed to fulfill the standards of care and caused your injuries.
Claims against the government have different procedural rules. Rather than having the standard two years from the accident to file, you must file your initial claim within just six months. It is important to strengthen your case by hiring an attorney, as these claims can be complex. A lawyer can help you through all the steps it takes to receive compensation from the government after a public transportation accident.
What to Do After a Mass Transit Accident
If you are riding a public bus, subway, train or another form of transportation in Texas and suffer an injury, stay calm and report what happened to an authority. This may be the bus driver, the police or the transportation company. Take pictures of the vehicle, its identification number, your injuries and other relevant details. Write down what you know about the accident, such as the date, time, location, people involved and a description of what happened.
Seek medical care to treat your injuries. Do not admit any fault for the accident. Ask for copies of your x-rays, medical treatment plans, bills and other relevant documents. Then, while you are on the mend, contact an attorney near you for a consultation about your mass transit accident. An attorney may be able to help you collect evidence and bring a claim to damages against the entity responsible for the public transportation accident.