Due to the ever increasing prices of gas and issues with traffic in most major cities, many commuters find it easier and less expensive to utilize public transportation when it is available. Public transportation provides an essential service, but if a person is injured due to a transit accident, they need to know how to respond accordingly.
Common Public Transportation Accidents
There are a host of accidents that an individual may experience while using public transportation. Many people have had the misfortune of slipping or tripping while going up and down subway steps. An accident that often results in even more detrimental injuries, however, is when a bus is involved in a crash.
Sadly, research performed in 2011 by USA Today found that the government hadn’t been keeping proper track of bus accidents, and this meant that the vehicles were actually much less safe than people were led to believe. In order to receive compensation for this type of accident an individual would file a product liability claim with a personal injury lawyer like Tenn And Tenn, P.A. of New Hampshire.
Issues of Negligence
There are definitely going to be accidents on public transportation that aren’t caused through the negligence of drivers or the department that handles the transit service. If another commuter collides with a bus, for instance, the transit authority or bus driver can’t really be blamed. If the driver is fatigued, however, which is a common cause of bus accidents, they and their company can be held liable if a passenger is injured in an accident.
In addition, an injured passenger may be able to bring forth a type of product liability claim if they’re injured on public transportation. If a new public train service purchases rails that turn out to be manufactured in a faulty and negligent manner, for instance, this could lead to a serious accident through no fault of the public transportation system. In these cases, however, the manufacturer can actually be held liable for injuries and medical costs.
Filing a Claim
If a public transportation accident is caused by another driver, those injured will need to contact and file a claim with that driver’s insurance. If the accident was due to faulty parts or the negligence of a public employee, however, a claim will have to be made to the manufacturer or government, respectively. It’s important to take note of when the accident happened, witnesses to the incident and all medical costs related to the sustained injury; this information could be vital during the claims process.
The most important step that some people bypass when filing a claim is finding legal help. Contacting the government and filing a complaint is fairly easy, but receiving compensation can be a whole different issue. Local governments don’t enjoy losing money, and if their driver’s negligence was what caused an injury, they’ll likely try to avoid fair settlements.
Luckily, trained attorneys can help an individual file the appropriate paperwork and collect important evidence that often results in much higher settlements or rewards. This is also the case when suing manufacturers of products used in public transportation. These companies will try their best to avoid liability because they know that it could start a tidal wave of legal claims, but in reality, they should have considered that before putting faulty equipment on the market.
Public transportation accidents can be especially disastrous. One simple error by a driver, conductor or even manufacturer of the system can lead to serious injuries and potentially even deaths. Luckily, the legal system is set up in such a way that victims can recover compensation due to the negligent actions of others. In reality, this actually helps public transportation stay safe since the fear of lawsuits leads governments to ensure the safety of their systems.
Valerie Stout Cyrus is a freelance writer who frequently researches personal injury cases. She has found that New Hampshire based personal injury lawyers Tenn And Tenn, P.A. fight diligently to represent all types of personal injury victims.