Public Transportation and Personal Injury Claims

Americans take over 9.9 billion trips on public transportation every year. Public transit is important whether someone goes to work, school, shopping, or for seniors who no longer wish to drive. Sometimes, however, people get injured.

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Public Transportation and Personal Injury Claims
3 Min Read September 13th, 2022

The use of public transportation is common in many cities and towns. The most common type of public transportation is a bus, but trains, subways, and trolleys are also used. Some cities have streetcars and cable cars as well.

Public transportation is a convenient way to get around town but can expose you to potential injuries. When accidents happen on public transportation, they can be very costly. And if you are injured in an accident on public transportation, you mustn't assume that someone else will pay for your medical bills or lost wages. You may have to file a personal injury claim against the person or entity responsible for your injuries with the help of a personal injury attorney. You can check out robertslawfirm.net/orange-county-personal-injury-attorney/ online for guidance and assistance through the process. 

There are several types of personal injury claims that may arise from using public transportation:

  • Injuries sustained while riding on the bus or another vehicle

If you were injured while riding on public transportation, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against whoever was responsible for your injury. It would depend on what happened and whether someone was negligent in the vehicle's operation. For example, if you slipped and fell because of faulty maintenance, if there was an accident involving another car or pedestrian, or if there was an accident involving another vehicle on your bus or train (such as an accident at a railroad crossing).

  • Injuries sustained while boarding or exiting the bus or other vehicle

Passengers can be injured when boarding or exiting the bus if they run into stationary objects like poles, curbs, or stairs while entering or exiting the vehicle. In some cases, passengers may trip over one another while trying to get off the bus quickly after it stops at its destination. These types of injuries can result in broken bones and head trauma.

  • Injuries sustained as a result of failure to provide adequate safety equipment

Injuries sustained due to failure to provide adequate safety equipment are also common claims against public transportation agencies. The bus operator is responsible for ensuring that the bus is safe to operate and that all passengers are safe on board. Bus drivers are responsible for ensuring that passengers are seated and belted before they begin driving. 

For example, if there is not enough room for passengers to stand on a crowded bus or train and someone gets injured due to being pushed into another person or an object, they may be able to bring a lawsuit against the transit agency.

  • Dangerous conditions onboard

If a passenger suffers an injury due to dangerous conditions onboard, such as exposed electrical wires or sharp protrusions from seats or other areas, they may be able to pursue a claim against the bus operator or other party responsible for creating these dangerous conditions.

  • Injuries caused by poorly maintained equipment

Sometimes buses will have problems with brakes or steering that cause serious accidents that result in injuries. These accidents may also lead to fatalities if the company does not provide proper training or if maintenance crews fail to perform regular inspections on their equipment and vehicles.

  • Deaths caused by negligent drivers

If a driver is negligent and causes a fatality, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the driver and his employer (or the local government). The family members might also be able to file a personal injury claim against the driver if he injured them instead of killing them (for example, if he hit their car).

It is wise to avoid public transportation to reduce your chances of getting hurt. However, if you must use public transportation, be sure to pay attention to all safety precautions and be mindful of your surroundings. 

You will also want to do your best to take preventative measures for any injury that may occur and speak with a personal injury attorney if you need advice or help to file a claim.

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