Public transportation has become an indispensable part of modern urban life. Whether it’s buses, trains, subways, or ride-share services, these modes of transportation ferry millions of passengers daily. However, with convenience comes risk, and unfortunately, accidents involving public transportation vehicles are not uncommon. What may be uncommon, however, is how you carry out a personal injury claim or legal case against the responsible party. That’s why it’s important to understand how these accidents can occur and what your options may be should you find yourself involved in one.

Q: What kinds of public transportation accidents can occur?

A: Public transportation accidents can take various forms, each presenting its own set of risks and challenges. Some common types include:

  • Bus Accidents: Buses are large vehicles that carry numerous passengers, making accidents potentially catastrophic. Collisions, rollovers, sudden stops, and pedestrian accidents are frequent occurrences.
  • Train Collisions and Derailments: Train accidents can result from collisions with other trains, vehicles, or obstacles on the tracks, as well as derailments caused by track defects, operator error, or mechanical failures.
  • Subway and Tram Accidents: Subway and tram accidents often involve slips, trips, and falls within the stations or onboard the vehicles, as well as collisions between trains, with debris, or with pedestrians.
  • Taxi and Ride-Share Incidents: Though taxi usage has become less frequent, there’s been a rise in ride-share services like Uber and Lyft, so accidents involving these vehicles have become increasingly common. They can range from minor fender-benders to serious collisions, sometimes exacerbated by distracted driving or inadequate driver training.

Q: How can public transportation accidents happen? 

A: Aside from some of the general causes of accidents listed in the previous question, public transportation accidents can result from a multitude of factors, including:

  • Driver Error: Inadequate training, fatigue, distraction, or impairment can lead to errors in judgment or loss of vehicle control.
  • Mechanical Failures: Poor maintenance or manufacturing defects can cause brakes to fail, engines to stall, or other critical systems to malfunction.
  • Infrastructure Problems: Defective tracks, signals, or road conditions can contribute to public transportation accidents.
  • Weather Conditions: Rain, snow, ice, or fog can reduce visibility and traction, increasing the likelihood of an accident occurring.
  • Negligent Behavior: Reckless driving, speeding, tailgating, or failure to obey traffic laws can all lead to accidents.

Q: Who can I hold liable for a public transportation accident?

A: Determining liability in public transportation accidents can be complex due to multiple parties potentially being involved, including:

  • Transportation Companies: Bus, train, and ride-share companies may be held liable for accidents caused by their drivers’ negligence, inadequate maintenance, or failure to enforce safety protocols.
  • Vehicle Manufacturers: If a mechanical failure or defect contributed to the accident, the manufacturer may be held accountable.
  • Government Entities: Public transportation systems are often operated or overseen by government agencies, which can be held liable for accidents resulting from inadequate infrastructure maintenance or negligence.
  • Other Drivers or Pedestrians: If the accident was caused by the negligence of another driver or a pedestrian, they may be held liable for the resulting damages.

Q: What kinds of compensation are possible for victims of public transportation accidents?

A: Victims of public transportation accidents may be entitled to various forms of compensation, including:

  • Medical Expenses: Coverage for hospital bills, rehabilitation, medication, and other healthcare costs resulting from injuries sustained in the accident.
  • Pain and Suffering: Damages for physical pain, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life caused by the accident.
  • Property Damage: Reimbursement for the repair or replacement of personal property damaged in the accident.
  • Wrongful Death: Compensation for the family members of individuals killed in public transportation accidents, including funeral expenses and loss of financial support.

Q: What should I do if I’m involved in a public transportation accident?

A: If you find yourself involved in a public transportation accident, it’s essential to take the following steps:

  1. Move to a safe location if possible and check yourself and others for injuries. Seek medical attention immediately for any injuries, no matter how minor they may seem.
  2. Contact emergency services and report the accident to the appropriate authorities, such as the transit company, police, or transit safety board.
  3. If possible, take photos or videos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, injuries, road conditions, and any relevant signage or signals.
  4. Obtain the names, contact information, and insurance details of all parties involved, including drivers, passengers, and witnesses.
  5. Consult with a qualified personal injury attorney who specializes in public transportation accidents. They can help you understand your rights, navigate the legal process, and pursue compensation for your damages.
  6. Keep copies of all relevant documents, including medical records, accident reports, correspondence with insurance companies, and receipts for expenses related to the accident.
  7. Attend all medical appointments, follow your doctor’s treatment plan, and keep records of your medical expenses and progress. These can help you not only with your recovery, but will help your attorney to build stronger case of your behalf.

While public transportation offers numerous benefits in terms of accessibility and sustainability, accidents involving these vehicles can have serious consequences and complicated legal results. If you’re involved in any type of public transportation accident, consult with a professional personal injury or accident attorney to learn more about your options.

Involved in a Public Transportation Accident? Finney Injury Law can Help.

When it comes to public transportation accidents, being informed is key. At Finney Injury Law, we understand the challenges you may face after being involved in such an incident. That’s why we’re here to help you navigate the legal process with care and expertise.

Public transportation accidents can be complex, involving multiple parties and intricate laws. Whether you were injured on a bus, train, or subway, you deserve fair compensation for your injuries and losses. Our experienced team at Finney Injury Law is dedicated to fighting for your rights and ensuring that you receive the justice you deserve.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a public transportation accident, don’t wait to seek legal guidance. Contact us today at 314-293-4222 to schedule a free consultation. Let us handle the legal complexities while you focus on your recovery. Your well-being is our priority, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.