When you use public transportation, you are entrusting the driver with your well-being.
There is an expected level of safety for public transportation services and, for the most part, public transportation drivers take extra precautionary steps to ensure passengers’ safety.
But this doesn’t mean that public transportation is completely immune to incidents, and accidents still do occur.
If you have been involved in a public transportation accident, you probably want to know what to do next.
Our public transportation accident lawyers can walk you through the steps of a public transportation accident lawsuit.
Public transportation lawsuits can result in various amount of compensation, largely depending on the circumstances of your accidents.
Usually, more severe injuries result in higher compensation awarded.
An average public transportation lawsuit can be worth more than $100,000.
If you have been injured in a public transportation accident, you should reach out to a personal injury attorney immediately.
Be sure to report the accident to the police and the transportation company involved.
Gather evidence that supports your claim to ensure that you are building the strongest lawsuit possible.
You may be able to sue a bus driver if their negligent actions directly led to your injuries.
If the driver caused an accident while working, their employer may be held liable for the accident.
Therefore, you may choose to file a public transportation lawsuit against the bus driver or the company.
With the lack of standard safety features offered inside of most public transportation automobiles -- such as passenger seatbelts and airbags -- along with the larger physical size of public transport vehicles and the multitude of passengers involved, damages from public transportation accidents tend to be quite substantial.
That is why it is important that you are prepared to handle this type of situation, especially so you are compensated for any damages you suffer.
Public transportation accidents are not nearly as prevalent as other accidents.
Obviously, car accidents are the most common causes of collisions on U.S. roadways.
However, there are plenty of other dangers of roadway travel to be wary of.
For a more detailed explanation of the dangers that occupy the streets - read our five most common types of vehicle accidents blog.
If you are involved in a public transportation accident, the first thing you should do is contact the authorities and medical professionals.
If you cannot do so, make sure someone else on the scene is in contact with both authorities and medical professionals.
Even if you don’t initially notice any personal injuries, allow medical professionals to check and clear you.
When the authorities arrive, you should give a written statement of the events, given you are in the position to do so.
If there are many parties involved in the accident, only worry about collecting contact/insurance information from any drivers involved in the accident.
You should also collect contact information for any bystander witnesses.
Do not forget to collect information from any authorities or medical professionals that you interact with.
You will want information on the public transportation service so that you can contact them later for their insurance information.
It is imperative that you seek proper medical attention as soon as possible after the accident, even if you do not believe you suffered any major injuries.
In these types of cases, most districts limit the allotted time a person can seek medical attention and still be compensated for medical costs.
Even if there are no initial signs of injury, future injuries may result from the accident.
Injuries that aren’t automatically recognizable are often very serious and can be life-threatening.
If you don’t seek medical attention within the allotted period of time, your case can be dismissed on the grounds that you did not properly mitigate your injuries, leaving you to deal with the extensive costs of medical care.
Ask your healthcare provider to complete a full array of testing, including brain and spine tests.
Public transportation services will almost always have insurance coverage that will compensate for passengers’ damages.
Compared to most automobile insurance plans, public transportation insurance has much higher damages caps to suffice for the higher costs involved in accidents of a larger magnitude.
You can still receive full compensation even if another party, other than the public transport driver, is at fault.
The other driver’s insurance likely does not have a large enough cap to significantly cover the large costs involved in the accident, but the public transportation service’s underinsured driver coverage will cover the difference.
Sometimes the insurance provider will handle every individual case as a separate entity from other individuals involved.
In these situations, the insurance provider will most likely completely compensate you for any damages that you suffered.
In other cases, the public transportation service will have “pooled coverage” -- a lump sum granted to all parties involved in the accident that is distributed to individuals based on the severity of their injuries and losses.
It is not uncommon for pooled coverage to undercompensate individuals, sometimes not even covering costs from injuries.
If it is not clear which party is at fault or is a dispute between parties on the degree of damages, it may be necessary to file a public transportation accident lawsuit.
Insurance providers have the obvious incentive to save as much money as possible when dealing with high-cost accidents.
They will cut corners and find loopholes, like pooled coverage compensation, to avoid having to pay out the real cost of damages.
The legal system surrounding these types of accidents is complex and often confusing, especially when more than one party is at fault.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer will be beneficial for a variety of reasons:
The personal injury team at TorHoerman Law works on contingency and is dedicated to making sure that you have the strongest public transportation accident lawsuit possible.
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