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Public & Private Traffic Liability Claims

Walking or biking can be a great way to get some exercise, and it’s great for the environment. However, having everything you want within a walkable distance isn’t a reality for many. In fact, the Washington Post, reporting on information from a government poll, found that the average commute time increased to more than 26 minutes.

For a lot of Americans, this means spending almost an hour going to and coming from work every day. Many commuters take this trip in a car, but some, especially those who live near larger cities, might use public transit to get to work.

What is Transit?

Transit refers to any form of transportation where the vehicle is owned by a transportation organization. This includes both private companies as well as transportation owned by a city or state.

  • Trains and Subway systems
  • Ferries
  • School Buses, City Buses, or Tour Buses
  • Airplanes
  • Taxis

The driver, whether the company is public or private, is a professional. In many cases, they must have a special license or receive training before they’re allowed to work for the organization. This is one of the reasons that a study from the American Public Transit Association found that using public transportation made you 90% less likely to be involved in an accident. But accidents can happen, even with careful drivers.

What About Ride Sharing Services

Recently, several companies started offering ride-sharing apps, allowing you to get someone to drive you in their own car. However, major companies now cover these independent drivers with liability insurance if a passenger is injured during a trip. This is still a new concept, so the law surrounding it can vary. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident and your state or local laws, this could be a transit accident or an individual auto accident claim.

Common Types of Public Transit Claims

While a transit lawsuit can include any claim involving a mass transit vehicle or service, most cases tend to fall into one of three broader categories:

Collision
This includes any injuries you received due to the vehicle getting into an accident. This can include hitting another vehicle, but also covers if the driver or conductor loses control, such as in a train derailment or a plane crash. Some injuries that can result from collisions include:

  • Whiplash
  • Back and spine injuries
  • Cuts or bruises
  • Broken bones or sprained muscles
Criminal Action

When you take public transit, the carrier must take reasonable security steps. It’s impossible to prevent all crime, but companies must accept responsibility for the safety of passengers using their service. If you are the victim of a crime that the court determines the transit company should have prevented, you may qualify for compensation.

Personal Injury

Slippery floors or sharp corners can be just as dangerous on the bus as they are in a store. Spills or leaks happen, but transit companies have a responsibility to make their vehicles and stations as safe as they can. If they don’t take this safety requirement seriously, they can be liable for any injuries their customers suffer because of negligence.

Get Some Of Your Settlement Money Early

Settling a personal injury claim against a large transit company can take time. Since most mass transit options have several passengers, a single accident might result in multiple claims. Processing them will take time.

Unfortunately, you may not be able to wait to pay your bills until your case settles. If you suffered an injury that prevents you from working, paying for food and rent could quickly use up any savings you have. Before you start charging things to a credit card or taking out a loan, you might want to consider pre-settlement funding. Give us a call and, depending on the details of your case, you might be able to sell a portion of your future settlement proceeds in exchange for cash you can use to pay your bills now.

Peachtree Financial does not offer legal, tax, or financial advice. Please contact independent professionals for those services.

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