If you’re like millions of Americans across the country, then you depend on public transportation to live your life. Whether you’re running errands or commuting to and from work, public transit is there to help when you don’t have personal transportation. However, if you frequently use public transit, then it’s likely you’ll eventually suffer an injury, which means you could be wondering about your options for filing a lawsuit against a public transportation company.
Here are a few of the factors that you need to consider after you’ve been hurt on public transit and how the government can be an obstacle to your case.
Safety Standards for Public Transportation
A factor that many people are unaware of is that public transit is actually held to a higher standard of safety than most. Buses, subways, trains and even taxis are subject to common carrier laws, which means their burden for providing safety to their patrons is extremely high.
In practical terms, it means that all forms of public transportation are legally responsible for protecting the safety of their passengers, and must take reasonable precautions to prevent accidents and potential injuries for those using their services. If a public transit company or employee has failed to uphold their common carrier responsibilities, then you have a strong basis for filing an injury suit.
Complications Involving the Government
While planning your personal injury lawsuit against a public transit company, it’s crucial that you understand how the involvement of the government can complicate your case. The government usually operates most forms of public transit at either the state or local level and has specific rules for filing a lawsuit when someone has been hurt on public transit.
For example, after suffering a public transit injury, you will have a very brief window to report your injury, your intention to file a lawsuit, and then to file the suit. Usually, this all must take place in six months or less. Additionally, states usually cap the amount of compensation that you can win in a suit against the government, which is usually much lower than a standard personal injury lawsuit.
Ask your personal injury attorney about the rules for suing the government in your state.
How to Effectively Plan Your Case
Now that you know the basics of lawsuits involving public transit, you can start laying the groundwork for your case. Your most important task in winning your case is proving that your injury resulted from the negligence of a public transit employee and was not caused by what could normally be expected while in transit.
The easiest example of this involves public buses. Because many bus passengers are forced to stand while using the service, there is always the risk of a fall when the bus brakes. However, you will need to show that the bus driver braked irresponsibility, such as if they were not paying attention to the road. Without the presence of negligence, you will have a hard time proving your case.
Hire a Lawyer After Being Hurt on Public Transit
Get advice after you’ve been hurt on public transit by hiring a lawyer from Lewis & Keller. Our legal team can help you navigate the complex requirements for bringing a suit against a public transit company so that you get your deserved compensation. Learn about our services and how Lewis & Keller can help you today.