Using public transit to commute has numerous benefits: a person avoids traffic, reduces emissions, and often gets to their destination faster and at a lower out-of-pocket cost. But if an accident occurs on public transit and a passenger is injured, understanding liability for damages can be confusing. Call Personal Injury lawyer Deborah Gold-Alexander today if you’ve been involved in a public transit accident for your free case consultation.
Types of Public Transit Accidents
A public transit accident in Massachusetts might involve a city bus or a private bus company, a taxi cab, or the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), which runs trains and other mass-transit vehicles throughout Massachusetts. With that in mind, common types of public transit accidents include:
- Bus crashes;
- Train derailments;
- Pedestrian accidents;
- Slip and falls;
- Commuter rail accidents;
- Negligent security accidents — i.e. assault or mugging; and
How Public Transit Accidents Happen
When a public transit accident occurs, getting to the bottom of the cause of the accident is critical; if causation and fault are not determined, then a claim for liability cannot be pursued.
The causes of public transit accidents vary widely — our experienced lawyers will conduct an investigation to determine what happened. Common causes of public transit accidents include:
- Poorly maintained terminals, walking areas, passenger waiting areas, etc.;
- Poorly maintained trains and buses;
- Operator negligence, such as operating while impaired or distracted;
- Faulty signals at crossings;
- Broken or damaged tracks; and
- Third-party negligence, such as a drunk driver crashing into a train or a bus.
Who’s Liable for a Public Transit Accident?
Liability for a public transit accident is based on fault. In order to hold the responsible party liable, a victim will need to prove that the at-fault party acted negligently or carelessly, that the negligent or careless action was the proximate cause of harm, and that actual damages resulted. If you are bringing a claim against the MBTA, it’s important to know that there are certain rules and statutory requirements that must be followed that differ from a standard personal injury claim.
Statute of Limitations on Public Transit Claims
The MBTA is a public authority that is covered under the Tort Claims Act. This means that a claim must be brought forth within two years of the date of injury; if a person waits longer than this to file a claim, they risk losing their right to compensation. It’s also important to know that in most cases, the liability of the government is limited to $100,000 per plaintiff, although this cap may be lifted in cases of serious bodily injury.
Call Our Public transit Attorneys Today
Bringing forth a claim following a public transit accident can be confusing and overwhelming. At the office of Deborah Gold-Alexander, Attorney at Law, we are experienced with public transit and personal injury cases and we’ll help walk you through the process every step of the way. Send us a message online or call us directly at (781) 289-4235. We are here to advocate for you.