Norcross Lawyers Helping Victims injured in accidents involving public transportation
Millions of people use public transport every single day. Whether it be on their way to work, school, running errands, sporting events, or just enjoying the day, it is undeniable that public transport is a very important part of our lives.
Now imagine that it is just another day using public transit. Then suddenly, the bus you are riding on is involved in an accident. While car accidents can be devastating, public transportation accidents can be especially frightening. This terror extends to the drivers, passengers and pedestrians involved.
If you or a loved one have been hurt in a public transportation accident, you might have many questions. Who is going to pay for your hospital bills? Who is going to pay for the time you are going to miss from work? Who is going to make this right? With these questions and others swirling in your head, it is important that you call an Atlanta public transportation accident attorney to help you and your family.
What are common carriers?
Public transportation accidents can be subject to different rules. These rules and regulations vary widely. And these rules apply to all parties involved. Without legal advice from a public transit accident attorney, it could be very difficult for you to obtain the compensation you deserve.
The first thing your accident attorney must determine is if a “common carrier” is involved. A common carrier is an entity that transports persons or things to their destination for a fee. It usually offers its services to everyone, and it transports persons and/or things by air, land, or water. Common carriers include commuter buses, shuttle buses, commercial planes, taxis, and ships.
Since common carriers are available to the public, they are required to do everything they can (“extraordinary diligence”) to prevent carelessness and avoid an accident. Under Georgia law there is a presumption against the common carrier unless the accident was due to an act of God or the actions of public enemies of the state.Types of public transportation accidents
- Bus Accidents – are normally the result of the bus driver’s negligence or a mechanical defect of the bus. For cases involving bus accidents, all parties involved are usually injured. That is why you need an experienced Norcross bus accident attorney to help guide you through the claims process. Only then will you know the true value of your claim against the bus company or other persons responsible for the accident.
- Taxi Accidents - Just like bus accidents, taxi accidents occur because of the negligence of the driver or mechanical defects of the taxicab. Not only do you have a potential claim against the taxi driver. But you may have a claim against the taxi company for your injuries. It is best to consult with an accident attorney who has experience with these complicated cases.
- Train Accidents - are usually caused because of operator negligence, crossing signal errors and breakages, track defects and mechanical issues. As you would expect, the injuries and effects of train accidents are significant. There can be many parties that may be liable for your injuries. These include the train driver, the train operator, the local government, the train mechanics or the train manufacturer.
- Boat or ship accidents – An accident out on the open water is terrifying, pure and simple. It does not matter if you are in a small pond or an intercoastal waterway. Especially when people are out on the water trying to have a good time. It is best if you look for an experienced accident attorney that can help you make a claim for payment of your hospital bills and your lost wages, at a minimum.
- Airplane accidents – While commercial air travel is among the safest modes of transportation, airplane accidents still happen. Injuries and even death can result from crashes, falling luggage, defective design or maintenance, and much more. A well-trained accident attorney will help determine the compensation that you could get from the airline and their insurance companies.
In the Atlanta area, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) provides several different modes of transportation including trains and buses, MARTA is no stranger when it comes to injured passengers, drivers and pedestrians. Whether you have been injured in a plane, train or automobile accident, you need to hire an experienced accident attorney to get you the compensation you deserve.
Should I Speak with The Company or Their Insurance Company?
Absolutely Not! You should never speak to the common carrier company or their insurance company. If you or a loved one have been injured by a common carrier, then you need legal representation. If, however, you are contacted by the company or the insurance company simply let them know you have an attorney and hang up the phone. The adjusters and representatives are highly trained negotiators that will use everything you say against you. After a public transportation accident, you should always seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney, who can determine the best way to proceed.
Factors that contribute to public transportation accidents
Mechanical defects and human error are the most common factors that contribute to public transportation accidents. There are situations where there is a mechanical or structural issue with the vehicle which cannot be easily identified and can result in a failure. This can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and can be the result of an accident.
Also, driver’s miscalculation and lack of care can be the cause of an accident. The driver’s driving mistakes can result in a collision with other vehicles or pedestrians.
What should I do at the scene of a bus accident?
First, get help for yourself or help others. Then, you should report the bus accident by calling 911. The emergency response team will send someone who can help those who were injured in the bus accident. Third, take pictures and video of the scene, your injuries and the other parties involved. Your pictures and videos of the bus accident may help the police and your accident attorney to investigate the bus accident.
Who is responsible if I get hit by a bus?
Bus accidents are the most common form of public transit accidents in Georgia. In the metro Atlanta area, the public transportation systems include:
- Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA);
- Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) Xpress;
- Gwinnett County Transit (GCT);
- Cherokee Area Transportation System (CATS); and
- Hall Area Transit.
If you have been injured on or by a vehicle in one of the above fleets, it is generally because of bus driver negligence due to:
- Distracted driving.
- Driving too fast for conditions.
- Failure to yield; and
- Driving while impaired by drugs, medication or alcohol.
Other causes of bus accidents can be due to defective equipment or improper maintenance or care of the vehicles. The initial investigation is key to determining who was at fault for the collision is evidence that is available after a public transportation accident. The longer you wait, before hiring an accident lawyer, the more likely that key pieces of evidence may go missing. It is best to get an accident attorney to help you to investigate and determine who should be responsible for your personal injuries, medical bills and lost wages caused by the accident.
What types of damages can I be compensated for?
If you or a loved one have been injured in an Atlanta area public transportation accident, you deserve to be compensated for your hospital bills, future medical procedures, missed time from work, and much more. The types of “damages” that can be awarded to someone injured in an accident involving public transportation include:
- Past and future medical bills,
- Past and future lost income,
- Damage to your vehicle or personal property,
- Past and future pain and suffering, and
- Past and future loss of consortium.
These are known as compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are designed to “compensate” the victim for actual monetary losses listed above. Additionally, depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the at-fault party for malicious conduct such as:
- Hit and Run;
- Driving Under The Influence;
- Aggressive Driving;
- Reckless Driving; or
- Other conduct that shows a wilful disregard for human life.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a public transit accident in Georgia, you need to hire an accident attorney. Otherwise, you may miss out on additional compensation that you are entitled to receive.
How are public transportation accident cases handled?
When dealing with public transportation cases, it can become very tricky. These cases can involve multiple individuals, companies and possibly the government. If you are taking this on yourself, you will need to coordinate with the vehicle owners like the bus companies or airline companies, and you have to talk to their insurance companies at the same time. You may also need to talk to government agencies, if one of the vehicles involved in the accident is owned by the government.
Things could get very complicated because when have to negotiate with several entities at the same time. You should get an experienced accident attorney to represent you and help you protect your rights when it comes to accidents.
Contact Georgia Trial Attorneys now
Georgia Trial Attorneys is a law firm dedicated to help those who were involved in public transportation accidents. We are dedicated to our clients and we will help you get the compensation that you need to make your recovery easier. We always welcome our clients to ask questions and discuss your concerts. If you live in Georgia, call 833-4TheWin for a free consultation today!