After being injured on a school bus, public bus, subway, ferry, or any other form of public transportation, time is of the essence. Injury cases involving public transit agencies have unique considerations the injury victim must be cognizant of in order to seek compensation. Generally, an injured individual typically has just 90 days to report the injury and begin the formal claims process.
Public transit agencies have special immunity for certain types of negligence that private businesses may not. The injured claimant will need to work harder to establish how the hazardous condition emerged and whether the public transit authority had a reasonable amount of time to address the issue.
These types of injury cases are best handled by legal professionals. Contact an MTA and public transit injury lawyer to discuss the details of your case and to learn about the next steps you need to take to pursue your claim.
Get a Full Medical Diagnosis After Your Public Transit Injury
One of the most important steps when considering litigation is obtaining a clear, conclusive medical examination detailing your injuries. As soon as you are hurt or suspect that you have been hurt, go to a doctor.
After being injured, go to the emergency room for any major injuries and do not delay treatment for moderate, minor, or suspected injuries. For less severe injuries, you may visit an urgent care clinic, your primary care doctor, or another physician’s office.
Getting prompt medical treatment is important for two main reasons:
- You can begin treating your injury now, reducing the risk of complications.
- You can document the connection between your injury and the public transit accident.
Regardless of your circumstances, do not delay going to the doctor. You will be unable to pursue a claim without a conclusive medical diagnosis and medical records. You also want to have your visit coincide with the date of your transit accident as closely as possible.
How an Attorney Can Help With Your Claim Against a Public Transit Agency
There are many factors that can affect your ability to file a claim against a public transit service provider and succeed.
Filing a Timely Claim
After being injured, you have a very limited window to take action and seek a claim for damages against the appropriate public agency. Generally, you have 90 days to report a potential claim. However, this depends on the specific circumstances of your case. Waiting to consult a professional regarding your case may lead to missing an important deadline, leaving you with little to no recourse. Therefore, it is necessary to contact a professional if you believe you have a claim.
Determining Who Is Liable
The biggest question in your claim is: who to file against? A public transit accident could be the fault of the main service provider, but it could also be because of a negligent contractor. If your accident happened on a bus driving on a public road, it is possible that another vehicle driver caused or contributed to it.
Filing a claim against the wrong public entity will result in your case being dismissed. Unfortunately, this may lead the injured party to miss the window to file their claim with the appropriate agency.
To ensure you file your claim against the right entity, your attorney will conduct legal research and investigate your accident.
When filing a claim or trying to sue a public entity, the standards for proving liability are higher.
For example, let’s say your injury was caused by a broken floorplate leading up to a train platform on the Long Island Rail Road. This is an injury that resulted from a hazardous condition the MTA failed to address. However, the MTA is allowed a reasonable timeframe to address the hazardous condition. To prove the agency’s negligence, you will need to document that the agency had received written notice of the hazard at least 15 days prior to the date of your accident. You may need to show that the MTA failed to act within a reasonable timeframe to correct the hazard.
In cases involving an allegedly negligent driver, you will need to show that the driver’s actions or the agency’s failure to hire and train were to blame. However, each case is unique and must be analyzed on a case-to-case basis.
Talk to a Long Island Bus Accident and MTA Accident Lawyer to Start Your Claim
The rules that make it difficult to file a claim against a public agency are intended to discourage you. But when you are hurt, you have medical bills, lost wages, and other costs to consider. You need a personal injury attorney who has experience dealing with public transit accident cases and who knows what it takes to win them.
Reach out to TonaLaw for assistance as soon as you notice you are hurt. We will guide you through every step of the process. The laws protecting public agencies may be tough, but we’re tougher.
Schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation case review when you call 833-866-2529 (833-TONA-LAW) or contact us online.