Can You Sue After A Public Transit Accident?

If you watch the morning news, it seems like every day there’s another accident involving a public transportation vehicle. Part of the reason is because public transportation is very popular right now with the price of gasoline slowly climbing back up. And, with more people taking public transportation, there is a demand for more public transportation vehicles to be on the road.

But, what happens when an accident involving a public transit vehicle happens? Can those injured in the accident sue? It is important to note that accidents involving public transit vehicles are handled a little differently than routine auto accidents. Here’s what you need to know from our personal injury lawyer in Wilmington NC.

Public Transit Vehicles are Considered Common Carriers

In the eyes of the law, public transportation vehicles like trains, buses, and light rails are considered “common carriers,” and as such, these companies and their drivers are expected to provide a higher standard of care for their passengers than the typical auto driver. Therefore, it can sometimes be easier to prove the driver acted negligently because common carriers are forced to meet such high standards.

What is Transit Authority Tort Liability?

Most state and local governments have laws in place that dictate the rules for filing injury claims against public transit systems and other government-run agencies. These are called “Tort Claims Acts.” The Tort Claims Acts detail the transit authority’s liability and damage caps.

One of the most important details of a Tort Claim Act is its “notice of claim” requirements. Victims who are injured in accidents involving public transport vehicles have to file a notice of claim within a specified amount of time after the accident has occurred. This needs to be done before they can file a lawsuit. Failure to file a notice of claim within the specified time limit could result in you losing your right to recover for your injuries.

Caps on Damages

Tort Claims Acts also usually dictate a cap on the amount of damages you can recover from the transit authority. In North Carolina, the maximum amount that the State may pay “cumulatively to all claimants on account of injury and damage to any one person arising out of any one occurrence is currently limited to one million dollars.” As a result, where the accident took place is important. You will want to have an experienced attorney check the local laws and the jurisdiction's requirements before filing.

Injured in a Public Transit Accident? Call The Rodzik Law Group Today!

If you were recently involved in an accident while you were a passenger on a public transit vehicle, call The Rodzik Law Group today at 910-762-1199 to schedule a free initial consultation with our personal injury lawyer in Wilmington NC. Lawsuits involving government agencies like the transit authority are incredibly complex and therefore, hiring an experienced attorney is always recommended. Keep in mind - these types of accident cases are extremely time sensitive, so don’t wait - call now!