Public transportation, from subways and trains to buses and ferries, provides a convenient way for you to get from place to place in the busy city, especially if you don’t want to deal with the expense associated with owning your own vehicle. While you may assume that public transportation will provide you with a safe ride to your destination, sometimes, the trip does not end that way.
Bus crashes can cause catastrophic injury, both to people on the bus and to people in other vehicles or pedestrians impacted by the bus accident. You may slip and fall on subway stairs or trying to get onto a train. City vehicles could cause serious injury in a traffic accident.
If you suffer injuries in a public transportation accident, you may need to seek compensation for the expenses associated with those injuries. Chaikin LaPenna, PLLC is here for you. Contact us today for a free consultation concerning your legal needs.
The Most Common Types of Public Transportation in New York City
Approximately 56% of New York City residents use public transportation on a regular basis, leading to more than 3.8 billion rides on public transportation each week. Public transportation methods include:
- Buses (More than 4,300 buses that serve more than 600 million people per year)
- Subways (Approximately 1.7 billion people ride each year)
- Aerial tram
- Taxis and other city vehicles
While these public transportation options make transportation easy and convenient, they can also lead to a lot of potential for accidents.
Determining Liability in a Public Transportation Accident
If an accident does occur in public transportation, how do you know who bears liability? Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident to learn more about your right to compensation and how to determine who bears liability. Liable parties may include:
The Transportation Company
Sometimes, the city outsources public transportation to a larger company. That company bears liability for maintaining its vehicles and facilities and must take responsibility for any errors caused by its drivers that result in injuries. The company must also carefully screen, train, and monitor its drivers to help ensure the safety of its passengers. Most often, the transportation company will carry insurance designed to offer protection in an accident. A personal injury attorney can help you understand how to calculate the compensation you deserve.
If the city does not outsource public transportation needs to a private company, the city may handle public transportation, including buses, subways, and ferries, directly. The city government may provide its own coverage, rather than taking out a private insurance policy.
If the city bears liability for an accident that occurs on public transportation, from a driver that fails to yield to a car in a stop sign to a poorly-maintained set of subway stairs that results in a slip and fall, you may have a more limited amount of time to file a personal injury claim. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to start your claim process. You may also need an experienced attorney to help you fight for the compensation you deserve when you must deal with a government entity to file a personal injury claim. The sooner you start working toward that resolution, the better your results will likely be.
In addition to the company that operates public transportation, you may find that other parties share liability for your injuries. For example, if a different company owns the vehicle, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim against the company that owns the vehicle. If you suffer injuries due to mechanical failure, you may have grounds to file a claim against the vehicle manufacturer or against a mechanic that recently worked on the vehicle. Contact an attorney to learn more.
Calculating Compensation in a Public Transportation Accident
An attorney cannot guarantee the exact compensation you will receive when you file a personal injury claim following a public transportation accident. Your actual compensation may vary depending on the severity of your injuries, who caused your accident, and how hard the insurance company fights the claim. However, most people claim compensation for:
Your medical expenses can mount quickly after a public transportation accident. If you suffer a slip and fall on a bus and end up with a broken hip or traumatic brain injury, you may find yourself with lifelong expenses related to those injuries. If you suffer injuries in a bus crash or a crash with a city vehicle, you may have severe broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and more.
Prompt medical treatment for those injuries is critical. Not only does medical treatment increase the odds that you will make as much of a recovery as possible, medical treatment may provide vital evidence that can prove your personal injury claim. As part of your personal injury claim, you can include the medical expenses sustained as a result of your injuries.
After many types of accidents, you may have a very hard time going back to work. You cannot complete your usual job responsibilities while hospitalized. Many parties struggle to complete their job duties during recovery. Your employer may work with you to allow you to return to work as soon as possible, but you may still miss time due to appointments and therapies. You may also need a limited work schedule while you recover. Those lost wages can create substantial financial hardship. Including those lost wages as part of your personal injury claim can help alleviate some of your losses.
Decreased Earning Potential
After a severe injury, you may lose the ability to work in your industry entirely. You may lose your job and need to seek a new source of income or type of employment. You can include that decreased earning potential as part of a personal injury claim.
Pain and Suffering
In addition to the tangible financial losses you face as a result of your injuries, you may also choose to include pain and suffering as part of your claim. Pain and suffering includes not only the physical pain from your injuries, but also emotional losses, including emotional anguish associated with missed opportunities and activities or lost relationships during your recovery.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Now if You Suffered an Injury on Public Transportation
If you suffered serious injuries on public transportation, an attorney can help you understand your right to compensation and negotiate on your behalf, increasing the odds that you will receive the compensation you deserve. Contact Chaikin LaPenna, PLLC today to schedule your free consultation and learn more about compensation related to a personal injury claim.
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