Public transit is a great and affordable way to get around a city, and many people choose this transportation option as their main mode. At some times, particularly rush hour, buses can be crammed full of commuters on their way to and from work. If an accident happens, many people stand to get hurt.
If a city bus in involved in an accident, the consequences can be significant because there are so many more potential victims. There can also be more responsible parties. Since buses usually lack the most basic security features like seatbelts, injuries can be serious.
How to Handle Public Transit Injuries
So what do you do if you were on a bus and it got into an accident? Do you sue the transit authority? Do you sue the bus driver? Is a personal injury case not possible if you don't know who the other driver is?
A bus accident claim can be quite complex due to all the moving parts, so it's best to contact a personal injury lawyer in this case; you'll want to have someone on your side to help you maximize your recovery. Your experienced lawyer will understand the law and requirements surrounding public transportation insurance. Depending on the insurance coverage of the bus, each passenger may be covered individually, or everyone could be pooled together. A pooled insurance policy could limit your settlement amount to less than your sustained damages. However, your personal injury lawyer may be able to find better options or loopholes for you to get the most that you can.
Who's at Fault?
It may be hard to determine who exactly caused the accident. It could rest solely with one driver or could be a combination of both. If some responsibility lies with the bus driver, you'll likely sue the City. In most North American cities, like Calgary and Edmonton, the City owns and is responsible for public transit vehicles.
If the accident were the fault of another vehicle, you'd be suing their insurer, too. Hit and runs and uninsured drivers are different, though. If you don't know the identity of the other driver or they don't have insurance, you'll be suing the Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act as the defendant.
Public transit accidents can be serious due to the potential number of people involved and lack of safety equipment. If you've been injured in one, you create a personal injury case.