The use of public transportation is growing across the US. Thus, the odds of buses and trains being involved in accidents with injuries is also increasing. If you are hurt while riding on public transportation, you may wonder if you can sue.
You can, but public transit accidents differ somewhat legally from regular motor vehicle accidents with private citizens.
Any business that works to transport goods or people from one place to another is thought of as a ‘common carrier’ under the law. This includes trains, buses and light rail.
Common carriers are responsible to get their passengers from one place to another, so they are held to an elevated standard of care. You will need to show that the bus or train worker or the transportation company itself acted in a negligent manner. This could actually be easier to prove that the operator did not meet the higher standard of care that is relevant to public transit accidents.
Transit Authority and Tort Liability:
Many local and state governments have what are called tort claim acts that have established rules for filing personal injury claims against government entities. One rule is the injury person must file a notice of claim in a short period of time after the accident. This can be as little as a year, so act quickly.
Also, local rules may limit the damages you can recover from a public transportation company.