What to Do if You’re Injured on Public Transportation
Public transportation offers St. Louis and other Missouri residents a convenient and cost-effective way to travel. While it generally results in a safe commute, accidents can occasionally happen.
If you’re hurt in a public transportation accident, knowing the appropriate steps to take can help you secure your well-being and legal rights. Learn what to do if you are in a collision while riding city transportation.
Steps to Take After a Public Transportation Accident
In the event of a public transportation accident, the actions you take immediately can impact the resolution of your case. To increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for any injuries or losses, consider these steps:
- Seek a medical evaluation. Even if you don’t feel injured, you should get a medical evaluation as soon as possible following your accident, as some symptoms of trauma can take time to manifest. A healthcare professional’s assessment documents your physical condition and connects your injuries to the accident.
- Report the incident to police. Immediately following a public transportation accident, file an incident report with the police. Missouri law requires that individuals involved in any accident resulting in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $500 file a Motor Vehicle Accident Report using Form 1140.
- Contact the transportation authority. Contact the transportation provider after your accident to report the incident. For instance, if you were hurt while riding Metro Transit in St. Louis, call the customer care center to report the incident. If your accident involved the Missouri Department of Transportation, file a claim through the online portal. No matter what, make sure to keep a copy of your report or claim.
- Document accident details. Collect thorough evidence for your claim. Start by taking photos of your injuries and the accident scene, including the public transportation vehicle involved and any relevant surroundings. Make detailed notes about the accident, including the time, location, weather conditions, and any immediate factors that might have contributed to the event.
- Gather witness statements. Witnesses can provide an objective account of events. Approach other passengers or bystanders who witnessed the accident and ask if they’re willing to share their contact information and recount what they saw.
- Speak with an attorney. After a public transportation accident, speak with a personal injury attorney. Our Missouri public transportation accident attorneys can help you determine liability and get the compensation you deserve.
Who Might Be Liable for Your Injuries?
Several parties may be liable for your injuries in a public transportation accident. Your attorney can investigate the accident to determine if the following entities are responsible and help you seek compensation.
- Public transportation operator or driver: The individual operating the public transportation vehicle can be liable if their actions, such as driving under the influence, speeding, or distracted driving, caused the accident. You may be able to seek compensation from their personal insurance or their employer.
- Public transportation company or authority: The company or government authority responsible for the operation of the public transportation system may be liable for accidents caused by their failure to ensure safe operation. This includes inadequate staff training, poor vehicle maintenance, or failure to follow safety regulations.
- Manufacturer of the vehicle or its parts: The manufacturer might be liable if the accident was due to a defect in the vehicle or one of its components. This includes brake failure, steering problems, or faulty safety equipment. In this case, you could seek a settlement in a product injury claim.
- Other negligent drivers: If the accident involved a negligent driver who was reckless or did not obey traffic laws, you can file a claim with their Missouri auto liability insurance for your injuries.
- Maintenance companies: Companies responsible for maintaining public transportation vehicles could be liable if the accident was caused by poor practices, such as failing to repair known issues or not conducting regular safety inspections.
- Government entities: If road conditions or traffic management issues, such as poorly designed roads, inadequate signage, or malfunctioning traffic lights contributed to the accident, you can sue the government entity responsible for maintaining them.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
If an injury in a public transportation accident results from negligence or misconduct, you have the right to seek compensation under Missouri Statute 537.600. This typically involves proving that the responsible party owed a duty of care, breached this duty through negligence or misconduct, and caused the injury.
Our personal injury attorneys at Cofman Townsley can help you prove these legal elements and win your case. We can gather evidence like employment records of the public transportation operator, including training and disciplinary history, to file a well-supported claim.
After filing, we can negotiate with the public entity’s insurer to get you fair compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
An injury on public transportation can leave you with large medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our attorneys at Cofman Townsley can help you recover these costs.
We know how to handle claims against public entities and will walk you through every step of the legal process. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn your legal options after a public transportation collision.