What You Need to Know about Public Transportation Accidents

Overall, public transportation is quite safe and offers considerable convenience. Leaving the driving to someone else certainly has its advantages, including skipping the hassle of navigating heavy traffic and of fighting for elusive parking spots. When public transportation accidents do happen, however, they tend to be exceptionally dangerous – and exceptionally terrifying. If you’ve been injured on public transportation, obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled is critical to your ability to fully recover, so don’t delay consulting with an experienced South Carolina public transportation attorney.

Protect Your Health and Your Claim

If you’ve been injured in a public transportation accident, protecting your health and your public transportation accident claim is critical, and while your claim will be singular to the circumstances involved, there are several tips that every accident victim should follow.

Call 911

The buses that make up South Carolina’s public transportation system are massive, which ensures that the impact of any ensuing accident will be immense. If you’ve been involved in a public transit accident, the first step is calling 911 and, if you are able to do so, rendering aid to anyone who needs it. The chaos associated with bus accidents makes them especially terrifying events, and if there is something you can do to help, don’t be shy about jumping in.

Obtain the Medical Care You Need

The immense impact of public transportation accidents is closely associated with life-threatening injuries, which makes obtaining the medical attention you need as soon after the accident as possible imperative. If the emergency medical technicians on the scene offer you medical care, it is in your best interest to accept. Even if they do not, however, you should be checked out by a medical professional as soon as it is possible to do so. The shock and adrenaline generated by the accident can mask your pain and the serious nature of your injuries. Because early diagnosis supports improved prognosis, obtaining medical attention sooner rather than later is advised.

Gather Evidence at the Scene

If you are able, gathering evidence at the scene of the public transportation accident can go a long way toward bolstering your claim. Evidence amounts to anything that may prove relevant as your claim progresses, such as:

  • Take pictures and videos from every angle and perspective – depicting where the accident happened, the license plates of the bus and any other vehicles involved, the damage incurred, any extenuating circumstances (such as the effects of bad weather), your injuries, and anything else that you think might pertain
  • Record the bus’s number and the driver’s license information
  • Write down everything you can remember about how the accident happened (you never know what will prove useful, so go into as much detail as you can)
  • Record the statements of any eyewitnesses at the scene (and don’t forget to obtain contact information)
  • Make it your policy not to talk about the accident or to post about the accident on social media (the insurance company is on the hunt for an innocent comment or post that it can twist to its own advantage)
  • Consult with an experienced public transportation accident attorney as soon after the accident as you can

Your Public Transportation Case

The fact is that public transportation accident claims (that are settled out of court) and cases (that go to trial) are that much more complicated than other personal injury claims because they generally involve governmental entities. The laws in these cases are stricter and include damage caps that are not imposed in most other claims. Additionally, the statute of limitations (or the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after the injury-causing accident) is abbreviated. The duty of care owed by public transportation to its passengers, pedestrians, other vehicles, and the public in general, however, is elevated.

Determining Negligence

When it comes to public transportation accidents, the matter of negligence is that much more complicated.

Driver Negligence

Just as with any other kind of traffic accident, public transportation accidents are often the result of driver negligence, including:

  • Impairment (the law takes a zero-tolerance stance for professional drivers)
  • Distraction
  • Exhaustion
  • Excess speed
  • Aggression

Large numbers of passengers are transported on public transportation every day, and the professional drivers responsible owe these passengers and the public at large a considerable duty of care.

Company Negligence

The companies that run public transportation also owe an immense responsibility to the public that includes all of the following:

  • Hiring safe, reliable, experienced drivers who have the appropriate licensure and who receive the training they need to operate public transportation buses safely
  • Not pushing drivers beyond the limits of exhaustion (drowsy driving is exceptionally dangerous driving)
  • Keeping the fleet of buses well maintained and in safe working order
  • Implementing careful maintenance schedules and ensuring that they are carefully followed
  • Hiring reliable and experienced mechanics and providing them with quality tools and parts (negligence on the part of bus mechanics can also be cited).

Negligence on the Part of the Manufacturer

Sometimes, the bus itself – or a bus part – is faulty, to begin with, and in these instances, the bus manufacturer or parts manufacturer can be implicated in the public transportation claim. Such negligence typically falls into one of the following classifications:

  • The design of the part or vehicle is faulty.
  • The part or vehicle was damaged in the manufacturing process.
  • The part in question was labeled incorrectly and/or came with inadequate safety instructions.  

Don’t Wait to Consult with an Experienced South Carolina Public Transportation Accident Attorney

We look to public transportation to support the greater good, but if you are – instead – injured in a public transportation accident, you need professional legal counsel in your corner. The trusted public transportation accident attorneys at McCravy Law in South Carolina understand the gravity of your citation and are committed to employing the full force of their impressive legal insight and experience in pursuit of your case’s most favorable resolution. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 864-388-9100 today.

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