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Injured On The Public Bus System? Here Are Some Things To Consider

Are you among the many people who have turned to public transportation in order to help reduce your carbon footprint? If so, there are some things that you should realize about what to expect if you're in an accident while riding.

Public transport drivers are held to a higher standard than regular drivers.

In most lawsuits, the issue is whether or not someone was negligent and if that negligence ended up causing an accident or injury. Negligence is determined by asking what sort of reasonable care the average person would take under any given situation. 

Public transport drivers, on the other hand, are held to a higher standard—that of a reasonably careful operator of a common carrier. That's because common carriers are expected to take extra caution and care of their passengers because so many lives are in their hands at once.

It can make determining exactly who is liable for your injuries difficult. 

That means that if you are injured while you are riding a bus, you may have a case against more than one person. For example, the "reasonable operator" standard could make the bus driver liable if he or she failed to advise passengers to remain in their seats until the bus came to a full stop or allowed too many people to board at once and you were standing in the aisle when the accident took place. 

If the bus was involved in an accident with another vehicle, it's possible that you could have a claim against both the driver of the other vehicle and the public transit system.

It can make filing a lawsuit more difficult as well.

Because the public transit system is owned by the city or state, you may have to follow special rules in order to file your claim. In some locations, you are required to give notice of your claim to the public transit system within a specific period of time and wait until they make a decision on whether or not to pay your losses before you are allowed to file a lawsuit.

You may also be limited in the amount of time that you have to file that lawsuit. In most states, you have at least a year or two to file a personal injury claim before you have to file a claim, but that statute of limitations can be considerably shorter when you are dealing with a local or state government. That makes it important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible.