Public Transit Accidents: What You Need to Know

Public transport is an integral form of transportation in many countries around the world. Not only are they cheaper to use, but different forms of public transport are always easier to use than personal vehicles on many occasions. However, just like private cars are involved in accidents, buses, trains, and light rails equally encounter accidents that can cause devastating damages and injuries to an individual.

What happens when you are injured in public transport? Since you have entrusted your safety to the public transport system, it’s essential to know that you can always sue for compensation whenever you are injured through an accident in public transport. It’s always important to immediately contact an attorney for guidance and all the necessary steps to take after a serious accident. Remember that an experienced personal injury attorney can help maximize your compensation since public transport claims can be quite complex as opposed to personal injury claims.  

Since seeking injury after an accident in a public transport vehicle such as CTA accidents can be quite complicated, this article will highlight key elements that you need to know. Read on to find out.

Public Transportation Injuries and Compensation

Like any other form of road accident, public transportation accidents result from a collision with other vehicles, poor driving, and negligence, among many others. For instance, a bus crash can take place due to the driver’s error, company negligence, weather, equipment failure, and other drivers’ negligence. However, you can also be injured due to slip and falls on a public vehicle due to improper maintenance or mere negligence. 

Regardless of the situation, your attorney will help identify the cause of the accident. Once it’s certain that the accident happened due to the driver’s or company’s negligence, you can go ahead to file a lawsuit against the public transportation company.  

Who Pays for Compensation?

Just like personal injuries, you will be compensated for all your injuries and damages by the offending party. This means that if you were in a public vehicle owned by a particular company, the company would be responsible for compensating you for all the injuries sustained.

However, what happens when you are hit by a public vehicle? In this case, you can either file a lawsuit against the company or the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This also applies to an accident involving a school bus. In the past, citizens were not allowed to sue the government for damages or injuries. However, this is not always the case today. Suppose you were in a school bus or sustained injuries through an accident involving a public vehicle owned by the government. In that case, the government will be liable for paying for your compensation. 

Claim Procedure and Statute of Limitations

One of the most important things to know about public transportation accidents is that public transportation laws govern them. Unlike standard personal injury law, there is a big distinction in the process of bringing a claim against a public transportation company. 

Since the vast majority of public transportation companies are often state-owned, special state laws, usually known as the State Tort Claims Act, take precedence in claims for compensation. 

When it comes to the statute of limitations, there are always stipulated time frames that you should follow for injury claims against a government entity. Although these deadlines greatly differ from state to state, including as little as six months or less, which still allows you time enough to notify the public transportation company (in writing) of your intentions to press charges. 

Since these deadlines are different in all states, it’s important to note that they are applied more strictly in some states and less strictly in others. For instance, your application may be barred in some states if you send your notice to the wrong department, regardless of whether the right department is just a few doors away!


Ideally, navigating through these complex rules can be quite confusing for anybody, and if not done by the book, they can have dire consequences on your compensation claim. Therefore, if you are injured in a public transportation accident, it’s of paramount importance to always consult an experienced personal injury attorney.

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