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Injuries in Public Transportation Accidents

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Injuries in Public Transportation Accidents

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Public transportation can be great in the sense that it is eco-friendly, cost-effective, and reduces traffic. However, in any situation where you are relying on another person or parties for transportation, your safety is in someone else’s hands. Accidents are a possibility in any vehicle, including in public transportation. Public transportation accidents can be particularly bad due to the many passengers and often multiple vehicles involved. Depending on the kind of public transportation you were injured on, it might be considered a common carrier or owned by a state or local government. The type of public transportation in which the accident occurred may affect an injury victim’s eligibility for compensation. This is why it’s a good idea to reach out to a personal injury attorney to discuss the viability of your case before deciding to proceed after one of these accidents.

Types of public transportation injuries.

There are a variety of injuries that commonly occur in public transportation accidents. On the whole, these injuries are not life-threatening, but they can have a lasting or even permanent impact on an accident victim’s life. Some common types of injuries include:

  • Neck injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Bruising
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries

What falls into the public transportation category?

Some kinds of public transportation are considered common carriers, while other forms of public transportation might be owned by a state or municipality, which can make proving liability much harder after an accident. Vehicles used for public transportation are wide-ranging and some of them might be surprising.

  • Buses
  • Taxis
  • Light rails
  • Commuter trains
  • Cable cars and trolleys
  • The subway
  • Vanpool services
  • Ferries
  • Water taxis
  • Monorails
  • Airplanes

Common causes of public transportation accidents.

Public transportation accidents may occur for a variety of reasons, but there are three main categories of cause that apply to passenger vehicles as well. Just like any other vehicle, drivers, pilots, and conductors of public transportation are required to follow the same safety rules and procedures, in addition to the safety regulations specific to their field. However, the operators of public transportation are thought to have a greater responsibility to safe conduct than drivers of a standard vehicle, primarily due to the increased size and weight of the vehicle they are operating in addition to the many lives they carry on board at one time.

  • Driver error: Driver error can include anything from failing to follow traffic rules such as stopping at a red light, to driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A common risk among public transportation operators as well as drivers on the whole is the risk of driving fatigued. Driving for long periods of time without rest, or even failing to get a good night’s sleep before a job that requires a heightened level of awareness can result in catastrophic accidents.
  • Mechanical failure: Public transportation vehicles are subject to the same mechanical failures as any other piece of machinery. This is why it is imperative that the operators of these vehicles and the managers responsible for them require frequent maintenance checks, and ensure that repairs are done regularly and properly.
  • External factors: Public transportation operators are subject to the same external factors as anyone else on the roadway, in the air, or on the water. Adverse weather can create risky situations for public transportation operators and passengers, as can careless drivers sharing the road or any other factor which is outside of an operator’s control.

What should you do if you have been injured in a public transportation accident?

If you and/or a loved one were injured in a public transportation accident, it’s important to take pictures at the scene. These pictures should capture any damaged property and vehicles involved. Additionally, it’s a good idea to take pictures of your own injuries and collect the contact information of any witnesses to the accident. It’s also important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident. Some injuries may not be felt for days or even weeks after an accident, but waiting to seek medical care could result in a negative impact on your case if you choose to file down the road. To learn more about public transportation accidents or to find a lawyer to represent your public transportation accident case, seek legal counsel.

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