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Public Transit Accidents: Understanding your Legal Rights

Every day, millions of people rely on public transportation to get them safely and efficiently to their destinations. Whether it’s a bus, train or subway ride, we trust that these services will get us where we need to go without incident. However, accidents can happen even in the most well-maintained systems. When they do occur, knowing your legal rights is crucial for protecting yourself and getting the compensation you deserve. In this blog post, we’ll explore the various types of public transit accidents and what steps you should take if you find yourself involved in one.


Common Causes of Public Transit Accidents


There are many reasons why public transit accidents occur. Here are some of the most common causes:


-Poorly maintained vehicles: For example, poorly maintained vehicles may have defective brakes, bald tires, or other issues that can cause an accident.


-Fatigued drivers: Drivers who are fatigued are more likely to make mistakes and cause an accident.


-Distracted driving: Distracted driving is a major problem in the United States, and it’s even more dangerous when operating a large vehicle like a bus or train.


-Inexperienced drivers: Inexperienced drivers may not know how to handle certain situations on the road, which can lead to accidents.


How to Determine Liability in a Public Transit Accident


If you’ve been involved in an accident while using public transportation, you may be wondering who is liable for your injuries. The answer depends on the circumstances of the accident, and it can be difficult to determine liability without the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.


Generally speaking, the entity responsible for operating the public transportation system (e.g., a city bus or train) can be held liable for accidents that occur due to its negligence. This means that if the accident was caused by the transportation system’s failure to maintain safety standards or by a driver’s careless operation of a vehicle, the entity can be held legally responsible.


In some cases, other parties may also be liable for public transit accidents. For example, if a defective product (such as a faulty seatbelt) contributed to the accident, the manufacturer of that product could be held liable. If the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence (e.g., running a red light and crashing into a bus), that driver could also be held liable.


Types of Damages Available for Public Transit Accidents


There are many different types of damages that may be available to victims of public transit accidents. These can include economic damages such as medical bills and lost wages, as well as noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering. In some cases, punitive damages may also be available if the transit authority or other entity acted with gross negligence or recklessness.


Steps to Take After a Public Transit Accident


If you’ve been involved in a public transit accident, there are a few important steps you should take to protect your legal rights. First, if you’re able, get the contact information for any witnesses to the accident. This will be important when you file a personal injury claim.


Next, get the contact information for the public transit company and file a complaint. Be sure to keep copies of any correspondence you have with the company.


If you’ve been injured in the accident, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Be sure to keep all documentation of your injuries and treatment. You will need this for your personal injury claim.


Resources for Victims of Public Transit Accidents


If you or a loved one has been the victim of a public transit accident, you may be wondering what your legal rights are. The following resources can help you better understand your rights and options:


The first place to start is by contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options, and can also help you navigate the complex claims process.


There are also a number of government agencies that can provide assistance to victims of public transit accidents. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is responsible for overseeing the safety of public transportation systems, and they have an Office of Safety and Security that investigates accidents and provides resources to victims. Additionally, the National Transit Database (NTD) collects data on transit accidents and incidents, which can be helpful in understanding your rights and options.




Public transit can be a convenient way to get around, but it also carries some risks. If you or someone you love has been injured in a public transit accident, knowing your legal rights and what steps to take next is critical. Hopefully this article has helped provide you with the information needed to understand your rights and move forward appropriately in the event of an accident. Don’t hesitate to contact one of our expertBuffalo public transportation accident lawyers if you have any questions about your specific situation.