The system consists of hundreds of bus routes and a number of rail lines. Accidents happen every day, mainly when city buses crash into pedestrians or other road users. If you have been the unfortunate victim of a city bus accident, you may be able to claim compensation. You will need to act quickly because the state’s statute of limitations limits the time to make a claim. Talk to a personal injury attorney before considering making a claim.
Possible Accidents with the City
Bus accidents are the most common city bus or train accidents. Bus drivers are not always considerate to other road users. Sometimes they are not as experienced as they should be to cope with congestion and the density of traffic. Typical accidents are those that happen when drivers fail to concentrate on their driving because they are distracted by cell phone calls. Tired and intoxicated bus drivers tend to make mistakes when driving. Many accidents occur at crosswalks, in and around bus stops, and intersections. Not all bus accidents are caused by bus driver error, as poor maintenance on the Metro fleet can result in problems with key bus components like steering, brakes, and lights.
Damages You Could Claim
Personal injury claims are typically made up of two main components: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are the easiest to calculate, but it must be shown that they are directly related to the injuries received when the Metro accident happened. The three main economic damages are:
- the cost of medical treatment including all future estimated costs
- replacement or repair of any property damaged in the accident
- compensation for all lost earnings which are a result of not being able to return to work while recovering or receiving treatment. If the injuries are likely to take many years to resolve and a return to work is impossible or under reduced capacity, this must also be taken into consideration.
Typical non-economic damages are harder to quantify. These are payments that your attorney should be able to help you calculate. They are often based on previous claims for similar circumstances. The main non-economic damages are for “pain and suffering.” If the accident happened due to serious negligence, then your attorney may also make a case for punitive damages.
Making a Claim Against the City
Personal injury claims against a body must be filed within a narrow time frame. A notice of claim is filed first which provides the Metro’s insurers with all the information about the accident, when it occurred, what injuries were involved and why you think the bus driver, or the Metro itself, were to blame. In some states, you have six months to file a notice of claim against any government entity, including public transit.
Most plaintiffs go on to file a personal injury claim. You must provide evidence of fault and documentation of the damages claimed, e.g. doctor’s report and medical bills. A successful claim does depend on proof of liability. Supporting evidence of fault may include witness statements, photographic evidence, and a police report compiled at the crash scene.
How a PI Attorney Can be Helpful
Personal injury claims are never straightforward, but a claim against a government entity can be particularly problematic. Following the accident, you are advised to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as you can. The attorney will assess the circumstances and advise you whether you have a good chance of obtaining compensation.
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against the LA Metro, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.