Accidents involving pedestrians, cyclists and motorized road users are an everyday occurrence. Injuries tend to be quite serious because of the speed and size of city vehicles. Most accidents involve bus and rapid transit accidents.
If you have been the victim of a city accident, you should consider filing a claim for compensation. A successful claim can help pay for medical treatment, replace lost earnings, and compensate for any damage done to your vehicle or other property. Talk to a personal injury attorney about making a claim.
How an Accident Could Happen With a City Vehicle
Most city bus accidents happen because bus drivers fail to drive safely. Some accidents may happen because of defective parts or components or poor maintenance, which can affect the control of a bus. Bus driver errors include:
- illegal drug taking or intoxication
- failure to yield the right of way at a cross walk or intersection
- distracted driving
- reckless driving
Damages You Could Claim
When filing a claim against the city, there are several payments that should be claimed for. There must be documentation detailing why these payments are justified and how they are linked to the actions of the bus driver or another employee.
Economic damages are relatively straightforward, as they can be calculated quite precisely. They include the cost of all medical treatment related to the injury, compensation for property damage, and compensation for lost earnings. It is important to include any future potential costs in the claim if the recovery period is likely to be lengthy or if the injuries leave you permanently disabled.
Non-economic damages, typically a “pain and suffering” payment and punitive damages, are not so easy to quantify but your attorney can help you make a decision about these based on previous cases. Punitive damages are rarely allowed unless the degree of negligence is severe.
How to File a Personal Injury Claim
There is a standard procedure for claims against a government entity. An initial notice of claim must be made within 180 days of the accident. If this is not granted, you may then proceed to file a personal injury claim. This must be filed within one year of the accident, which is half the time allowed for an equivalent claim against a private individual.
There must be proof available to show that an employee of the city, such as the bus driver, the train operator or the transit organization itself, was to blame for your injuries. A police report can help support your claim as can witness statements and any other evidence collected at the scene of the accident.
Why You Should Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer
Making a claim against a well organized government entity can be quite intimidating. Insurers are never keen to pay compensation unless they have no choice and are confronted with a well prepared claim and proof that their client was negligent. An experienced personal injury attorney can take a lot of the hard work off your shoulders and is more likely to achieve a satisfactory and fair settlement.
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Valley Metro, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.