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What to do if You’re Injured in an Accident With San Diego's Metropolitan Transit System*

Most people in a busy city like San Diego do not think about accidents involving the city’s public transportation network, but in fact these are common occurrences. San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) is made up of a fleet of buses and trolley buses. If you have been injured as a pedestrian, cyclist, motorcyclist or other road user by a San Diego MTS bus or trolley bus, you should be able to file a claim against the MTS for damages. California’s statute of limitations for city entities like the MTS means you do have to be prompt when filing a claim for it to be considered.

Possible Accidents with San Diego’s MTS

San Diego’s MTS network consists of large numbers of buses operating on routes across the city and surrounding suburbs and districts, as well as a smaller number of trolley bus routes which are concentrated in the city center. It is quite possible to be hit by a bus or a trolley bus, but because of the relative numbers of buses you are most likely to be hit by one of these vehicles.

Common accidents are caused primarily by driver error. Drivers are under pressure to keep to schedules, but this is not always possible in congested parts of the city. Stressed out drivers may make simple mistakes, or fail to see pedestrians or cyclists when they are crossing the road or are positioned close to the vehicle. Failure to yield the right of way to another road user, distracted driving, intoxication or drug use, and fatigue are the primary causes of accidents involving cars and other vehicles using the city streets and highways.

Damages You Could Claim

When filing a claim against the MTS, you do need to be sure that you have enough evidence to show that the bus or trolley bus driver was at fault, or at least that the accident was caused by the MTS and not another road user. You can claim for damages for all medical costs related to the injury you have suffered, property damage, replacement of most earnings and a payment in compensation for the pain and suffering experienced.

Some accidents with an MTS bus or trolley bus are so severe that the injury may take a long time to recover. In some cases, permanent disability may result from the accident. In these circumstances, it is important to have a carefully calculated estimate of all future anticipated costs related to the injury to accompany your claim.

California Driving Laws Overview

Making a Claim Against San Diego’s MTS

If you believe that your injury was caused by negligence on part of the bus or trolley bus driver of MTS, then you must attempt to gather evidence which shows that negligence occurred. Witness statements, a police report, investigations by independent experts and photographic evidence are all useful evidence. Because the MTS is a city entity, you only have 6 months from the date of the accident to file a claim. The initial notice of claim must be submitted directly to the MTS. This can be followed by a personal injury claim if the notice of claim is rejected or unanswered.

All claims should be backed up by sufficient clear documentation detailing the damages involved. The more organized and prepared your claim is, the more likely it will be successful.

Why a PI Attorney Would be Useful

Few personal injury claims are straightforward, even if you think that the injuries you received were an obvious result of poor driver behavior or a bus defect. You will find that it would be very helpful getting advice from a personal injury attorney before filing your notice of claim. The attorney will help build your case in the likely event that you file a personal injury claim for damages against the MTS.

Additional Resources


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 MTS, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.

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