If you have an accident involving the public transit it will likely be with one of the many city buses or trains about.
If you do not believe the accident was not your fault and you or anyone else in your vehicle were injured, you should contact a personal injury attorney about filing a claim for compensation. A successful claim is not easy, but can help ease the burden of unexpected medical bills and help to compensate for lost earnings if you have to stay away from work.
The public transit system consists of numerous bus routes criss-crossing San Antonio’s city streets into the suburbs and surrounding region. The majority of bus accidents are normally found to be due to driver error, but a smaller percentage are due to bus defects like improper lighting, brakes not effective, etc. Driver error is typically one of the following:
- distracted driving, e.g. using a cell phone, which is illegal;
- intoxication or illegal drug use;
- aggressive driving;
- failure to keep to road rules;
- poor signaling;
- failure to keep a look out for pedestrians or cyclists.
Damages You Could Claim
You will need to specify what you are claiming with evidence of the costs involved. Most personal injury claims are for medical expenses, lost earnings, transportation costs if a vehicle is being repaired, and replacement of other property damaged. It is important to have evidence that these payments claimed are relevant to the injury you suffered.
In addition to these ‘economic’ damages are more subjectively determined payments for the pain and suffering caused by the accident and injuries. If significant negligence can be proved, then your attorney may advise you to claim for punitive damages, too. There are caps on both economic and non-economic damages in certain states.
Making a Claim Against
A claim against the city for negligence must follow an established procedure. Because they are a government entity, any claim must first be filed with the the bus company as a notice of claim within 90 days of the accident.
The Clerk of Court should respond to the claim but sometimes this doesn’t happen or more commonly the claim is denied. This doesn’t mean that you cannot obtain compensation, but it does mean you then have to file a personal injury claim.
Some statute of limitations for claims against government entities gives you 1 year from the date of the accident to submit a properly prepared personal injury claim. This should have the evidence needed to show that your injury was due to negligence on the part of public transit or one of its employees. It should also have documentation showing all costs involved and why you have claimed the amounts you have stated.
Why a PI Lawyer Would be Useful
It can be quite a complex and intimidating task filing a notice of claim and a subsequent personal injury claim. If your claims are denied because of poor preparation or insufficient documentation and evidence of fault, you may lose your chance of obtaining compensation.
The best advice is to discuss your accident with an experienced personal injury attorney before filing your claim. To speak with a lawyer, complete the Free Case Evaluation form on this page.
*Disclaimer: 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 VIA, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.