Public Transit Injury 101
Public transit injuries can happen anywhere, at any time, for any reason. Thousands of people rely on public transportation every day. Providers are expected to provide for the safety of these passengers. But can you sue public transportation if you get an injury on public transit?
Public Transportation Has a Price
Taking the bus or the train is a great way to avoid traffic or save money. But while the risk of an accident is lower with public transportation, it is still a risk that you take when you swipe your bus pass. Do you think you can sue a bus driver?
Between 2009 and 2013, it was reported that the TTC had been involved in 18,000 collisions, at least 5,000 of which were considered “preventable.” While this number is abnormally large, and the TTC came under fire for this, it shows that accidents can and do happen.
The reality is that taking public transit means you are putting your safety in the hands of others. Sometimes this can lead to accidents beyond your control.
When these accidents happen, they can have devastating consequences. But you don’t have to suffer without a settlement.
Everyone deserves to get the compensation they need when they suffer a personal injury due to public transportation.
What are the Risks?
Public transit is legally defined as any service operated by a municipality that charges a fare or service fee. [source]
There are tons of factors that can cause public transit injuries. The responsibility could be on the company, the municipality, or the individual driver.
From insufficient vehicle maintenance to driver neglect, accidents can happen due to human error.
Types of public transit injury can range from anything that occurs within the station or platform, or while riding the vehicle. On the majority of public transit vehicles, seat belts are minimal and therefore many accidents can happen.
Minor injuries resulting from public transportation can include whiplash, cuts, bruises, scrapes, minor head injuries, and fractures. These types of injuries result from slips and falls, harsh or abrupt stops, hazards on platforms, and minor accidents.
Collisions with objects or other vehicles on the road can cause major injuries. These injuries can be fatal in many situations. They include broken bones, heart failure due to shock, loss of limbs, and life-threatening conditions such as head trauma.
Riding the Bus or Train in Ontario
Ontario relies heavily on public transportation to service a large portion of the population. The TTC is the third largest public transportation system in North America. It’s also the largest in Canada. It services many cities in the GTA and carries millions of passengers every year.
The Better Tomorrow For Ontario Act (Bill 173) was implemented in 2011 and brought a lot of changes for the province and those who experience public transit injuries. It is now harder to get accident benefits from injuries sustained on Ontario’s public transit systems.
Under this act, a passenger is only allowed to file a claim for accident benefits against a public transportation provider if there was a collision with either another vehicle or an object. This has led people to refer to the bill as “No crash, no Cash.”
Unfortunately, this means it’s harder to get a settlement. But it’s not impossible. An experienced and aggressive personal injury lawyer can help you navigate through these legalities.
You can still file a claim against the driver of the vehicle through a tort action, especially if your injury was caused by their negligence. The driver is held individually responsible in this case.
What if it Happens to You?
If you find yourself the victim of a public transit accident, here is some advice that will be helpful when you file a claim for accident benefits.
Make sure you document every detail you can. While you are likely going to be in shock, this is when your memory will be the most vivid and these details will be more reliable. The more reliable your information is, the better your claim is going to be.
Try to take pictures if possible. Nearly everyone has a phone with them nowadays, and if you don’t, you’ll likely only need to take a few steps to find someone who does.
Make sure you have photographic evidence of both the scene of the accident as well as your injuries. Photographic evidence will stand up in court, and provide you with a good advantage.
You need to get your injuries treated right away. You will not be granted as much compensation as you deserve if you neglect to treat a wound, such as a puncture or a cut.
Get the Right Legal Assistance
Always make sure you seek the help of a professional, experienced lawyer who will make sure that you are taking the right steps toward compensation.
With professional help, you will be able to rest assured that you are going in the right direction.
If you’ve been injured using public transit, Conte & Associates will fight for you.
If you’re not sure what your next steps are, we can provide a consultation to help you get on track.
Turn to us for trustworthy and expert advice to get you the settlement you deserve. We understand the pain you’re going through and are here to help however we can.
At Conte & Associates Personal Lawyers, we work with the best neurologists, psychologists, neuropsychologists, neuropsychiatrists, occupational therapists, and case managers in Ontario.