There are a variety of public transportation options in Southern California, including buses, subways, and trains. However, like any type of transportation, each of these options comes with risks. When an accident involving public transportation occurs, many people are unsure as to the rights they have in order to seek compensation for the damages they experienced from the accident.
If you’ve been injured in a public transportation accident, an experienced personal injury lawyer from Setareh Law can help you understand your legal options. We can also tell you about the services we can provide to handle your claim and help you receive the compensation you need.
The Requirements of Public Transportation Agencies
Public transportation is provided by what is known as “common carriers.” This refers to a business or government agency that provides transportation to the general public. Examples of common carriers include airlines, buses, and taxis. Common carriers have a higher duty of care than other drivers on public roadways. A duty of care means these transportation providers are legally responsible for taking reasonable actions in order to protect their passengers from harm. Some of the actions they’re required to take include:
- Possessing a higher amount of liability insurance coverage in order to compensate passengers who become injured as a result of the transportation operator’s negligence.
- Committing to regular maintenance of the vehicle that is providing the transportation to ensure that it is capable of safely transporting passengers.
- Providing a way for passengers to safely enter and exit the vehicle.
- Ensuring that the operators that are hired by the carrier are properly licensed and trained to safely handle the rigors of the job.
Failing to meet these required duties can make the common carrier legally responsible for compensating passengers who are hurt in accidents involving the public transportation vehicle. However, there can also be other sources of liability, including other drivers on the roadway in the case of accidents involving a bus or taxi.
Seeking Compensation Through the Personal Injury Claims Process
In California, when someone is injured in an accident that was caused by another party’s carelessness, they can seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of their injury through the personal injury claims process. Typically, this process allows the claimant two years to first seek compensation by filing a claim against a relevant liability insurance policy. However, because many common carriers are governmental agencies, there is often a lot less time to file a claim.
However, it is important to understand that the common carrier is not always liable for the accident, and if the accident is a result of third-party negligence, such as the carelessness of another driver on the road, the claim will be filed against that individual’s insurance policy.
The Services an Attorney Can Provide During the Legal Process
One of the important services an experienced personal injury lawyer can provide after you have been injured in a public transportation accident is to help you determine the liable parties. Your attorney and their legal team will make this determination after a thorough investigation of the available evidence, including an accident report from the police or other agency, photos from the scene, surveillance footage, and testimony from witnesses.
Other types of services that an attorney can provide as they handle a personal injury claim include:
- Establishing a value to the claim based on factors that include the severity of the injury, the availability of insurance resources, and the presence of permanent injuries that will likely result in income loss and medical expenses in the future.
- Communicating with the at-fault party’s insurance provider in order to negotiate a fair settlement and protect the claim’s value from the tactics insurance companies commonly use to devalue claims made against their insured.
- Filing a lawsuit within California’s personal injury statute of limitations if the insurer fails to file the claim.
- Handling the pre-trial process, including deposing witnesses, making and responding to court motions, jury selection, and the preparation of evidence exhibits.
- Presenting the case in court, if necessary. It should be noted that most personal injury claims are settled before the case goes to trial.
- Helping you to receive the proceeds of your settlement or court award.
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingent fee basis. Instead, your legal team will be paid a percentage of the overall total of the compensation you receive at the conclusion of your case.
Injured in a Public Transportation Accident? Contact Setareh Law
The legal team at Setareh Law understands how overwhelming and confusing it can be to determine what your legal options are after you’ve been injured in a public transportation accident. We have been helping the injured of Southern California to receive the compensation they need for many years and have ample experience with claims involving common carriers.
Let us help you understand more about the process and answer the legal questions you have about your claim. For your free case evaluation, contact us online or by calling (310) 659-1826. Our team also speaks Spanish.