Danger strikes when people least expect it, especially in situations where someone has a reasonable right to rely upon their safety. A public transportation accident is one example.
Public transportation accidents may not happen as frequently as other motor vehicle accidents, but when they do occur, the aftermath can leave victims and their loved ones with lasting physical injuries and untold emotional pain.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a public transportation collision, you likely have questions about what to do next. The team at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can help. We will look at the details of your crash to determine who to hold responsible for your damages.
We are familiar with the complicated legal issues that arise after a public transportation collision. We are here to help you get through this difficult time. Call us today at 865-546-1111 for a free consultation with a public transportation lawyer in Knoxville.
How do public transportation accidents occur?
Accidents can occur any time a public transportation provider, such as Knoxville Area Transit, is in transit with passengers in tow. Drivers of buses, taxis, commuter trains, trolleys, and paratransit services must exercise extra care to ensure the safety of the public.
Unfortunately, accidents still occur. Public transportation drivers may make a mistake behind the wheel and collide with a passenger car, potentially injuring the car’s occupants and their own passengers. A driver may come to a sudden stop, subjecting passengers to a quick and painful jolt.
Injuries can also happen as passengers enter or exit a vehicle. Even nearby pedestrians can suffer injuries in a bus crash. Public transportation users can also suffer an injury at a terminal or station if the property unsafe or hazardous.
No matter how your public transportation accident occurred, our lawyers can help. We will go over the details of your case until we determine what happened and who was responsible. Then, we will prove the at-fault party acted with negligence and hold them liable for your damages.
Who was at fault for my accident?
The at-fault party in your case can include a number of different people or government agencies.
If you were a public transportation passenger and another driver on the road caused your crash, we can file a claim with their insurance provider to cover your costs. Similarly, we can hold the public transportation driver and possibly their employer liable if the bus operator acted with negligence. This includes situations where the driver:
- Drove under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Acted recklessly behind the wheel;
- Broke traffic laws; or
- Ignored traffic signs or signals.
The public transportation driver’s employer is liable in situations where the driver did not undergo adequate training or received encouragement to violate or ignore rules and regulations. This employer could include a private company or a government entity.
If your crash occurred due to a hazard in the road or poor maintenance, we can go after the government agency who failed to provide proper upkeep. If a defect in the bus itself caused your crash and injuries, we can hold the manufacturer responsible for your damages.
Determining fault in this type of crash can be difficult. Our lawyers can identify the responsible party and hold them responsible for your damages.
How can a lawyer hold the at-fault party liable for my damages?
In order to hold a public transportation provider or third party liable for injuries, we must prove negligence. We must show the at-fault party in your case owed you a duty of care, failed to uphold it, and caused your injury and resulting damages.
We will prove negligence by collecting a variety of evidence, including:
- Disciplinary records or complaints about the driver or operator;
- Eyewitnesses statements;
- Maintenance records and inspection reports of the vehicle;
- Information on roadway conditions;
- Testimony from an accident reconstructionist to explain the cause of the wreck;
- Images and surveillance video of the crash; and
- The official police report of the incident.
Using this information, we will file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer and request compensation.
What compensation is available after a public transportation accident?
Our lawyers will work to recover damages for all of the costs you now face because of your accident. Your specific compensation will vary depending on the circumstances of your case, but they could include:
- Wrongful deathdamages, in cases where a loved one died as a result of the crash;
- Medical expenses, including the cost of emergency treatment, hospitalization, and physician visits;
- Pain management expenses;
- Costs of managing any mental anguish, like PTSD;
- Pain and sufferingdamages;
- Lost income and retirement earnings; and
- Expenses incurred as a result of physical disability.
When we file your claim, we will include extensive evidence showing the cost of the damages you have faced. We will provide bills proving your medical costs and employment records showing your lost income. We can also turn to expert testimony to estimate your future care costs and long-term reduced earning potential. That total, combined with a fair amount to compensate you for pain and suffering, will determine the value of your claim.
What comes after filing a claim?
After we file a claim, we enter into negotiations with the insurance company. We go toe to toe with them and their legal team to fight for fair compensation for your injuries.
Many insurance companies will try to lessen your claim or avoid paying it altogether. If a government agency was to blame for your crash, they may claim immunity against paying for your damages.
Our attorneys will stand up against each of these tactics to get you the maximum compensation available. We will deal directly with the insurance company and will counter any sovereign immunity claims that arise. If the at-fault party is unwilling to offer a fair settlement, we will file a public transportation lawsuit in court.
Contact the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, today for help with your claim.
Public transportation accidents are complex and require special skill and knowledge to navigate. At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, we are ready to take on your case. Call 865-546-1111 today to get your case underway.