Thousands of people each day depend on mass transit to perform their daily duties, such as getting to work, shopping, attending a business conference, arriving at a vacation destination or visiting friends.
When you step on an airplane subway, train or bus, you expect to arrive safely at your destination without incident. However, that is not always the case. In 2012, there were 3,379 accidents involving mass transit. During that same year, there were 1,297 accidents involving air travel. In those accidents, 449 people died in airplanes while 266 people died using mass transit.
When you use mass transit, whether it is Patco, SEPTA, Amtrak or on an airline, you expect that the company and its employees will use extreme care in keeping you and your family safe. You may think that mass transit accidents only happen in large cities or on long-distance trips.
The fact is that mass transit accidents can happen at any place or anywhere. A train accident can occur due to equipment failure, derailment, collisions with other trains, pedestrians or vehicles as well as employee error. Bus accidents can occur due to driver error, poor weather, equipment that is not maintained properly or road hazards.
Injuries after mass transit accidents are often catastrophic since most forms of mass transit travel at high rates of speed and many forms do not have a sufficient amount of safety features.
In the case of air travel, crashes often occur when the plane is attempting to land, potentially leading to multiple injuries or worse. Many people injured in mass transit accidents suffer from severe head injuries, broken bones, burns and other medical conditions, some of which can be life altering.
There are many types of accidents that could result in a mass transit accident claim. Accidents involving subways, charter buses, trains, taxi cabs or planes all qualify for mass transit accident claims. Most personal injury cases require that the person filing the case must demonstrate negligence in some way in order to collect on a claim. However, mass transit accidents may fall under what is known as “common carrier law.” Common carriers are businesses or individuals that provide public transportation in any form.
In Pennsylvania, anyone who serves as a common carrier must follow strict regulations regarding safety and maintenance. A common carrier must use more than reasonable care to be sure their passengers are safe when they travel in their modes of transportation. Although a victim must still prove negligence, it may be slightly easier to do so in a mass transit accident than in a personal vehicle.
There are many types of negligence that can lead to a mass transit accident. For example, if a bus driver is talking to a passenger and fails to see a car stopped in front of them, causing them to hit the brakes hard and injuring a passenger who falls during the braking incident, the company could be considered liable as the driver was not paying attention to the road. Even though the conversation between the bus driver and passenger may seem like an innocent gesture, it could be proven that the driver did not use a higher standard of care to keep the passengers safe.
Other types of negligence include traveling at a higher rate of speed than conditions allow or striking a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Train derailments are an example of a mass transit accident that is often due to the negligence of an employee, whether it is an employee who failed to switch a train to the proper track or a train operator who was travelling too fast.
Below is a list of Mass Transit Accidents we handle:
Because many public transit systems are owned by government entities, the statute of limitations may be different than in other personal injury cases.
In Pennsylvania, a person who is injured in a mass transit accident on a vehicle owned by a government entity must notify the agency that owns the vehicle within six months of the accident. For this reason, it is critical to contact an attorney immediately after being injured in a mass transit accident to be sure your claim is filed properly, with the right agency and before the statute of limitations expires.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident on mass transit, whether it is Patco, Amtrak or Septa, or if a loved one has died after injuries sustained in a mass transit accident, contact Lundy Law today at 1-800-LundyLaw to learn what rights you may have. You can also complete our simple contact form to arrange for a consultation regarding your mass transit injury claim.