Public transportation is supposed to be safe. When it is not, passengers injured in a mass transit accident may be able to recover damages. Companies that run buses, trains, taxis, airplanes, and other means of public transport may be liable for injuries caused by their employees' negligence. But first you have to know if you have a case – and then you have to follow certain procedures to get compensation. Attorney David Brauns is a train and bus accident attorney in Gwinnett County who can help evaluate your situation.
You May Be Entitled to Recover Damages after a Mass Transit Accident
Understand that any business that transports passengers becomes what is known as a "common carrier" and has a duty to safely bring you from Point A to Point B. These include:
- Other passenger transporters
The legal duty for common carriers of passengers is spelled out in O.C.G.A. §46-9-132 where it states, "A carrier of passengers must exercise extraordinary diligence to protect the lives and persons of his passengers but is not liable for injuries to them after having used such diligence."
This essentially means that as long as the common carrier used "extraordinary diligence" in trying to ensure the safety of passengers, it is not liable. Thus, if you were in a bus, train, or other mass transit accident, it is vital that you prove the carrier violated this duty and was negligent.
What duty does a common carrier owe to its passengers?
This does not mean that carriers have to use absolute diligence, but rather that they are responsible for providing more than ordinary care. So the first question to resolve after a mass transit accident is whether the carrier, through its employees, met this heightened standard. And that is where getting advice from an attorney like David Brauns is necessary.
The first thing Brauns Law will help you figure out is whether the carrier acted negligently and, thus, if you have a viable claim.
So what kind of information is important? Well, common causes of accidents can involve:
- Operator error
- Sleep deprivation
- Alcohol or drug use
- Poor judgment
- Mechanical failures
- Faulty repairs
So who could be responsible? While it might be the human operator, it also might be the manufacturer of a faulty part, or the mechanic who installed it, or perhaps everyone did everything they could but what happened was outside their control, such as if an Act of God (weather, natural disaster, etc.) caused the wreck.
David Brauns will be able to investigate what happened, collect evidence, identify the responsible individuals or corporate entities, and start gathering witness statements immediately. Unfortunately, as time passes, memory fades so it is critical to gather as much information as possible as quickly as feasible.
Were you in a mass transit accident? Get Started on Your Claim Now
Injuries sustained in these mass transit accidents can be significant and numerous. In all the confusion and with the numbers of people hurt, it can be difficult to get a clear idea of what happened. Since you need to be tending to your own injuries and those of loved ones, fact-finding is not your immediate priority. Leave that to the professionals who can investigate the facts with an understanding of what the law demands to prove liability and get compensation.
Recoverable damages may include not only hospital and other medical and prescription bills, but costs for pain and suffering, lost opportunities, and lost wages.
Depending on the person or entity responsible, there are strict guidelines and limits on how long you have to bring a claim and how you must bring that claim, especially if the liable party is a government entity. Don't waste any time. Talk to David Brauns. Contact us at 404-418-8244.