Who’s Liable If You’re Hurt on Public Transit?
Different rules typically apply to injuries that occur as the result of a government or public entity. Figuring out who is liable when you are injured on public transportation can be tricky to decipher.
Riding on the bus, subway, or train is not inherently dangerous, but sometimes things do go wrong. If you are injured while on public transportation, you may be able to make a claim or file a lawsuit against the company that runs the service.
Negligence and Common Carrier Law
All personal injury cases center on this idea of negligence. Negligence is present when an individual is owed a level of safety by another individual or entity and that safety is not present because of inaction or improper action. When that leads to you being injured, the defendant may be liable.
Negligence is a factor in cases involving injuries on public transit, but common carrier laws also come into play with these types of cases. “Common carriers” typically refer to the operators of public trains, trolleys, buses and public school buses.
These “common carriers” are generally held to a higher standard in terms of being responsible for the safety of their passengers. In any personal injury case, the plaintiff has to prove negligence on the part of the defendant. For example, if a subway operator comes to a quick stop at a station and you fall and are injured, the driver is not necessarily negligent.
Statute of Limitations in Public Transportation Cases
Bringing a claim against a public transportation agency or company also has slightly different rules than in any other type of personal injury case. Public transportation is most frequently run by local or state agency. To file a claim against a government agency, you have to follow special rules.
In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a claim against the state is shorter than for other personal injury claims. A plaintiff has three years to file a claim against the state, whereas a plaintiff has four years to file a claim against a private defendant in Florida.
In addition, there are separate filing rules for claims against the state of Florida. In the Sunshine State, all claim documents must be sent to to the Florida Department of Financial Services. Failure to do so or misfiled paperwork can result in long delays and dismissal of any such claims.
Filing a Claim in a Public Transportation Injury Case
If you’ve been injured while riding the bus, train or subway and you believe the operator was negligent during the course of the incident, contact an experienced attorney at Boone & Davis in Broward County as soon as possible to go over your options. We have decades of experience and background in personal injury cases and can help guide you through the process. Personal injury cases can be complex, and bringing in the government defendant element can make it even more so. Call the lawyers at Boone & Davis today to get the help you deserve.