If you’ve been injured while taking public transportation, you may be able to file a claim against the overseeing public transportation company. Personal injury claims against public transit differ in certain ways from standard personal injury claims, and we’ll take a more in-depth look at why this is. If you were hurt in public transit in Chicago, a local personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Common Carriers Uphold a Higher Standard of Care
As members of society, each and every one of us is expected to adhere to a certain standard of care for our fellow citizens. Driving the speed limit, not driving if you are under the influence and not texting while driving are just a few of our duties that we should uphold. Common carriers such as public buses, trains, taxis, and trolleys must adhere to an even higher standard of care.
Talking to passengers while at the wheel of a vehicle is a good example of this standard. While talking to our passengers while we drive is distracting, we do it anyway. No one necessarily expects us to ride in silence with the radio off and no communication whatsoever, even though that may be a safer choice. Bus drivers, on the other hand, are not allowed to talk to their passengers. They must perform at a higher standard since they are public employees responsible for the lives of every passenger in their care.
If you’ve been hurt on public transit, you need to prove that someone was negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries if you’re planning to file a personal injury claim. At a glance, this may seem an easier task than with other cases since common carriers may be more prone to negligence since they are held to a higher standard. This isn’t necessarily the case, though.
Let’s say that a bus driver swerves unexpectedly, causing you to fall and get hurt. If the bus driver swerved because they were talking with a passenger and got distracted, you could demonstrate that their negligence caused your injury. However, if the driver swerved to avoid hitting a child that ran into the street, the driver was not acting negligently and isn’t at fault.
Filing a Claim Against a Common Carrier
Common carriers are agencies of your local municipality or state, so filing a claim against them is a little more complicated than filing one against your neighbor. Government entities like public transportation companies have more strict deadlines for filing your claim.
Generally, you need to notify the public transportation company in writing within six months or less of the specific circumstances and details of your accident. There is also a statute of limitations for filing your lawsuit, meaning that you only have a short period of time to do so before it’s too late. You also need to make sure that you send your notice to the proper municipal department and file your claim against the correct entity, lest you risk your claim being barred.
Contact us if You Were Hurt on Public Transit in Chicago
Because of the more complex nature of filing lawsuits against public transportation companies, it’s in your best interests to seek legal assistance. If you’ve been hurt on public transit in Chicago, IL, contact a local personal injury attorney at Disparti Law Group to assist you with your case.