Tennessee Personal Injury Law: Public Transportation Accidents
Public transportation has become increasingly pertinent for Tennessee residents in recent years. Especially so in hub cities like Nashville, where thousands depend on public transportation to get to and from work, school, and anywhere in between.
Further, these cities are expected to grow even more in the coming years as people from all over the US move to the Volunteer state. This means placing more strain on our current public transit, and while numerous solutions have been proposed to accommodate for this growth, funding is always the primary concern. However, many cities have been able to expand their fleets of public buses as well as their routes in order to accommodate for this growth.
Dangers of Public Transportation Accidents
In comparison, such modes of transportation are more cost-effective and consistently accountable. Unfortunately, though, they do not exist without inherent dangers. Due to the sheer magnitude of the most common public transportation vehicles, injuries sustained by those involved in public transit accidents are frequently very serious. The accomplished bus accident attorneys at InjuryTN have been representing individuals who have been injured in bus accidents throughout the Middle Tennessee region for more than 25 years.
The most common severe injuries that occur as a result of serious bus accidents include the following:
- Broken bones
- Dental injury
- Facial trauma
- Head injury
- Lacerations and cuts
- Neck injury
- Severed limbs
- Spinal injury
- Torn ligaments
Public Transportation Injury Law in Middle Tennessee
In Tennessee, public transportation injury law operates on the basis of negligence theory which is also influenced by common carrier law. Passenger buses, trolleys, trains, subways, and ferries would all be encompassed in common carrier law. Passengers of such vehicles are owed by common carriers a significantly higher amount of care than the ordinary responsibility to do so.
The minimum requirement for those who own and operate public transit vehicles is to abide by all traffic laws as well as apply due vigilance. All employers should make sure that all of their drivers are appropriately licensed, trained, and practicing positive road habits. Employers should also mandate departmental policy which requires regular screenings for drugs and alcohol.
Common carriers are required to always provide vehicles that have been appropriately inspected, maintained, and in working order. This will include inspecting parts such as the brake system, steering operation, and tire health. Drivers will also need to ensure all passengers have safe methods of both entry to and exit from the vehicle. At any point when there may be a potential for danger of which the carrier is aware, it is required to make them aware of it.
Public transit accidents are most commonly caused by some of the following:
- Defective equipment
- Distracted drivers
- Fatigued drivers
- Intoxicated drivers
- Drivers who are unable to exercise caution appropriate for present conditions, weather or otherwise
- Drivers who exceed posted speed limits
- Insufficient maintenance
Get the Help You Need Now
If you have been injured during your time using public transportation, you could be entitled to recovery for those damages. Contact our office to schedule your free initial consultation today!
Determining Liability in Public Transit Accidents
Similarly to other personal injury cases in Tennessee, passengers whose injuries were caused by the carelessness of an operator of a public transit system will need to prove the operator’s negligence beyond a reasonable doubt. Put simply, a duty of care was owed by the defendant, but that duty of care was breached, proximately causing the plaintiff to sustain an injury. This is exacerbated by the fact, in such cases, the plaintiff will be filing suit against a federal agency.
In comparison to other cases brought against private transit firms, these cases require abiding by distinctive procedural guidelines as well as standards for determining proof. For instance, Tennessee’s statute of limitations allows for less time and more intricacies when filing the necessary paperwork.
Though Tennessee’s standards for statutes of limitations for personal injuries is normally four (4) years, the standards for claims brought against the county, city, or state government will need to be filed within three (3) years. In addition, the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act has mandated special forms as well as notice requirements which will need to be filed to particular institutions in a brief period of time, and prior to filing the lawsuit itself. A plaintiff’s inability to abide by such requirements will cause the case to be dismissed, without regard to the case’s merit.
Unfortunately, these restrictions and limitations also apply to what damages may be recovered in claims against governmental entities. In Tennessee, the cap currently effective is at $300,000 for claims per individual, $700,000 per case, and $100,000 for claims involving injury to or destruction of one’s property. However, in some cases, these limits may become severely insufficient for what injuries were sustained by the victim. That’s where the accomplished personal injury attorneys at InjuryTN come in. Our team of legal experts is committed to investigating all possible methods of ascertaining liability and recouping compensation in these types of cases.
Liability in the majority of lawsuits for accidents involving public transportation will often belong to more than one individual or entity. In the event that you have been injured as a direct result of a public transit accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Your attorney of choice in such a legal matter should be intimately familiar with the complexities involved in filing lawsuits in addition to having a reputation for success.
Experienced Middle Tennessee Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or someone you love has endured a serious injury caused by a public transportation accident, you need immediate help to protect your rights and receive the compensation you deserve. Contact InjuryTN today for a free and confidential case evaluation with an accomplished and respected Tennessee personal injury attorney. All personal injury cases are taken on a contingency basis, so you pay no fees or costs until we win.