What happens after a Public Transportation Accident
Public transportation entities like BART, MUNI, and Caltrans have internal teams of investigators that are used to investigate accidents involving buses, trains, and cable cars. These multi-million dollar government entities have extensive resources at their disposal. Consequently, their investigative teams are capable of employing complex, sophisticated forensic and scientific investigative techniques when determining the cause of a public transportation accident. However, they also have a vested interest in absolving MUNI, BART, or Caltrans workers and engineers from any responsibility for an accident. For these reasons, it’s important to retain an attorney who can monitor the developments and process of a public transportation accident to ensure it isn’t conducted in a way that is prejudiced in favor of BART, MUNI, or Caltrans.
Filing a Claim in Public Transportation Accidents
Unlike motor vehicle accidents or other personal injury cases, in public transportation lawsuits you have to file an injury claim and have it rejected before you can bring a lawsuit against BART, MUNI, or Caltrans. Once you receive notification that your injury claim has been rejected, you have only 180 days to file a lawsuit. When preparing legal action against a public transportation entity, it’s important to consider whether any of the following factors were involved in you injury accident:
- Was the train operator or bus driver properly trained
- Was alcohol, drugs, or texting a factor
- Were there enough seats available
- Did the bus or train start or stop suddenly
- Did the train stop at a point where you could disembark safely
- Did the bus driver speed or drive in a way that was unsafe
- Did the bus or train start while you were trying to board
- Was there debris or trash on a bus or train that caused you to fall
- Were you assaulted by the bus driver or train engineer
Transparency and Scrutiny in Public Transportation Accidents
Since BART, MUNI, and Caltrans investigate themselves, it’s essential that your attorney closely follow the investigation in your case. It’s also important for your lawyer to consult independent, private investigators and interview eyewitnesses in order to gather information and evidence in support of your case. While ostensibly committed to determining what happened, investigators for public transportation entities may give more weight to the testimony of an experienced Caltrans, MUNI, or BART employee than a passenger witness. Additionally, when general negligence is involved, investigators may conclude the actions of BART, MUNI, or Caltrans workers were not directly involved. As such, it’s important to work with an attorney who can serve as your advocate during the investigative process.
Contact San Francisco Public Transportation Accident Attorneys
Whether you’re filing an injury claim or interested in suing a Bay Area public transportation entity, our personal injury attorneys can help. To protect your rights and review your options, contact San Francisco public transportation accident attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg today.
We understand the tactics of insurance companies and how to investigate MUNI, BART, AC Transit, SamTrans, Marin Transit, Golden Gate Transit or VTA accidents – let one of our attorneys help you – call 415-788-3900.