Houston Public Transport Accident Lawyer
Public Transportation Accidents in Houston, TX
Hundreds of Americans annually are injured by negligence aboard one of the common means of fee-based general public transportation, including trains, buses, taxis, airlines, tour boards, cruise ships, and ferries. In many cases, these injuries are suffered due to poor maintenance or a failure to abide by adequate safety measures by those who either work on or are in charge of mass transit vehicles. Houston public transportation injuries are often severe or debilitating, and can even lead to death. Victims should contact a public transport accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.
Common carriers are required to provide the utmost care to their passengers. Failure to provide such a high level of care to ensure passenger safety can result in the carrier being held financially liable for damages or injuries a passenger suffers. If you suffered injuries on a transit bus, train, airplane, or another form of mass transportation, Reich & Binstock is here for you. Our Houston personal injury attorneys are here to fight for full and fair compensation for your injuries. To schedule your free consultation with an experienced Houston personal injury lawyer from our firm, please call 713-622-7271 today.
Common Carrier Law
Common carriers are businesses that provide multiple passengers with transportation services. Some common examples include motor vehicles such as public buses, light trucks, and vans. Other examples include trains, passenger cruise ships, CTA buses, and airlines.
Common carriers have an increased duty of care compared to other traffic and vehicles through public transportation law. Generally, they must adhere to a higher safety standard, as a crash can harm more people at once than passenger vehicles. A common carrier vehicle must take the utmost care to prevent motor vehicle accidents and other accidents.
Simply put, drivers of passenger vehicles are not held to the same negligence standards as common carriers. What is considered negligence for a common carrier might not be negligence for a private carrier or passenger vehicle.
Many agencies, departments, and regulations keep a sharp eye out for accidents occurring with public transportation vehicles, ensuring that all public transportation vehicles adhere to the public transportation law or applicable laws.
Some of these agencies include the following:
- Federal Railroad Administration
- National Transportation Safety Board
- Federal Aviation Administration
- Federal Maritime Commission
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Common Carrier Negligence
If you suffer injury or property damage in a common carrier vehicle crash, you may be eligible for compensation from the company. This is because common carriers are held legally responsible for the actions of their employees that result in injuries or deaths.
Public transit laws state that carriers must use “the utmost care, vigilance, and diligence” in their transportation of passengers. This means that the duty of care goes beyond what is expected in the average personal injury claim. Therefore, juries are more likely to find that carriers acted negligently in comparison to passenger vehicle drivers.
If someone is injured in a bus accident, train accident, or another public transit accident, the carrier will likely be held responsible for their injuries and damages.
Types of Public Transportation Accidents
There are many forms of mass transportation available both in the United States and across the globe. Mass transit is an easy, cost-effective way to get large numbers of people from one place to another. Often, local mass transit lines are funded by the United States government through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The FTA is an official government entity within the United States Department of Transportation. The FTA provides both technical and financial assistance to local transit agencies. When public transit accidents occur, the agency that oversees that type of common carrier may get involved.
Although bus accidents are the most common, there are many other public transit vehicles that may be involved in accidents. These different accident types include the following.
Because of the size and weight of intercity buses, school buses, and other types of buses, accidents involving them tend to be very serious. This is also true because of the number of bus passengers there may be at any given time. Bus drivers who act negligently behind the wheel could not only cause serious injuries, but also be held liable for them.
Bus accident victims should speak with our qualified bus accident lawyers as soon as possible after the accident. We will evaluate your situation and advise you of whether you have a valid bus accident claim.
Trains are another form of public transportation that may be involved in serious accidents. Although many trains only carry cargo, many others carry passengers. These carriers have an increased duty of care to their passengers, as do bus companies, airline companies, and others.
Trains are not involved in accidents as frequently as other vehicles, but this doesn’t make those accidents any less dangerous. Passengers injured in a train accident should contact an experienced train accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Even taxi cabs are considered common carriers, and therefore hold a higher standard of responsibility behind the wheel. If a taxi driver is negligent in any way, this could lead to severe injuries for both their taxi passengers and other vehicles involved.
Victims of taxi cab accidents should consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following the accident. This will give you the edge you need when going up against the taxi driver’s employer and their insurance company.
What Causes Public Transportation Accidents?
As with Houston car accidents, transit accidents happen for a variety of reasons. However, negligence plays a large role in most mass transit incidents.
Some common causes of mass transit accidents include:
- The bus driver or operator’s negligence
- Defective vehicle parts
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Poorly-maintained roads or a defective rail design
- Improper dispatching of vehicles
- Poor security, lighting, or other safety measures
- Failing to ensure that rail cars are safely connected
- Lack of supervision or training
Keep in mind that many other factors contribute to these accidents. Due to the nature of the vehicles and the number of people they hold, mass transit injuries have a tendency to be very serious or even catastrophic.
Imagine a bus accident, for example. Even the largest passenger car likely won’t carry as many people at one time as a city bus or school bus. This is part of the reason why these accidents are so serious. Experienced bus accident attorneys can evaluate those claims and give victims a fighting chance of obtaining compensation.
Can Injured Passengers Sue for Their Injuries?
Absolutely. Those injured in a public transportation accident may be able to hold the common carrier liable for their injuries. The insurance company of the carrier will likely push back against their claim, so it is crucial that they seek advice from qualified personal injury attorneys as soon as possible. This will give your claim the best chance at achieving a favorable outcome.
Public Transportation Injuries
Even though we don’t often hear about transit accidents, they do happen. Unfortunately, these accidents often lead to catastrophic injuries.
Victims may suffer a number of different injuries, including the following:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Paralysis, disability, or amputation
- Damage to vital organs
- Wrongful death
If you were harmed in a mass transit accident, you deserve compensation for your injuries and any property damage you suffered. Injuries sustained in public transport accidents often lead to serious injury, which means serious medical costs. Contact a public transport accident lawyer as soon as possible and schedule a free case evaluation to explore your legal options.
How to File a Public Transportation Accident Claim
In many of these cases, the parties involved are state or municipal entities. Multiple parties could be held responsible for these accidents. The most important factor, however, is the timeframe victims have to file a claim.
Unlike standard personal injury claims, victims of public transport accidents have a much more limited time in which to file a claim. This is largely due to the fact that state and municipal agencies often oversee them. When filing a claim against a government entity, victims often have very short statutes of limitations. Some may be as short as six months or less.
Those injured in public transport accidents should contact a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries.
What Compensation Can I Recover After a Public Transportation Accident?
Injuries in public transportation accidents can range from mild to severe to deadly. If you sustained injuries in a public transport crash, you may be able to recover the following damages.
- Current and future medical expenses
- Current and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Wrongful death damages, such as funeral and burial expenses
Who Is Liable for Public Transportation Accidents?
After a bus or rail accident, you might be completely at a loss regarding how to recover compensation. Luckily, the law firm of Reich & Binstock has extensive knowledge of resources, policies, and laws that affect passengers involved in these accidents.
After the crash, your personal injury lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation to identify all parties responsible for what happened. Unfortunately, many cases involve a state or local department responsible for collisions. If this is the case, the lawsuit becomes much more complicated.
When Government Entities Are The Operator
The authorities in charge of operating or regulating mass transit systems are, in many cases, government entities. Mass transit lawsuits involving government entities present a unique set of challenges to attorneys. Special rules may apply to mass transit litigation that would not necessarily apply to other personal injury lawsuits.
This is one reason someone injured in a mass transit accident should hire one of the experienced attorneys at Reich & Binstock. Our lawyers know how to handle the most complex public transportation accident litigation.
What Are the Biggest Problems with Public Transportation?
While public transportation is highly beneficial for those who live in metropolitan areas, it is no secret that it has some challenges.
Below, we list some of the main issues facing public transportation today.
- Security and safety measures
- Constrained public funding
- Shifts in demographics and passenger statistics
- Innovations in technology
- Attracting a younger workforce
What Form of Transportation Has the Most Accidents?
According to the National Safety Council, transportation statistics show that passenger vehicles account for approximately one in seven preventable, injury-related deaths. These vehicles are by far more dangerous than common carriers. However, that doesn’t mean that common carrier accidents don’t happen. Public buses are the most dangerous form of common carrier transportation, followed by passenger trains, followed by airlines.
Do I Need a Public Transportation Accident Lawyer for My Case?
While you are not required to hire an attorney for your case, there are a few good arguments in favor of doing so.
- First, an attorney will already be familiar with the laws, statutes, and precedents related to your case.
- Second, you only have a limited amount of time to file. Working with a skilled attorney can help speed this process up to ensure you file on time.
- Lastly, we have the proper training and knowledge it takes to properly value your case and fight for fair compensation. Companies that provide insurance coverage to public transport entities will try to offer you a lowball settlement. Our team won’t let that happen.
Why Choose Reich & Binstock for Your Case?
The attorneys at Reich & Binstock are uniquely qualified to handle your case. We have extensive experience litigating cases involving bus, train, boat, and even airline accidents. Our team is compassionate in the office, while aggressive in the courtroom. You’ll never be left in the dark about your case – we maintain open and transparent communication with all of our clients.
If you suffered injuries in a public transport crash, contact a plane, train, boat, or bus accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Call a Public Transport Accident Attorney in Houston Today
The effective mass transit accident lawyers at Reich & Binstock have protected the rights of personal injury victims in Houston for more than 30 years. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident while transported by a common carrier, contact our litigation team for a free initial consultation. You’ll need a personal injury lawyer experienced in public transportation accidents to litigate on your behalf. Either use our contact form or call 713-622-7271 today. If you share sensitive information with us, this information will remain completely confidential.
There is a never a fee unless we recover on your behalf.