Public transport accidents, whether they involve buses, trams, subways, or trains, can be exceptionally traumatic. Given the number of people using these services daily in California, the potential for accidents is significant. When such an incident occurs, understanding your rights is crucial for ensuring you receive the justice and compensation you deserve. The team of public transport attorneys at Stalwart Law can make sure this happens.
Your Right to Safety
When using public transportation, you have a fundamental right to safety. Public transit operators owe their passengers a high degree of care. They are responsible for ensuring their vehicles are in good condition, their operators are properly trained, and they follow all necessary safety protocols.
Your Right to File a Claim
If you’re injured in a public transit accident in California due to operator negligence, you have the right to file a claim for damages. This may include compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. Remember, even if your injuries seem minor initially, they might develop into something more serious over time. It is always prudent to seek medical attention and legal advice as soon as possible after an accident.
Your Right to Legal Representation
You have the right to hire an attorney to represent your interests. Public transit accident cases can be complex, often involving government entities with their own sets of rules and procedures. A personal injury attorney experienced in public transit accidents can help navigate these complexities and advocate for your rights.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations
In California, public transit entities are often government agencies, and special rules apply when filing a claim against them. The California Tort Claims Act requires that a claim must be filed with the appropriate government entity within six months of the accident. Failure to meet this deadline can result in losing your right to seek compensation. Hence, it’s crucial to act promptly.
Understanding Comparative Negligence
California follows a “pure comparative negligence” rule. This means that even if you are partially at fault for the accident, you can still recover damages. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you’re found to be 20% at fault, your compensation will be reduced by 20%.
The Right to Appeal
If your initial claim is denied by the public transportation entity, you have the right to file a lawsuit in court. This step must generally be taken within six months of the claim denial.
The Right to Privacy
Your personal information is protected by attorney-client privilege when you hire a lawyer. This means that any information you provide to your attorney cannot be used against you in your case.
Public transport accidents can cause substantial disruptions to your life. Understanding your rights can empower you in the aftermath of an accident, allowing you to take the necessary steps towards obtaining the compensation you deserve. It is essential to consult with an experienced public transport lawyer promptly following an accident to ensure your rights are protected and to navigate the intricacies of California’s public transit laws effectively.