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Pedestrian Accidents Involving Public Transportation: Legal Considerations

Pedestrians are among the most vulnerable groups of people navigating metro and rural areas throughout the U.S., even when taking public transportation. In California, nearly 7,500 pedestrians died between 2009 and 2018, according to the state’s Office of Traffic Safety (OTS).

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident involving public transportation, a Abogada de lesiones personales can explain the legal considerations of taking civil action against an entity, such as bus company, to recover damages. 

Pedestrians Do More Than Just Walk – They Jog, Run, Skate and More

Pedestrians are more than just people who walk to their destinations. They also include:

  • Joggers
  • Runners
  • Skaters
  • Skateboarders
  • Joggers
  • People using scooters, wheelchair, or a tricycle

Any of these groups are at risk of a crosswalk accident if a vehicle operator, such as a bus driver, doesn’t see them. Pedestrians can also cause an accident if they aren’t paying attention or are confused about where they should walk. When they navigate areas where transit occurs, there are also risks.

Determining Liability in Pedestrian Accidents Involving Public Transportation

When a pedestrian accident occurs, various legal considerations must be made if injured parties wish to pursue a compensation case for damages. Perhaps among the most important considerations are:

  • Who is at fault for the accident 
  • Who should pay for the injuries and damages suffered 

Catastrophic injuries often result when a vehicle hits a person. These can include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, fractured bones, internal organ damage, internal bleeding, and other injuries. 

Pedestrians do not have protection in their surroundings, so any impact from a bus, taxi, streetcar, tram, commuter van, or passenger train will likely cause devastating wounds. Pedestrians are also at risk of suffering transit-related injuries in public transit areas, such as a bus station, airport waiting area, a train terminal, or a bus stop.

Dangers in these areas could include uneven sidewalks or stairs, loose handrails, debris, trash, overgrown areas, slippery surfaces, crosswalks without a traffic signal or stop sign, inclement weather, and other hazards. If pedestrians suffer injuries 

negligencia

If negligence caused the accident, an attorney would investigate it and collect case-supporting evidence. They also will look for the four elements of negligence, which are: 

  • Duty of care: The liable party owed the injured pedestrian a duty of care.
  • Breach of duty of care: The liable party’s actions or actions violated the duty of care. 
  • Causation: The breach directly caused the accident that injured the pedestrian.
  • Damages: The pedestrian suffered compensatory damages, such as medical care, lost income, pain and suffering, etc.

Potentially liable parties in pedestrian accidents involving public transportation can include:

  • A motor vehicle driver, such as a bus driver, a tram operator
  • The entity responsible for maintaining the area where the accident occurred 
  • The pedestrian who suffered injury
  • Another road user, such as another pedestrian, motorcyclist, bicyclist, etc.

A pedestrian accident attorney will identify all liable parties and seek compensation from each individual or entity. If you are partially responsible for the accident, an attorney can determine what percentage of liability belongs to you and determine how much compensation you could receive.

Recoverable Damages in a Pedestrian Crash on Public Transportation


Another legal consideration to make after a negligence accident is identifying the injured party’s economic and non-economic damages. These damages commonly include:

  • Gastos médicos
  • Ongoing rehabilitation therapy costs
  • ingresos perdidos
  • Loss of earning ability
  • Pain and suffering (e.g., mental anguish, emotional distress)
  • Daños Propietarios
  • Other related damages

Wrongful Death Damages

If a public transportation accident resulted in a pedestrian’s death, certain family members of the decedent’s could recover financial compensation for their loss. This compensation can pay for the decedent’s funeral expenses and burial costs, medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.

Every case is unique, so a wrongful death attorney won’t be able to determine how much monetary compensation you could recover from an insurance claim or lawsuit until they assess your case. Your attorney should demand compensation that covers your financial losses.

How an Attorney Can Help Injured Pedestrians Recover Compensation

It is challenging to pursue an insurance claim or civil action when you are healing from injuries. You deserve to focus on restoring your health while an attorney handles your case. They will:

  • Advise you of your legal options during a free consultation
  • Communicate with all parties, including insurance companies
  • Manage and file all essential case paperwork
  • File your insurance claim and lead negotiation talks for fair compensation
  • Prepare your lawsuit and file it within the statute of limitations  (In California, it is two years, per PCCh § 335.1.
  • Represent you at trial and fight for your financial award in court

Your attorney will take care of all tasks of your legal matter. They will also answer questions, address your concerns, and keep you updated on your case.

Were You Hurt in a Pedestrian Accident Involving Public Transportation? Call Us 

Pedestrian accidents involving public transportation come with many legal considerations that an attorney can help you or a loved one navigate. Call KJT Law Group today for legal representation. Our attorneys will advocate for your full recovery.

It can be challenging to determine who owes you compensation when you get hurt in an incident involving public transit. We will take care of your case while you focus on your recovery. Call us today for a free consultation. We will lead your case at no upfront charge or fees. We only get paid if you win your case.

We Will Fight For You

Contact our firm to get started.
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