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St. Louis Public Transportation Injury Claims

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Learn about injury claims and legal procedures for public transportation in St. Louis. Call Buchanan Williams & O’Brien P.C for more information.

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What to Do if You Are in an Accident Involving Public Transportation

Many people in St. Louis rely on public transportation for their day-to-day tasks. Mass transit transportation systems are generally safe, but accidents may arise on the road and can devastate all parties involved.

You may be eligible to file a claim if you or your loved one is injured in a bus accident. Filing an injury claim after a public transport vehicle accident can be daunting. Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, P.C. have experienced public transportation lawyers to help you navigate your case. Our St. Louis bus accident lawyers help clients seek financial compensation for injuries and damages.

Read further as we explore how to recover the compensation that you deserve.

Types of Public Transportation Accidents

Public transportation accidents may involve different forms of transportation. Common types of accidents include:

  • Bus Accidents: A bus accident case involves collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians, or stationary objects.
  • MetroLink Incidents: These incidents occur in the commuter rail system due to collisions on the tracks. Passengers can sustain injuries from sudden stops, sharp turns, and unexpected train movements.
  • Taxi and Rideshare-Related Injuries: Taxi and rideshare services like Uber may collide with other vehicles, pedestrians, or objects. These incidents may arise due to driver negligence or reckless driving.

Passengers involved in an accident can get compensation and justice if they sustain injuries after an accident. They may also be eligible to file a lawsuit. An experienced bus accident lawyer can help you file for a bus accident claim.

Common Causes of Injuries

Public transport accidents lead to catastrophic injuries. Various factors contribute to transportation crashes, including;

  • Driver Negligence: Drivers owe a duty of care to their passengers. Failure to do so can cause accidents, leading to injuries.
  • Poor Maintenance: Failing to maintain a vehicle properly can result in crashes leading to injuries.
  • Overcrowding and Passenger Misconduct: Crowded public transportation systems may force passengers to remain standing. Alternatively, failure to use safety belts may pose a risk of injury from the momentum of a potential crash.
What to Do if You Are in an Accident Involving Public Transportation

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Understanding Missouri’s Public Transportation Injury Claims

Government entities play a crucial role in personal injury cases by implementing regulations and laws aimed at enhancing public safety. From establishing preventive measures like building codes to maintaining safe transport facilities, they uphold a duty of care towards citizens for avoiding car accidents in St louis. However, when government entities fail to fulfill this duty, seeking damages can be complicated.

Accidents involving government property, such as buses, pose unique challenges due the concept of sovereign immunity, which typically shields these entities from lawsuits without consent. Nevertheless, Missouri’s Tort Claims Act (MO Revised Statute 537.600) offers exceptions, waiving sovereign immunity in cases involving injuries caused by public employees operating motor vehicles within the scope of their employment.

Despite these complexities, victims still have legal recourse for injuries resulting from negligence or wrongful conduct. Understanding key aspects of personal injury laws is essential for navigating such cases effectively.

Negligence and Liability

Most personal injury cases are based on negligence. Bus drivers or a bus company may be liable if their negligence contributed to a St. Louis bus accident. However, to establish negligence, you need to show the following:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care and breached that duty.
  • The breach of duty caused your injuries.

Comparative Negligence

Missouri operates under a system of comparative negligence rather than contributory negligence. With the revision of Section 537.765, the state eliminated the previous contributory fault rule, which prevented plaintiffs from recovering damages in product liability claims regardless of their degree of fault.

Under the current law, plaintiffs remain eligible for partial financial compensation even if they bear some responsibility for their injuries. As a pure comparative negligence state, accident victims are permitted to seek compensation even if they were deemed up to 99% at fault in the incident.

Joint and Several Liability

Missouri employs a joint and several liability law for defendants in tort actions. According to Section 537.067, defendants found to be 51 percent or more at fault are jointly and severally liable for the victim’s damages in its entirety. Defendants with less than 51 percent fault are responsible only for the percentage of the judgment award attributed to their fault.

Statute of Limitations

Missouri integrates a statute of limitations setting a time limit for filing personal injury lawsuits. Victims can file for personal injury claims within five years from the date of injury. Contact St. Louis personal injury attorneys from Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, P.C. to understand compliance.

Understanding Missouri's Public Transportation Injury Claims

Confused about personal injury in St Louis? We are here to answer your questions.

Steps to Take After a Public Transportation Accident

When a public transportation accident happens, it can be challenging to decide what to do. So here are some of the immediate actions to follow post-accident:

Seek Medical Attention Immediately: Ensure your health and well-being are your top priority. If you feel uninjured, get a medical evaluation since some injuries aren’t always apparent.

Report the Incident to Authorities: Contact the appropriate authorities to report the accident. You may call the police or contact the bus company responsible for the bus involved in an accident.

Document the Incident: It may be a good idea for a public transportation accident to be recorded and documented. This allows the at fault parties to be held responsible. Then collect evidence and witness statements. Additionally, capture any possible information regarding the incident, including:

  • Names and contact information of witnesses.

  • Names and badge numbers of law officers involved.

  • Insurance information of the driver or transit agency.

  • Take photographs of the accident scene, including damages to the vehicle.

Preserve the Evidence Collected: Keep documents like medical records and police reports. Additionally, don’t repair or dispose of damaged parts until advised to do so by your attorney. Maintaining records after a public transportation accident is essential for:

  • Supporting insurance claims

  • Building a legal case

  • Preserving memories

  • Guiding future medical treatment

Filing Your Injury Claim

Here is a detailed guide to filing your injury claim:

Navigating the Claims Process

Maneuvering a personal injury claim can be daunting. Hence, there is a need for auto accident attorneys. An experienced bus accident attorney can guide you through the legal process and help you receive fair compensation for your injuries. 

Victims can also file personal injuries with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). Here is how to file a Claim with MoDOT:

  1. Gather Information: Collect all relevant details of an incident, including the accident’s date, time, and place.
  2. Complete the Claim Form: Visit the MoDOT website or contact their office to get the claim form. Provide the requested information and fill out the claim form accurately. Provide a detailed description of the accident and the injuries sustained.
  3. Submit the Claim: Complete the form and submit it to MoDOT. Send via mail or electronically, depending on the instructions provided. Retain a copy of the claim form for your records. Once MoDOT has received and verified all the necessary information, you will receive a claim number within ten business days. All claims are then entered into the MoDOT system for processing by a Claims Adjuster from their Central Office.
  4. Follow-Up: It’s imperative to follow up with MoDOT to confirm receipt and probe about the status of your claim. Provide any additional information requested by MoDOT during the claim process.

Seeking Compensation

Those pursuing an injury claim have two options: negotiation or trial. Negotiation provides an opportunity for both parties to strive for a fair settlement. However, if an agreement cannot be reached through negotiation, the alternative is to file a lawsuit and proceed to trial. You then present your case to a judge during the trial, who ultimately decides the outcome.

Missouri State doesn’t cap damages from personal injury cases. So, there is no limit to recoverable amounts. If you’re injured, you may be entitled to various types of damages, including;

  • Economic Damages: These include tangible losses, medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Medical bills compensated include hospital stays, physical therapy services, imaging, medications, or surgeries.
  • Non-Economic Damages: These include non-physical losses like pain and suffering and emotional distress.
  • Punitive Damages: These are compensations awarded to punish defendants for egregious conduct.

Get Immediate Assistance From Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, P.C.!

Navigating the aftermath of a personal injury claim following an accident can often feel overwhelming and complex. If you need help during this process, consider seeking guidance from an experienced attorney. At Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, P.C., we practice guiding, negotiating, and safeguarding your rights every step of the way.

Our team of dedicated St. Louis bus accident attorneys boasts extensive experience navigating Missouri’s legal landscape and a deep understanding of other laws, such as federal trucking regulations. With personalized legal strategies tailored to your unique case, we meticulously gather evidence and analyze reports to help you achieve a favorable outcome.

For a thorough evaluation of your public transportation accident case, don’t hesitate to contact our St. Louis personal injury lawyers. Our consultations for personal injury claims are always free, providing you with the clarity and support you need during this challenging time. Contact us to schedule a free legal consultation!

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