Making A Compensation Claim For Public Transport Accidents

With many thousands of people taking public transport every day, it’s inevitable that accidents will happen and people will suffer injury through no fault of their own. Thankfully, many public transport road accidents are minor, but some are more serious and even life-changing.

Unfortunately, many people don’t know they’re entitled to compensation if they’re hurt in a public transport accident – just as they would be with any other motor vehicle accident!

If this has happened to you, read this article and contact us at Main Lawyers to find out more. Our public transport compensation lawyers will find out exactly what occurred and determine whether you’re eligible to claim compensation for public transport accidents

Types of public transport road accidents

Public transport comes in all forms, including buses, trains, trams and light rail, ferries and taxis.

With so many public transport vehicles on the road, accidents are common and may involve passengers, other motor vehicles, pedestrians and even objects like trees and walls.

The accident might even occur at places where public transport stops, like bus depots, train stations and tram stops.

Injuries from public transport accidents

Public transport drivers are required to drive with reasonable care to prevent passengers and other road users being injured. Common injuries suffered in accidents with public transport include:

  • head injuries
  • broken bones
  • cuts and lacerations
  • whiplash and other neck, back and spinal injuries.

These are just a few types of injuries that can occur, but every accident is different. For example, you might fall on uneven ground at a train station or trip as you try to walk to your seat on a train.

Even if you were standing due to a lack of seats, you may have a compensation case. For example, the driver might have accelerated or braked too hard, causing injury.

Hurt by public transport while driving or walking

Not all public transport injuries are caused to passengers. You might be hit by a bus or taxi while you’re driving your own car, riding a bike, or even crossing at lights or a pedestrian crossing. These accidents are particularly common in cities with lots of busy traffic.

If you were injured by public transport as a pedestrian or motor vehicle driver, you may have a strong case for claiming compensation for public transport accidents

Types of claims

The type of claim you need to make, and the claims process, will depend on your individual circumstances. For example, an accident involving a motor vehicle might fall under compulsory third-party insurance, while an injury as a passenger might involve personal injury or public liability law.

If your travel is related to your work, the claim might even involve workers compensation. This includes if you were travelling to or from:

  • your workplace
  • training relating to your work
  • medical treatment related to a current workers compensation claim
  • conferences, meetings and other events relating to your work – whether locally or overseas.

Workers compensation situations can be complex with many conditions attached. For example, you must have been travelling straight to or from the work-related location without any deviations, such as to a shopping centre or childcare centre.

As you can see, the possible scenarios are endless. If you were injured in a public transport accident and aren’t sure what claim type is relevant to your situation, get in touch with one of our claim experts who can make it all clear.

What is the claims process?

While the process will depend on the type of claim you need to make, there are some similarities in every claim and steps you should take to start the process.

Get medical help

The most important thing is to get medical attention for the injuries you received in the accident. The sooner you get medical help, the faster you can start the recover process.

This will also give you evidence like medical records and receipts that will be vital for your claim.

Even if your injury seems minor, you should still see a GP or go to the hospital. They can assess the extent of your injury and you will have it on record. Some injuries can seem insignificant at first, but may cause you pain or difficulty later on.

The medical professional will also determine whether you need further or ongoing treatment, which you can claim the cost of.

Keep records

Obviously there’s a lot going on during a public transport road accident and it’s hard to focus on details. But it’s important to get as many details as you can, as they will be vital to your case. This includes details about the public transport involved in the accident, such as registration number, driver details and the company name.

Try to get photos of the accident or see if a witness got video or photos at the scene. Perhaps there is CCTV footage. All of this can help prove your case.

Also keep emails, receipts and other records of your interactions with medical staff, your employer and the public transport company about the accident.

Involve the police

You should report the accident to the police within 28 days, as this may be required for your claim.

Notify public transport company of accident

You need to lodge an accident notification claim with the driver’s employer within 28 days of the accident.

Get legal assistance

Public transport accidents are complex, and different claim types have different timeframes and documentation requirements. So you should consult with an experienced compensation lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.

They can submit your paperwork, and negotiate with the public transport company and insurer on your behalf. This is especially important if you’re still recovering and can’t focus on these tasks yourself.

The sooner you start, the sooner you can get the funds you need. The best place to start is to contact our team at Main Lawyers to see how we can take the burden off your shoulders – leaving you to rest up and recover.

How much compensation can I get?

If you are eligible for compensation for your public transport road accident, the amount you receive will depend on many factors. This includes the extent and nature of your injuries, your quality of life before and after the accident, and what expenses you will incur as a result of the accident.

Obviously, the more severe or life-changing your injury, the more compensation you may be awarded.

Here are just some of the damages that may be considered:

  • Lost income both while you recover and in the future – If you can’t work while you recover, you may receive compensation to help cover some of your wages and keep your life on track.
  • Whether you can return to your job or can no longer perform the tasks – Sometimes injuries can be so severe that you can’t return to the job you were doing before, particularly if you had a physically demanding role before the accident
  • Paid or voluntary domestic care you need – You may need to get extra help at home if you can’t take care of everything yourself after the accident, which compensation may help pay for until you recover.
  • Home modifications after your accident – You might need temporary or permanent modifications to your home so you can perform everyday tasks easily after your injury. This could include installing handrails, a ramp or bathroom modifications.
  • Medical fees and travel costs, such as for ongoing treatment – When you are first injured, you might have medical fees to cover. But you may also have to cover ongoing rehabilitation, such as physio, home care, medication, tests, and transport to and from medical professionals.
  • Pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life – Very serious accidents can result in long-term damage and chronic pain. This could diminish your enjoyment of life for years to come.

Who pays the compensation?

You will usually claim compensation for public transport accidents against the employer of the public transport vehicle’s driver. These companies have insurance to cover them for these types of damages in the event that an accident occurs.

How we can help

Public transport accidents can turn your life upside down in a moment. If you have been injured by public transport as a passenger, road user or pedestrian, you need expert advice as quickly as possible to start the claims process and get the compensation you need.

These claims can be complex and involve public liability law, motor vehicle insurance claims or workers compensation law, depending on what has occurred. Don’t try to work it out yourself – especially if you’re trying to recover and get back on your feet.

Having Main Lawyers on your side will increase your chance of a successful claim. We will follow all the right steps and meet the required time frames to get the best possible result for you.

Additionally, our ‘no-win, no-fee’ arrangement means you don’t have to pay legal costs until your win your case. Just one less thing for you to worry about.

Contact us today for a no-obligation, free consultation about your situation and how we can help you make an informed decision to be able to claim compensation for public transport accidents.

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