All service companies have a duty of care towards their customers, this includes public transport companies. They are responsible for the safety of commuters who pay to use their services. If you’ve been injured while travelling on public transport and someone else was to blame, you may be eligible to make a public transport accident claim. This applies to all modes of public transport whether it be buses, trains, trams or otherwise.
Common Causes Of Public Transport Accidents
The public transport system in the UK has generally very high health and safety standards, however accidents still happen. Some of the more common causes of accidents on public transport are as follows.
Rash or careless driving (not necessarily by the bus driver) is one of the most common causes of injuries while traveling by bus. An accident caused by rash driving does not necessarily involve a collision with another vehicle. Braking too hard all of a sudden, driving too fast around sharp corners, opening the door before the bus comes to a complete stop, not stopping long enough for bus passengers to get on or get off – all of these could also result in a passenger getting injured while traveling by bus.
Other potential causes include bus defects such as damaged seats or broken handrails, careless pedestrians and careless road users to name a few.
If you believe you have been injured because of negligence while travelling by bus, you may like to refer to our bus accident claims advice.
Slips, trips and falls are the most cause of injuries while traveling by train. This is often caused by liquid spillages, objects lying around carelessly and litter not being cleared on time, both on the train floor and the platform. Train passengers could also get injured if they get caught in a door that closes prematurely or one that malfunctions and slams shut trapping them in between. Broken handrails and jagged edges of damaged seats can result in a wide range of injuries, from mild to serious. Baggage falling from overhead racks is a common cause of head injuries on trains.
Common injuries while travelling by any type of water transportation such as ferries include cuts and bruises from being hit by an unsecured object or from a broken surface, sprains from falling on a slippery surface.
If you are injured in a no-fault public transport ferry accident, it is considered a breach of duty on the part of the transportation authority and they are liable to compensate you for your injuries.
What You Should Do If You Have An Accident On Public Transport
With so many passengers aboard public transport at any one time, it’s not uncommon for there to be a certain amount of confusion. The important thing to do if you have an accident is to stay calm and assess your injuries. If your injuries look very severe, wait for the first responders to arrive so you can receive the necessary first aid followed by medical treatment in the hospital.
If your injuries allow you to, you should also take the following steps that can help strengthen any public transport accident claim:
- Get photographs or videos of the accident scene with your mobile phone. Try to get photographs or recordings clearly showing what caused the accident, the extent of your injuries and injuries sustained by other passengers.
- Get the contact details of other passengers and any other bystanders who witnessed the accident. You may need to get witness statements from them to support your claim.
After any public transport accident on TFL or any other operator, you should get medical treatment by a medical professional. You should do this even if you’ve already received first-aid treatment at the scene of the accident and even if your injuries don’t look very severe. This is to rule out any internal injuries that may go unnoticed by the first responders. Getting a formal diagnosis and treatment at a hospital also establishes that you were injured in the accident which will also strengthen your compensation claim.
Making A Public Transport Compensation Claim
Contacting a personal injury solicitor who provides free consultations about making a public transport compensation claim will enable you to get expert advice at no cost. The solicitor will listen to your account of what happened and take all possibilities into consideration before giving you the best advice. They will inform you of whether you have a strong claim worth pursuing or a weak claim that you are not likely to win.
Personal injury solicitors also understand that people travelling by public transportation are unlikely to have unlimited funds to fight long-drawn litigation. To make it possible for all individuals to get the justice due to them after a public transport accident, most personal injury solicitors offer to represent their clients using a No Win No Fee agreement.
With a No Win No Fee agreement, you get the benefit of legal expertise and representation without dipping into your personal funds. The solicitor covers all claim-related expenses, including the court fees while the claim is in progress. You only pay an agreed percentage (deducted from the compensation) if your claim is successful and after the compensation has been received. If your claim is taken on by our solicitors and your public transport accident claim is unsuccessful, you will pay nothing at all.
How Much Compensation Would You Receive?
The compensation is calculated taking into consideration the severity of your injuries and your actual accident-related expenses/costs. These are better known as general damages and special damages which are explained in more detail here.
Briefly put, your solicitor will ask for compensation for pain, suffering and trauma, loss of income and other perks if your injuries forced you to stay home from work and reimbursement of what you may have spent on medical treatment, transportation to and from your medical treatment, mobility or support equipment, modifications to your home or vehicle to accommodate your injuries, and home care. They will also take into consideration the projected cost of long term care such as physiotherapy or counselling if your doctor attests that these are necessary.
Special damages should really be calculated by a personal injury solicitor as they have the knowledge required to know what can and can’t be claimed for. With regards to compensation for general damages (pain and suffering), there are guidelines that solicitors can refer to when doing their calculations. Our compensation calculator below can be used to demonstrate what these compensation levels currently are.
The statutory time limit for filing a personal injury claim is 3 years from the date of the accident, which makes it important to get in touch with a personal injury solicitor right away. With a No Win No Fee clause in your favour when making a public transport accident claim, you will benefit from the solicitors experience and knowledge without any financial risks.