In most major cities, there is a public transportation system; our own Arizona cities of Tucson and Phoenix have a streetcar and light rail system. While public transportation provides a convenient and cost-effective way for residents and visitors to get around, it can also be the cause of accidents. Public transportation systems are run by a public transportation authority. This is an important point for me to share because the way accidents are handled makes litigation processes more complex and different than personal injury accidents.
Below are some important tips should you ever become involved in an accident involving public transportation:
- Document everything. Write down details about your accident immediately. If you wait, you may forget important details. File all official documents (e.g. police reports, receipts, prescriptions, invoices, etc), and save all correspondence (e.g. emails, letters, text messages pertaining to your accident/injury).
- Act fast. Since public transportation systems are run by public authority, the statute of limitation time changes. You must file an initial claim within 6 months or 180 days (which can be even less than 6 months). If you’ve been injured, hire a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible to help you make sound, informed decisions in this short allotted time. You will not have to pay legal fees up front.
- The city reviews all claims. After you file an initial claim, the city can take up to six months reviewing your case. Make sure to actively communicate with your attorney during this time.
- You might have to sue. Once the city is done reviewing your claim, they might deny you. This is why it is important to hire a personal injury attorney soon after the occurrence. Also bear in mind that you only have one year to prepare a lawsuit to get a settlement.
The point I want to drive home is this: when involved in an accident with public transportation systems, time is of the essence. You have limited time to take action, so having a personal injury attorney familiar with all processes will ensure you don’t waste any time. Don’t delay when it comes to getting on the road to recovery and the compensation you deserve.
Photo courtesy of Arizona.edu.