MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) is a cost-effective convenient public transportation system in Atlanta that transports thousands of people daily. MARTA operators and officers are responsible for these passengers’ safety and while accidents rarely happen, they are always a possibility. When these accidents do occur they can result in severe injury for patrons.If you find yourself injured while using this transportation system contact an Atlanta MARTA accidents lawyer. At Calvin Smith Law our personal injury lawyers fight to get victims the compensation they deserve for their injuries. Call us today at (404) 383-7552 to schedule a free review of your injury claim.
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What Should I Do If I Am Injured In An MARTA Bus Accident In Atlanta?
After sustaining an injury in a MARTA bus accident, the first step is to let the driver know about the injury. The driver will contact the police and file a report about the accident. Immediately following the accident, you should start collecting evidence. This includes getting the contact details for other passengers or anyone else who saw the accident occur. If your case goes to court, having this type of information can be beneficial.
After the police get there, they will put together a report detailing who was involved in the accident and what happened. Make sure that they include your name in the report. Bus accidents often involve multiple people, which makes it easy for the police to accidentally overlook adding your name. Since lawsuits for accidents involving buses are usually quite complex, working with an experienced MARTA accident attorney in Georgia is essential.
What Common Factors That Contribute To MARTA Bus Accidents?
MARTA bus accidents are commonly caused by the following:
Bus drivers who are distracted aren’t paying attention to the road, increasing the likelihood of an accident. Distractions on buses are common since passengers frequently cause unwanted disruptions. Drivers also may be distracted by GPS devices, cell phones, or other mobile devices.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Drugs and alcohol can affect the ability of the driver to react quickly or to see what is happening around them. These substances not only negatively impact the central nervous system but they also can make the driver’s vision worse. Drivers who operate buses while intoxicated are far more likely to get into accidents. Driving under the influence can cause issues like swerving, inappropriate lane changes, collisions with other vehicles, or collisions with objects near the road. Accidents like these can cause serious injuries to anyone riding the bus.
Driving Too Fast
Bus drivers are obligated to obey the speed limit and to drive at a speed that is appropriate for the current road conditions. Due to their large size, buses are prone to hydroplaning on wet roads. Unfortunately, controlling a bus is extremely challenging in situations like these, which can lead to accidents.
Collisions While Turning
Buses are much larger than passenger vehicles. That makes turning sharply challenging. Sometimes, the driver will swing too wide, colliding with another car on the road or interfering with traffic at an intersection.
Bus Accidents That Result In Injuries
The majority of buses do not have seatbelts for passengers. Sadly, that increases the likelihood of injuries since passengers can easily be thrown around during a collision. Whiplash and similar injuries are common in situations like these. Passengers can also sustain head injuries as a result of their head hitting the headrest of their own seat or the back of the seat in front of them. Knees, elbows, and other extremities can also be injured in accidents like these. The arms or legs of a passenger can collide with the seat in front of them, causing major injuries.
Injuries Commonly Seen In MARTA Bus Accident Cases
MARTA buses and trains are not only large but they also carry a tremendous number of people each day. When accidents occur, the injuries that passengers sustain can be quite serious. Accidents involving trains and buses can not only injure the people riding on them but also anyone else on the street, including other drivers and pedestrians. Injuries commonly sustained in accidents like these include:
- Injuries to the head or brain
- Fractured or broken bones
- Sprains or strains
- Injuries to the spine, neck, or back including paralysis
- Injuries to the internal organs
The MARTA accident lawyers here at Calvin Smith Law have handled public transportation accident cases involving many of the injuries on this list. Regardless of how severe your injury is or how it occurred, our auto accident lawyers will help you fight for your legal rights to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your damages.
How Are Bus Accident Lawsuits Handled?
For the average person, trying to deal with the aftermath of a bus accident can be confusing and overwhelming. Since so many witnesses are involved, the accounts of what happened may not always line up. Cases like these also usually involve multiple companies, city governments, or insurers, further adding to the confusion. All of these parties are interested in protecting themselves rather than making sure you are treated fairly. That is why it is so important to hire an attorney who specializes in personal injury law before talking to an insurance provider. We will help you fine-tune any statements that you make to the insurer so that you don’t inadvertently give them information about your medical history that they shouldn’t have or say something that makes them blame you for the accident.
There is a limited window of time during which to file a claim after a bus accident occurs. If you miss this window, you may not be able to pursue compensation for your injuries. Claims have to be filed with insurance providers. In cases involving buses, however, there are typically a number of insurance companies involved, all hoping for a quick conclusion to the case. All of these companies are focused on one thing: paying as little as they can for the accident. When you talk to an insurance provider, you have the right to have your attorney represent you. After all, insurance companies have lawyers of their own carefully watching over the case. You should make sure your rights are protected by hiring your own lawyer, as well.
How Is Negligence Proven In MARTA Bus Accident Cases?
When dealing with a MARTA bus accident case, you need to prove that the accident was caused by the negligence of the driver. To do that, you need to show that the driver was in violation of the standard of care. Examples that fall into this category include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving inappropriately for the conditions, or not paying attention to the road. You also must prove that the accident and your injuries resulted from the actions of the driver. If your claim includes permanent injuries, you need to have a doctor show how the injuries will impact you for the rest of your life. An experienced lawyer who has handled MARTA bus accident cases before can help you put together a team of experts so that you can prove who was liable and can demonstrate the damages you are owed.
Accident victims in MARTA bus cases can file a claim for damages including their medical expenses, any income that they lost including their ability to earn money in the future, any changes to their mental capacity, the loss of spousal or family support, the loss of their ability to enjoy life, and any pain and suffering that they endured. Your MARTA bus accident attorney will be by your side throughout the process, helping you get as much money as possible for your claim.
Could a Third-Party ar Government Entities be Liable?
When accidents involving MARTA buses or trains occur, Atlanta’s city government or other governmental agencies may be indirectly liable for the accident. For instance, if they hire drivers who don’t have a lot of experience or who have been in accidents before, the likelihood of future accidents occurring increases. In situations like these, the government agency could be found negligent for failing to properly hire, train, or supervise their employees.
Sometimes, bus accidents occur as a result of another driver behaving negligently. In cases like these, the person who owns or was driving the vehicle that caused the accident could be liable for any damages that the bus driver or passengers sustained. A lawyer who is familiar with MARTA bus accident cases can help you identify all of the liable parties so that you can hold them responsible for their actions.
Cases Involving The Government Are Different Than Other Types Of Claims
Public transportation systems are overseen by government agencies at the state and local level. Accidents involving vehicles like these typically fall under common carrier laws. These laws are designed to ensure that vehicles that carry passengers have to adhere to the highest level of caution possible. The government entity responsible for the public transportation system can be held liable if their negligence contributed to the accident.
After an accident occurs or an injury is discovered, a claim needs to be filed against the Georgia government within one year. The notice, which must be in writing, is sent to the party responsible for the accident. At that point, the claim will either be accepted by the government agency and they will offer to settle or they will deny the claim. If your claim is denied, you can then file a personal injury suit. If you haven’t already hired a lawyer, it is important to do so to ensure that your rights are protected.
Public transportation accidents that involve claims against the Atlanta city government or the State of Georgia are extremely complicated and need to be handled promptly. To improve your chances of success, hire a qualified lawyer who has experience with cases like these.
What Happens If My Child Is Injured In An Atlanta School Bus Accident?
School bus accidents are handled in a similar way as other types of bus accidents. Any injuries to your child should be reported right away to the driver or any other chaperones who are present. Children should let their parents know about any injuries right away. If the bus driver’s actions contributed to the accident, you may have a strong case.
Cases involving school buses sometimes encounter issues with sovereign immunity. In essence, this means that the government entity has to agree to be sued before you can file a lawsuit against them. Typically, however, communities have insurance in place to handle situations like these. The city of Atlanta, for instance, has a $25,000 insurance policy. If you have uninsured motorist coverage on your vehicle, your child’s injuries may also be covered by your insurance policy.
Our goal is to ensure that you are compensated, regardless of which insurance company we have to file a claim with.
What Damages Can Be Claimed In MARTA Bus Accidents?
Damages may be awarded in your case if the court finds that MARTA is responsible for the injuries you sustained. Medical expenses are the most common type of damages claimed in cases like these. This includes medical costs you have already incurred as well as expenses for any treatment or medication that you may need in the future. Expenses in this category can include hospital bills, doctor’s appointments, prescription medication, physical therapy, and other medical fees.
If you were forced to take time off of work because of your injuries, you can also claim your lost wages. Similarly, if you are unable to work or can only work in a diminished capacity after the accident as a result of your injuries, you can file a claim for the future wages that you have lost, as well.
MARTA accidents can have a major impact on your quality of life. Oftentimes, cases like these include pain and suffering. Your attorney will talk to people who can attest to how the accident has changed your life.
How Much Money Do I Need To Hire A MARTA Accident Lawyer?
MARTA accidents are handled in the same way as other personal injury cases. That means that you don’t have to pay any money upfront or while we are working on your case.
With cases like these, we work on a contingency basis. All of the money that we receive comes from the settlement or from the money that is recovered in court. If we are unsuccessful in helping you get compensated, we don’t get paid.
While we are working on your case, we also won’t charge you for any expenses that we incur. For instance, if we have to pay to hire experts, take depositions, or gather evidence, those costs are added into the total and reimbursed from the settlement.
MARTA Case Classifications
MARTA Bus Accidents
We most commonly handle MARTA bus accident cases. With cases like these, passengers, pedestrians, or other drivers are injured as a result of the bus accident. MARTA buses can be found throughout the city, ranging from highways and residential streets to the downtown area of Atlanta.
If you are injured in a MARTA bus accident, there are some important things to remember. Seeking compensation directly with MARTA is a lot different than filing a typical car accident claim. MARTA puts up a lot of resistance against claims like these, which is why you most likely will need to hire a lawyer.
When MARTA accidents occur, one of their investigators is quickly dispatched to the scene to begin putting together evidence. Their job is to interview the driver and the passengers as well as to take photographs of the scene.
MARTA buses are all equipped with cameras in the front, back, and on each side. That means that there will be a video capturing the wreck when it occurs.
MARTA Pedestrian Or Train Accidents
MARTA accidents involving pedestrians usually occur when a train or bus strikes someone who is walking by. Passengers can also be injured while getting onto or off of the train. Although these types of accidents don’t occur as often, they can have serious consequences.
Since the trains and platforms are equipped with cameras, these accidents are typically caught on film. It is important to obtain this evidence to show that MARTA was to blame for the events that occurred. This is particularly true in cases involving pedestrians.
Accidents That Occur On The Escalator, In The Elevator, Or Elsewhere On The Property
MARTA operates many bus stations and train terminals throughout the city. They also manage a number of parking lots for their patrons. Accidents can occur in any of these places, resulting in injuries.
Experts are often required in cases involving escalator or elevator accidents. These experts are brought in to determine what caused the equipment to malfunction. In many cases, these pieces of equipment were poorly maintained by MARTA or the contractors that it hired, which means they are responsible for the injuries.
Property accidents can also include slip-and-fall accidents. Like all property owners, MARTA is required to keep their property well-maintained and to ensure that there aren’t any hazards that could cause injuries.
Death or injury claims involving poor security can sometimes be filed against MARTA. If someone is attacked and injured or killed on property owned by MARTA, they could be at fault if they didn’t have adequate security in place.
Examples of occurrences like these include assaults and batteries, rapes, muggings, and violence involving guns. Many of the terminals are located in areas with high crime rates. MARTA is responsible for ensuring that the security at these facilities is adequate.
Contact an Atlanta MRTA Accidents Lawyer Today
It is crucial to speak with a lawyer if you’ve been injured by another party’s negligence. Our personal injury firm ensures that you receive the proper medical treatment, and will help you deal with the insurance company. Typically, the claims that we file for our clients are settled out of court. Reach out to Calvin Smith Law today at XXX–XXX–XXXX.