MARTA stands for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. The public transportation agency’s history goes as far back as the 1950s, providing rail and bus services. MARTA buses are a reliable way for Atlanta residents and visitors to get around. But as our MARTA bus accident lawyers know, the reliability of this public transportation does not make it free from accidents.
Like every other road transport system — cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles — buses are prone to traffic collisions. These collisions could be the bus driver’s fault, the bus manufacturer’s, MARTA’s, or a third party’s. Knowing the fault party in a bus accident makes it easier for accident victims to get financial compensation.
So, to take you a step closer to getting compensated for injuries sustained in a MARTA accident, we discuss possible liable parties. Furthermore, you can contact us at Calvin Smith Law to learn more about bus accidents and victims’ rights. We are always available to listen to you.
Who Is at Fault for a MARTA Bus Accident?
Following any accident type, liability is a crucial issue. This is because there must be a fault party and a victim for there to be compensation. Also, determining fault helps to clear the victim of any liability in the accident if the fault party wants to claim comparative negligence. Lastly, knowing the responsible party ensures a victim files the compensation claim against the right person to avoid outright dismissal of the claim.
Thus, following a MARTA bus accident, one or more of the under-discussed may be liable.
The Bus Driver
In an accident of this nature, the bus driver is the first person to look at in determining fault. This is because the driver was in control of the vehicle, and their actions could have resulted in the primary cause of the crash. A bus driver would be liable for a crash for one or more of the following reasons:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Taking turns too sharply
- Disregarding traffic lights or signals
- Speeding, etc
Once the liability is clear, the bus driver would handle the settlement to the victim. They can do this using their auto insurance policy or out-of-pocket. Where the driver doesn’t have insurance, the victim can use their uninsured motorist coverage. Then, they can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the money.
The City of Atlanta
MARTA buses are government-owned, and as such, victims can sue the City of Atlanta for their injuries. The city would be liable when their negligence caused the accident or contributed to it. They would also be liable for the negligent actions of a bus driver under the doctrine of vicarious liability.
So, suppose MARTA knew that their buses were defective but still placed them on the road, they will be liable for any accident resulting from such a defect. Similarly, if MARTA hires a driver with a DUI history and causes a drunk driving accident, the city would be liable. While all this sounds easy enough, suing the transportation agency is not easy.
As a government entity, there are certain steps a bus accident victim must follow to succeed in their claim. This is why victims must work with an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer. So, contact us immediately after a MARTA accident.
The Bus Manufacturer or Auto Shop
The bus manufacturer would be the liable party if a defective part caused the accident. For example, one common defective part is the bus braking system. However, a thorough investigation is crucial before linking the manufacturer to the accident. Aside from the manufacturer, an auto shop that failed to fix a bus properly or put back an essential component would be the liable party.
A third party is another driver or person whose action caused an accident. For example, suppose a bus driver swerves to avoid colliding head-on with a wrong-way driver. The bus then strikes a pedestrian standing by the roadside. Although the bus made the primary impact, the wrong-way driver would be liable. The preceding is because there is a presumption that the accident would not have occurred if not for the wrong-way driver.
Were You in a MARTA Accident? Contact Calvin Smith Law Now!
The possibility of multiple fault parties in a MARTA accident makes it crucial to hire an Atlanta injury attorney at Calvin Smith Law. Our legal team has the expertise and experience to help you identify the liable parties and get maximum compensation. In addition, we work on a contingency fee basis and demand no upfront fee. Contact us immediately for a free case review.