North Carolina Public Transportation Accident Attorney
Throughout the U.S., many families and individuals are opting to leave their vehicles at home and turning to greener, more cost-effective transportation choices. In North Carolina, tens of thousands of passengers use public transportation or other forms of mass transit every day to commute to work, school and other places. Buses, trains and shuttles are important sources of transit for those on vacation or traveling to new destinations for pleasure, too. No matter what walk of life you’re from, chances are good that you’ve used public transportation or another form of mass transit at some point in your life.
Unfortunately, bus, train and shuttle accidents aren’t uncommon. Statistics published by the Bureau of Transportation indicate that more than 23,000 passengers were injured in transit accidents in 2010, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 1,000 people are injured in bus accidents every month throughout the U.S. Because of the trust passengers place in mass transit drivers and operators, the organizations and governments providing these methods are legally obligated to take all reasonable measures to prevent accident and injury. There are laws in place at both the state and federal levels that have been created to hold transit organizations to such standards.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a collision involving a bus, passenger train, shuttle or another form of public transportation, you may be eligible to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other accident-related damages, regardless of whether you were a passenger, a pedestrian or the driver of another vehicle. The North Carolina public transportation accident attorneys at Nagle and Associates Personal Injury Trial Lawyers can help you explore the possibility of receiving compensation by determining the cause and liable party responsible for your accident.
Protecting Your Rights as a Public Transportation Passenger
All passengers are entitled to their rights when traveling on any form of public transportation, and if you’re injured in an accident on a bus, train or shuttle, you’re entitled to fair compensation. In order to ensure your rights are protected, it’s important that you take several steps to ensure that your rights are protected. If you’re unable to complete the following steps on your own, it’s important that someone at the scene or a trusted friend/family member acts on your behalf.
Inform the driver or the company operating the vehicle that you’ve been injured as soon as possible.
Record the name and contact information of the driver and any employees of the transit operator that are present at the time of the accident, as well as the number of the bus or train and the time the accident occurred. If you’re able to, collect information from witnesses as well.
Seek medical attention as quickly as possible. If you have serious injuries, have someone at the scene call an ambulance or if you’re able to take yourself, go directly to an emergency room or doctor’s office. In some cases, injuries may not appear serious but can worsen in the hours or days following the accident and it’s important to your legal case that all symptoms are documented by a medical professional.
It’s important to seek legal counsel as quickly as possible after the accident, as well, in order to receive the full compensation you deserve. Contact Nagle and Associates right away to get started on your case.
Public Transportation Risks
Many believe that public transportation is the safest option available to commuters and travelers, and while this is statistically true, it doesn’t mean that accidents don’t happen. With the recent increase in riders of public transit throughout North Carolina and across the country, there are more public buses and shuttles on the road than ever before. With this increase in volume, the risk of an accident is considerably higher.
Public Transportation Accident Causes
There are many causes of public transportation accidents, with the majority of accidents in North Carolina being caused by pedestrians and other vehicles stopping in the bus lane, sudden lane changes and bus drivers not adjusting their speed for weather and road conditions. Trains are susceptible to similar risks, as well. Derailments are typically the most common type of train accident, and this is normally caused by a train operator traveling at too high of speed or by failure to stop in time when something is on the tracks. In all of these scenarios, the common factor is driver error. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the biggest concerns for bus safety include driver fatigue, driver behavior and operator oversight.
Of course, not all bus and train accidents are caused by driver error. There are some instances where a poorly maintained vehicle leads to malfunction of brakes or other important systems that are required to operate a bus or passenger train safely.
Passengers are Traveling Without Seatbelts or Protective Devices
There are some risks associated with traveling by bus or shuttle that don’t exist in other forms of transportation. First and foremost, the lack of seatbelts and other protection devices available to passengers creates the potential for bus and shuttle riders to be thrown throughout the cabin in the event of an accident. This may lead to severe injuries including head trauma, broken or crushed limbs and in the worst cases, fatalities.
Lack of Maneuverability
Buses are considerably larger than most other vehicles on the road and as such, they can be difficult to operate and maneuver efficiently. When a bus is traveling at high speeds to keep up with the flow of traffic, drivers may be unable to react appropriately to situations on the road which can lead to buses accidentally veering off the road or into the wrong lane. In the worst of these cases, bus drivers may completely lose control of the vehicle, which can result in serious crashes with multiple injuries or fatalities.
Additionally, the size, shape and weight of a bus can create detrimental results after an accident for travelers and other vehicles alike. Buses are generally tall and heavy, which increases the risk of rollover accidents, while the size and weight of a bus can cause devastation when one collides with a smaller vehicle, pedestrian or bicycle rider. For passengers, rollover accidents are often fatal due to the lack of protective devices, such as seatbelts and airbags.
Holding At-Fault Parties Liable
At Nagle and Associates, we have more than 20 years of experience representing victims of motor vehicle accidents. Attorney Carl Nagle’s personal experience as a former claims adjuster and insurance defense lawyer has given him the depth of experience that’s required to artfully handle all types of public transportation injury claims. Attorney Nagle and his legal team are cautious to handle all personal injury claims with care and to ensure that no detail is missed when preparing these cases. Our legal team is dedicated to protecting your best interests and sees to it that you’re provided with the medical care and treatment you need while ensuring a thorough investigation is conducted on your case. Our team takes every possible measure to hold the responsible transit authorities and organizations responsible and will fight for your right to generous compensation.
In North Carolina, state law regulates all forms of public transportation that operate within the borders of our state. It enforces several passenger safety laws, and when transit authorities refuse to adhere to these laws or when drivers and transit operators act negligently, the risk to riders, pedestrians and other vehicles is excessively high. Throughout the U.S., public transit is a subsidiary of the government of the state in which it operates and as such, transit authorities must be held to the highest standards and accept full responsibility for the damages caused by their drivers, operators and vehicles.
At Nagle and Associates, our attorneys are highly familiar with the unique nature of these claims and the investigations that must take place in order to hold responsible parties liable. Attorney Nagle is also aware of the unique operations of privately funded public transportation authorities in cities and jurisdictions throughout North Carolina such as Raleigh, Durham, Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Asheville. He and our highly trained team of public transportation accident attorneys have the knowledge required to fight on your behalf against all types of mass transit organizations.
North Carolina Public Transportation Accident Attorneys: Fighting on Your Behalf
Many victims of public transportation accidents feel overwhelmed at the idea of fighting against local governments and transportation authorities, thinking that they don’t have the time or the funding to fight as aggressively as government organizations are known to do. Fortunately though, at Nagle and Associates, we’re here to ease your concerns and help you to recover the compensation you deserve.
Public transportation authorities and local governments often work with expert legal teams to deflect claims of negligence in order to preserve their reputations. In other cases, where negligence on their behalf can’t be denied, they may attempt to pay settlements to injured victims quietly and outside of the courtroom to avoid gaining any form of notoriety. In these situations, victims are often offered far less than they deserve. Whatever your situation, you can feel confident knowing that Nagle and Associates has the ability to provide you with counsel about your rights, your available compensation options and the ways that we can help you to maximize the payment you receive for your injuries.
Attorney Nagle is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum® and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum® – an achievement held by less than 1% of U.S. lawyers. He has proven to clients and peers alike that he is completely capable of recovering ample compensation for injured parties and their family members. He has helped countless public transportation accident victims to access quality medical treatment while helping them to fight and win battles against government organizations and private transportation authorities.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a public transportation accident and you’d like to set up a consultation to explore your right to compensation, please contact Nagle and Associates immediately.