With more people using public transport than ever before, understanding how to keep yourself and others safe when travelling by bus, train and light rail is extremely important. Injuries caused in and around these large vehicles can be completely life altering. If an accident did occur leaving you unable to complete everyday tasks or even go to work, would you know what to do?
When can you make a public transport accident claim?
It is a common misconception that to be eligible for compensation, you actually have to be travelling on the bus, ferry or train. However, injuries suffered from being hit or run over by a public transport vehicle can create the possibility for a compensation claim if you sustain injuries that don’t allow you to live your life as you did prior to the accident.
You may also find that you are unintentionally injured whilst on public transport. Injuries can occur in a number of ways and the cause of injury will be important when making a compensation claim.
Types of public transport accident compensation claims
Injuries on public transport are commonly caused when the driver or operator of the vehicle moves unexpectedly or brakes suddenly, causing people to fall, etc. Other examples may include: closing the door on a passenger; or a driver pulling away from the curb or platform causing injury to a passenger. Like any mode of transport, public transport vehicles are also subject to collisions with other vehicles or property and these accidents can cause injuries.
What to do if you have been injured on public transport
If you’re injured on public transport – whether it was a bus, train, tram or ferry – there are several important steps you should take to protect your rights to compensation:
- Report the accident to the relevant public transport operator as soon as possible after the accident. It could also be necessary to report the incident to the police if you need to make a claim for compensation.
- Collect any important information about the incident. This includes the registration details of the public transport vehicle and the contact details of any eye witnesses.
- Get medical treatment as soon as possible after the accident.
- Seek expert legal advice regarding your rights to compensation. There are strict time limits for bringing a claim for compensation, so it’s important to get in touch with a lawyer as soon as you can.
Safety tips for public transport
While nothing can guarantee that an accident won’t happen, following these few simple tips is a good way to reduce the risk of sustaining a serious injury:
- Always remain aware of your surroundings and what is happening near you.
- Remain in your seat throughout the journey.
- If sitting isn’t possible, make sure you’re able to hold on to a nearby rail or handle for support while standing.
- If you’re standing up, place your bag(s) on the floor between your feet or in an allocated baggage compartment.
- Offer your seat to any person who is elderly, pregnant or disabled.
Safety around buses
Statistically buses are a very safe mode of transport, however accidents do still occur and a bus accident claim may be necessary. Here are some steps you can take to ensure your journey is as safe as possible from start to finish:
- Plan ahead and don't rush for the bus.
- Obey traffic signals and cross the road with care.
- Avoid being distracted by mobile devices whilst waiting for the bus.
- Stand back from the kerb when waiting for a bus.
- Keep clear of the doors to avoid getting caught in them when they open or close.
- Be sure to hold on if standing and place your bag at your feet to avoid a trip hazard for others.
- Never cross in front or walk behind a bus once you have gotten off – wait for the bus to leave the bus stop and then safely cross the road if needed.
Safety around trains
Similar to buses, trains are relatively safe but accidents unfortunately occur from time to time. Here are some tips for keeping yourself safe and to help you avoid train accident claims:
- Stay alert around trains; they can come from either direction on the platform and some may be moving faster past the platform if they are not stopping at your station.
- Always stand behind safety lines and wait for the train to come to a complete stop before getting on or off the train.
- When you are on board, if you can’t get a seat, be sure to hold on when the train is moving.
- Don’t run for the train as there will usually be another one on the way shortly. You risk slips, trips and falls, or getting some part of your body stuck in train doors (if you run towards a train that's closing its doors).
Contact Shine Lawyers
If you have been injured during the course of your public transport journey, you may have a claim for compensation. Shine Lawyers have expert Public Liability, Motor Vehicle Accident and Workers Compensation lawyers who can help you through the claims process. Contact us today for an obligation-free discussion of your rights.
Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: January 23, 2020.