Sacramento Regional Transit operates 80 bus routes and 27 miles of light rail covering a 418 square-mile service area. These heavy vehicles crisscross the city at low and high speeds daily, creating a significant risk of serious personal injury from a pedestrian, bicycle, or motor vehicle collision with a bus or train. Northern Californians seeking to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim against a municipal authority can trust the Law Offices of Mark A. Doughty to provide them with caring, tough, and effective representation from an experienced lawyer with proven results.
The average city bus weighs well over ten tons. Even a low-speed collision between a bus and a motorcycle can cause major property damage and severe injuries to the occupants of the vehicle, including permanent paralysis such as paraplegia or quadriplegia. A pedestrian encounter with a bus is even more likely to cause catastrophic injuries or even death.
Stations for approaching or departing trains can be dangerous, especially during rush hours when the platforms are crowded with people pushing for the doors. Moreover, light rail tracks are located along public streets, bridges, and underpasses, increasing the likelihood of a train collision with an automobile or pedestrian.
As common carriers, taxicabs, like buses and trains, are required by California law to use the "utmost care and diligence in providing safe transport of their passengers." They are to use the "highest care and the vigilance of a very cautious person," doing "all that human care, vigilance, and foresight reasonably can do under the circumstances to avoid harm to passengers." This is a much higher standard than for other automobile drivers, who are only required to operate their vehicles with the reasonable care and skill of the ordinary person. This higher standard extends to passengers of the carrier, but not necessarily to others who are injured by the driver's negligence, such as pedestrians or motorists injured in a collision with a taxi.
If a lawsuit is brought against the transit authority, as opposed to a private entity, there are many important distinctions to be aware of. The Tort Claims Act governs suits against the government and contains its own statutory timeframes for filing a lawsuit, which are different from and shorter than the statute of limitations in a private civil action. If your injuries involve public transportation, it is important to consult with an attorney who has handled claims against the government, as these differences could easily trip up an inexperienced attorney. Mark A. Doughty has over thirty years experience handling a wide variety of personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Northern California. You can meet him offices in Sacramento, Lincoln, and Yuba City. If you have been injured in a collision involving public transportation, contact the Law Offices of Mark A. Doughty for a free consultation.