Public Transportation Accidents in Florida – What You Need to Know

You may not have noticed, but there are several forms of public transportation that make up a large base of our South Florida traffic.  In fact, last school year there were 1,220 school buses on the Miami roads transporting nearly 60,000 students to and from Miami-Dade Public Schools each day.[1]  In addition, combining all three major modes of public transportation in Miami-Dade —  the Metromover, Metrobus, and Metrorail, Miami-Dade County Transit maintained monthly ridership at  over 8 million in October and November, 2015.[2]   That’s a lot of public transportation!  With so many buses on the road amidst South Florida drivers rushing to work, it’s a blessing that there are not more accidents involving public transportation vehicles.

But what happens after a bus is involved in an accident?  

When a bus is involved in an accident, first and foremost, call 911 and immediately seek medical help.  Then, answer any questions EMS has for you, and take pictures and notes of the accident, if possible.  Next, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. to review any claims you may be entitled to make.

Your attorney will be able to discuss your specific circumstances in more detail.  In the meantime, the following information may help you better understand the situation.

What is the “Common Carrier Law”?

The “Common Carrier Law”, is actually a doctrine applied by the courts in the state of Florida that holds public transportation to a higher level of care than drivers of passenger vehicles.  Buses and other commercial vehicles often must follow slower speeds.  Some states have special laws for turning and passing in commercial vehicles.  Drivers must pay acute attention to driving, foregoing conversations with passengers.  Most states have a maximum number of hours that drivers can operate commercial vehicles.  If proven, crashes that involve violations of any of these laws by drivers of public transportation vehicles may result in driver negligence, consequently leaving the driver, employer, and bus owner legally responsible to any injured victims.  However, other potential causes for the crash including maintenance issues may also be at play.

Why would an accident involving municipal public transportation potentially result in a complex lawsuit?

Complex litigation may be necessary due to the common carrier doctrine  as well as the potentially numerous plaintiffs and defendants, statutory guidelines and restrictions, insurance coverage, as well as other issues that may typically arise.

What about PIP coverage? 

If you were injured while riding in public transportation, you may be entitled to make a claim against the transportation company.  But in Florida, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) will not apply if you were injured while traveling on the public county or city bus.  PIP may apply if you were injured while in a vehicle that was hit by a public bus or school bus or if you were injured while riding on a school bus.

Who can help?

Personal injury attorneys at Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you evaluate your legal claim, submit and process your claims within the legal deadlines, and navigate the complexities of Florida law.  While your attorney directs your case, you can focus on healing.

If you were injured while riding in or school bus, county or city bus, train or tram, or as the result of a crash with a school bus or public transportation vehicle, the experienced attorneys at Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

 

[1] http://www.miamidade.gov/transit/library/rtr/2015-11-Ridership-Technical-Report.pdf

[2] http://dot.dadeschools.net/

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