Obtaining Compensation After a Massachusetts Public Transportation Accident
Thousands of people rely on the public transportation systems in cities to get to work and school every day. In Massachusetts, many people specifically use the MBTA, especially the agency’s buses, trains, subways, and ferries. However, when an accident occurs on the MBTA or other public transportation systems, individuals may be unsure of how to obtain financial compensation. While pursuing a lawsuit is different than if a person was suing a person or private business, individuals injured on public transportation still have the ability to bring a negligence suit against the responsible party.
According to a local news article reporting on the accident, a train on the Green Line of the MBTA recently crashed into another train on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. The former train was traveling 30 miles per hour—three times the area’s speed limit. While there were no casualties, 27 people aboard the trains were injured, including four train operators. The National Transportation Safety Board is leading an investigation into the crash to determine the cause of the accident.
There are important aspects to remember when a person has been injured on public transportation and is thinking of bringing a personal injury lawsuit. For example, in Massachusetts, an employer is responsible for an injury or death caused by the negligent act of one of its employees. This includes public agencies like the MBTA. Therefore, if an individual was injured on public transportation in Boston, they would bring a lawsuit against the MBTA—not the worker driving the train. This is because employers are expected to properly train and oversee their employees, ensuring they do not make drastic mistakes that endanger passengers.
In most instances, the injured person would bring a negligence lawsuit—alleging the MBTA, through their employee, was negligent in some manner and this caused the injury. However, suing a public state agency, like the MBTA, is a different process than other negligence lawsuits. Massachusetts law states that a plaintiff must provide written notification to the executive officer of the MBTA of their claim, in addition to bringing the lawsuit itself. The individual has two years after the accident to provide this written notice, otherwise, their case will be dismissed.
Because bringing a lawsuit against a public entity—rather than a business or person—can be complex, people who have been injured on public transportation should contact an experienced personal injury attorney right away.
Have You Suffered Injuries on a Train or Subway in Massachusetts?
If you or someone you love has been injured on public transportation, the attorneys with the Neumann Law Group can help. With years of experience bringing negligence cases—including against public entities—our knowledgeable attorneys can walk you through the entire legal process and answer any questions you may have. We help our clients to obtain the compensation they deserve during what is often an emotionally fraught and frustrating time. Our office also handles Massachusetts car accidents, slip-and-falls, products liability cases, medical malpractice claims and wrongful death cases. To schedule a free consultation and to talk with one of our attorneys today, give us a call at 800-525-6386.