What You Should Know About Public Transportation Injuries

Commuter Rail Accident Massachusetts

Public transportation injuries occur all too frequently, especially in the Boston area. Many of them are unfortunate accidents. But, there are also times when public transportation injuries could have been avoidable and were a direct cause of human negligence. If you have suffered from personal injuries on the public transportation in Massachusetts, you may be eligible for compensation. The best thing to do in these scenarios is contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss what next steps you should take.

Common Personal Injury Cases on Public Transportation

There are certain types of personal injury cases that happen more frequently than others on public transportation. It is best to hire an attorney that has had experience or specializes in cases similar to your specific situation. For example, if you were injured by a train in Boston, you would want to hire an attorney who has handled personal injury cases caused by MBTA public transportation.

The most common personal injury cases on public transportation are:

  • Bus accidents
  • Train/commuter rail accidents
  • Maintenance violations or negligence
  • Driver/vehicle operator error

There are also cases in which the MBTA, Amtrak, MassDOT, or other public transportation caused injuries that you sustained outside of riding public transportation, including:

Cases may receive compensation if the public transportation system was in some way at fault for the accident. For example, if the driver of the bus or train was distracted while operating the transportation vehicle, then the public transportation system would be at fault for negligence because they failed to prevent a preventable incident.

Types of Train Accidents

Train accidents can be the result of negligence, error, or unforeseen circumstances. The four types of train accidents are:

  • Derailment: when the train goes off track
  • Pedestrian accident: when the train hits a pedestrian
  • Car collision: when the train hits a car

Train collision: when the train hits another train

In each type of train accident, the person or organization at fault depends on the unique situation. For example, a car collision could be the result of the car that the train collided with. However, the car may not have been able to prevent the collision if there was a lack of warnings or working signals to let the car know that there was a train coming. If that is the case, it could be the result of the train carrier, such as Amtrak or the MBTA.

Personal Injury Compensation

The compensation you receive for personal injuries depends on your unique situation and the financial burden that may have resulted from the incident. Personal injury cases in Massachusetts can receive compensation for:

  • Medical bills incurred from the incident
  • Disability
  • Lost wages from inability to continue work due to injuries
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death

To have a better chance at receiving compensation for your personal injuries, make sure you save records of all financial bills you may incur as a direct result of the incident. For example, keep all bills from medical exams, hospital/doctor visits, and even therapy visits that occurred because of the accident.

Your personal injury attorney can help you go through all of your supporting documentation to determine how much valuable evidence you can provide to your case.

What to Do Following a Public Transportation Accident

Following a public transportation accident, it is important to report the incident as soon as possible. You will want to make sure that police and witness statements are collected. Seek medical attention, even if you believe that injuries from your accident are minor. Some injuries may not show up right away, but could result from your incident down the road. Examples of this type of injury include head and neck trauma, such as whiplash, from the accident.

When it is safe to do so, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Filing a lawsuit against the Massachusetts Department of Transportation or other public transportation carrier can be a long process. It could take anywhere from months to years before you see any compensation from the accident. A personal injury attorney will give you the best possible chance at receiving compensation, especially when they can walk you through each step of the process from the start. 

Who Is Responsible for Public Transportation Injuries?

There are several organizations within MassDOT, including their rail and transit division and the highway division. It is important to understand who may be responsible for your unique situation in order to have the best chance at receiving compensation.

The largest public transportation agencies in Massachusetts are:

To determine who is at fault in your situation, contact a personal injury attorney in Massachusetts who has experience handling cases with different public transportation carriers. Evidence, witness statements, and police statements can also help determine who may be at fault for the public transportation accident.



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