Last updated on August 8th, 2022 at 10:33 am
Operators of public transport services have a duty of care to try and keep their passengers as safe as possible. Their drivers also have a duty to try and protect other road users by driving as safely as possible. While accidents involving public transport vehicles are relatively rare, they can happen. If you’re injured whilst using a bus, train, coach, taxi or tram, or you’re involved in an accident with one, you could be compensated for any suffering. Our article on public transport accident claims will explain when you could seek damages and what you could claim compensation for.
Our team is here to help if you’re thinking about taking action. To start, you’ll receive free legal advice on your options with a no-obligation telephone consultation. If we believe you could win a claim against the public transport operator, we’ll refer you to a personal injury solicitor from our team. If they agree to manage your claim, you’ll be represented on a No Win, No Fee basis meaning there are no legal fees to pay unless you’re compensated.
Please continue reading to learn more about the public transport injury claims process or give us a call on 0800 652 1345 today if you’d like to discuss your case right away.
Can I claim compensation for an accident on public transport?
Various pieces of legislation mean that public transport operators have a legal duty of care towards passengers and other road users. These are designed to try and ensure the safety of the operator’s vehicles and the way in which they are driven. Some of the relevant laws include:
- The Road Traffic Act 1988.
- The Public Service Vehicles (Conduct of Drivers, Inspectors, Conductors and Passengers) Regulations 1990
- The Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003.
- The Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Act 2022.
A public transport accident claim might be possible if:
- The operator (the defendant) breached their duty of care towards you (the claimant); and
- Caused an accident on public transport to occur; and
- You were injured during that accident.
The good news is that you don’t need to know which piece of legislation is relevant in your case as this is something your solicitor will verify during your consultation. However, you may be able to help to win your claim by providing proof to show how your accident happened and who was responsible. We’ll look at how to do this in more detail shortly.
Claiming compensation for personal injuries sustained on public transport
In this section, we’ll look at some scenarios that could allow you to claim compensation if you’ve suffered personal injuries on a bus, train, coach or any other type of public transport. They include:
- If you fall down the stairs of a bus because the driver pulled away too quickly – see our bus & coach accident claims page.
- Where you cut your hands or legs on damaged seats or tables on a train.
- If you are burnt on a coach or bus because the engine has overheated or set on fire.
- Where you sustain injuries as a passenger when the vehicle you’re in is involved in a Road Traffic Accident (RTA).
- If you slip on a tube train because of a slippery floor caused by a leak – see our train accident claims page.
Accidents on public transport can be embarrassing and you may just wish to sit down and forget that the incident happened. However, you may wish to discuss what happened with one of our specialists to see if you could be entitled to compensation for your suffering.
Claiming compensation for Road Traffic Accidents involving public transport vehicles
As with any other type of vehicle, public transport vehicles must be insured before they can be legally driven on public highways. If you’re injured in an RTA involving a taxi, coach, tram or bus that was not your fault, you could therefore claim compensation for your injuries. Examples of when you could be able to claim include:
- If a bus pulls out of a bus lane to avoid a cyclist and hits your car causing injury to your passengers – see our car passenger injury claims page.
- Where a taxi crashes into the back of your vehicle.
- If you’re injured in a cycling accident caused by a coach that failed to spot you when changing lanes – see our cycling injury claims page.
- If you’re knocked over at a coach station because a vehicle was being reversed without a banksperson.
- If you’re struck by a bus’ wing mirror while you’re working on the path as it pulls into the bus stop – see our pedestrian accident claims page.
These are just a few examples of incidents that could lead to a public transport accident claim. If your’s is not listed, please contact our team today to discuss your options for free.
Injury claims resulting from public transports accidents we commonly help with
Importantly, you could be entitled to compensation for any type of injury sustained in a public transport accident. A small selection of some common claims our solicitors handle include:
- Crush injury claims.
- Soft tissue injury claims (including whiplash claims).
- Concussion injury claims.
- Back injury claims.
- Broken bone compensation claims.
Call us on 0800 652 1345 today to find out if we could help you get compensated.
Providing proof for public transport accident claims
With any type of personal injury claim, you will need proof to try and convince the defendant’s insurers that you should be compensated. As such, following a public transport accident, you may wish to:
- Take photographs. Capturing the cause of the accident on camera is a good way to show how you were injured. Taking photos of your visible injuries can also be useful too.
- Speak to witnesses. If your claim is contested, witness statements can make it easier for your solicitor to prove what happened.
- Report the accident. If you’re injured as a passenger on public transport, you should report what happened and retain your copy of the accident report form.
- Swap details. For road traffic accidents involving public transport vehicles, you should swap details with the other driver as you would for a normal car accident claim.
- Seek medical treatment. It’s important to seek treatment for any injuries at a hospital or minor injuries unit. As well as receiving professional treatment to help you recover, you could request your medical notes to prove the extent of your injuries if you decide to claim.
Importantly, you should never say anything at the scene of the public transport accident that might be inferred as an admission of guilt when discussing the accident.
How much compensation for a public transport accident can I claim?
When you file a public transport accident claim, you need to justify every pound of compensation you ask for. You could seek general damages to help you deal with your injuries or special damages to cover any costs associated with your injuries.
This means you could be compensated for:
- Your pain and suffering.
- Mental harm (distress, anxiety, depression etc) – see our psychological injury claims page.
- Any impact your injuries have on your hobbies, social life or family activities.
- Loss of income.
- Replacing items damaged during the accident (clothing, gadgets etc).
- Care and travel expenses.
- Medical costs including physiotherapy or private medical treatment.
- Modifications to your home or car to try and help life easier if you’ve been left disabled.
- Future income loss if your injuries from the public transport accident will affect your long-term ability to earn.
As part of your claim, your solicitor will book an independent medical assessment to try and ascertain the severity of your injuries. During your meeting, a medical expert will examine you and produce a report to explain your prognosis. When your solicitor has received this report, a more personalised compensation estimate will be provided.
If you work with one of our solicitors, they’ll assess your case in detail to try and understand exactly how you’ve suffered and to try and secure the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Public transport accident claims time limits
The law on personal injury claims sets a 3-year limitation period for most claims. For public transport accident claims, this will usually begin on the date you had the accident. If a child has suffered a personal injury on a bus (other another type of public transport), the time limit will not apply until their 18th birthday so a parent could claim compensation for them at any time before that date.
Claims can be settled quite quickly (in around 6 to 9 months) if the transport company accepts liability quickly. Where claims are contested or extra investigation regarding your injuries is needed, the process could take longer than a year.
Please call our team if you’d like to confirm how long you have left to begin your claim.
Start a public transport accident claim today
If you’re ready to claim for injuries sustained in public transport accident that was not your fault, call us today. Our team is available on 0800 652 1345 to offer free legal advice and a no-obligation review of your chances.
If your claim is taken on you won’t pay legal fees unless you are compensated as our solicitors work on a No Win, No Fee basis for all accepted claims.
To ask any further questions regarding public transport accident claims, please use live chat, call our free advice line, or sort out a free consultation here.