Collisions can occur at any time, and it is important to know your rights as a passenger. Whether it is a minor fender-bender or a serious collision, understanding your rights and responsibilities as a commuter can make all the difference when it comes to recovering losses.
Judd Shaw Injury Law has experience representing clients who have been involved in NJ Transit accidents. We can help you navigate the claims process and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free case review, call 1-866-909-6894 or submit our online contact form.
Who Is Liable When a Transit Accident Happens?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were over 7,000 fatal vehicle-pedestrian accidents across the United States in 2020. Within the same year, there were also 104,000 non-fatal hospital visits for pedestrians struck by vehicles. These accidents involved various types of transit vehicles, including buses, trains, and light rail.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) regulates public transportation systems, including NJ Transit. These regulations establish safety standards for transit vehicles and require operators to follow specific safety protocols.
Several parties may be sued depending on the circumstances of the accident and whether a private or government transit agency was involved. Government entities have a certain level of immunity from lawsuits and operate differently from private transit organizations.
Here are a few examples of entities that may be held liable:
- The transit authority responsible for the operation of the transit vehicle
- The driver of the transit vehicle
- Other drivers of multiple vehicles involved,
- Equipment manufacturers
- Government agencies under limited and specific circumstances
Determining who to sue after a transit accident can be complex, and it often requires a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the accident. Fault is not always clear-cut, and multiple parties may share responsibility for an accident.
Can You Sue NJ Transit?
Common carrier law in New Jersey governs public transit vehicles including the New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit). As a common carrier, NJ Transit has a legal duty to exercise the highest degree of care in transporting passengers safely. Under common carrier law, transit vehicles such as buses and trains are held to a higher standard of care than regular vehicles on the road.
This means that transit operators must take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their passengers, including maintaining their vehicles in a safe condition, properly training their drivers, and following all traffic laws and safety regulations.
However, New Jersey Transit is also a government entity, and as such, it is protected from certain liabilities. This means that, if you are involved in an accident with NJ Transit, you may not be able to sue them for damages. Instead, you would need to file a claim with the New Jersey Transit Authority.
Another point to keep in mind is that NJ Transit’s liability insurance only covers accidents caused by the negligence of NJ Transit or its employees. If you are involved in an accident caused by another rider on the train or bus, you would need to file a claim with that person’s insurance company.
Similarly, if you have been hit by a car while walking to or from the train station, you would need to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance.
What Damages Can You Get for a Transit Accident?
There are a few different types of damages that you may be able to get if you are involved in a transit accident. These include:
- Property damage: This can cover the cost of repairing or replacing any property that was damaged in the accident, such as your car
- Medical expenses: If you were injured in the accident, you may be able to recover the cost of your medical treatment, including hospitalization, surgery, and rehabilitation
- Lost wages: If you missed work because of your injuries, you may be able to recover your lost wages
- Pain and suffering: You may also be able to recover compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering that you have endured as a result of the accident
What Are the Timelines for Filing a Transit Accident Claim?
If you are involved in a transit accident in New Jersey, it is important to be aware of the timelines for filing a claim. Deadlines for personal injury claims are determined by state law and may vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case.
Here are some of the timelines for filing a transit accident claim in New Jersey:
- Statute of limitations: In New Jersey, there is a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim, generally 2 years from the date of the accident. This means that you have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a claim or else you may lose your right to seek compensation. If you are filing a claim for property damage only, the statute of limitations may be different.
- Notice of claim: If you are filing an injury claim against a public entity, such as a public transportation system, you must first file a notice of claim within a specific amount of time after the accident. The notice of claim must include certain information, such as the date and location of the accident, the nature of your injuries, and the damages you are seeking. If the transit operator is a private company, the notice of claim requirement may not apply.
- Insurance claim: If you are filing a claim with the transit operator’s insurance company, you should do so as soon as possible after the accident. The insurance company may have its own deadlines for filing a claim, so it is important to check with them to ensure that you meet all their requirements.
How Can an Injury Lawyer Help a Transit Accident Case?
An experienced injury lawyer can help you in many ways if you have been injured in a transit accident in New Jersey. Here are a few ways that an injury attorney can assist you:
- Conducting a thorough investigation of the accident, including reviewing police reports, interviewing witnesses, and gathering any other evidence that may help your case
- Determining who is liable for the accident and pursue legal action against the responsible party or parties
- Handling complex legal procedures associated with filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit, including filing paperwork and attending court hearings
- Negotiating with the insurance companies and fight to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages
Transit Accident Lawyers Near Me
We hope that this article has helped you gain a better understanding of who is responsible for paying damages in an NJ Transit accident. Depending on the circumstances, it can be the driver or passengers involved, as well as the transit company itself.
The best way to determine who is responsible for paying for your damages in an NJ Transit accident is to speak with an experienced injury attorney. An attorney can review the facts of your case and help you understand your legal options.
After a transit accident in New Jersey, it is important to speak with a Judd Shaw Injury Law attorney for help understanding your legal rights and options for seeking compensation. Call us at 1-866-909-6894 for a free consultation or complete our online contact form.