Have you been injured whilst travelling as a passenger on public transport such as a bus, train or even a ferry? Unfortunately, whilst so many of us rely on public transport to get around – whether that be to take the kids to school, do the shopping or commute to and from work – things can (and certainly do) go wrong from time to time. If this has happened to you, then you are entitled to make a claim for compensation for your injuries.
Injured While a Passenger on a Bus or Train?
Any company responsible for providing public transport owes a legal duty of care to its users in order to ensure their safety, whilst also complying with any applicable health and safety standards. Suffice it to say, bringing a public transport related claim certainly has potential to quickly become complex – particularly if there are a number of different organisations involved. Consequently, if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to make a claim, then it is imperative that you get the right advice – and as soon as possible.
Smith Jones Solicitors are one of the most reputable personal injury firms in the UK, representing clients throughout England and Wales. We have multiple teams across our firm who specialise in different aspects of personal injury compensation. Please do not hesitate to contact us today for your free, no-obligation consultation. Our friendly team are ready to answer your questions. Our freephone number is 0800 195 95 90, available 24/7.
Public Transport Accident Compensation – FAQ
Accidents On A Train
Fortunately, whilst major train accidents are few and far between there are numerous reasons why you might find yourself making a claim against a railway company. Of course, there was a time when the rail network was operated by just one company, British Rail. However, it is now operated by numerous service providers, thus making it slightly more difficult to understand who should be held responsible for any loss or claim you might have. Indeed, it might even be the case that the local authority has neglected their duties – particularly if they should have maintained a particular area and/or put up warning signs to alert rail users of any specific dangers. Between 2014 and 2015, 63% of injuries sustained on the railway network were caused by slips, trips and falls.
Generally speaking, as with any other type of claim, you would need to demonstrate that the rail company owed you a duty of care and that the injuries sustained were as a direct result of their negligence. This can also apply, of course, to rail employees and there are certainly numerous cases where injuries are sustained during the course of duty – particularly for those working on railway lines and with dangerous equipment.
Accidents On Buses
In just London alone, over a million people a day use buses on the city’s 700 plus different bus routes. That is an awful lot of journeys – and a great deal of exposure to risk. However, perhaps surprisingly, the vast majority of claims currently made against bus companies actually relate to incidents where no collision has occurred. In fact, claims are more typically made up of falls being caused by driver actions (for example, accelerating or braking too heavily). Other areas of claim relate to passengers boarding or alighting from buses, particularly when the bus starts moving before the passenger has managed to sit down.
All buses, coaches and minibuses made on or after 1 October 2001 must be fitted with manufacturer fitted seatbelts. Unfortunately, this is currently restricted to transport being used for long distance travel and does not apply to typical buses – and perhaps hence the number of claims being made by standing passengers.
Accidents On Ferries
Although it perhaps goes without saying that ferry operators are not able to guarantee a smooth journey, they do have a duty of care to take all reasonable precautions necessary to protect the safety of their passengers. One landmark case, of course, involved the MS Herald of Free Enterprise, a roll-on, roll-off ferry which capsized just a few moments after leaving the Belgian port of Zeebrugge in March 1987 killing 193 of its passengers and crew. In this somewhat tragic tale, negligence was due to human error and the ferry subsequently sank.
Since this particular disaster, vast improvements have been made to the design of this particular type of vessel which now has watertight ramps and indicators clearly showing the position of bow-doors. However, on a more basic level, checks should also be made to secure any items which could potentially move during the journey and cause injury, and that decks and stairways are not slippery.
How To Make A Claim
In the event that you are injured – or need to make a claim arising from an incident on public transport then it is advisable to seek independent legal advice as quickly as possible. You can contact our specialist team on freephone 0800 195 95 90 or alternatively, submit your enquiry online using our contact form.
If you do wish to pursue a claim then it is crucial to keep as much evidence as possible – such as receipts incurred as a result of your accident (for example, to attend medical appointments), any time off work you may have taken and where possible, photographs of any injuries sustained. The more information you collect, the better your solicitor will be able to provide you with advice on what might be needed in your specific situation in order to make a successful claim. For information relating to a car accident click here.