Involved in an Accident on Public Transport?
Being involved in a public transport accident, regardless of how serious the road traffic accident was, can be a traumatic experience – especially if you have sustained any injuries. In cases where you are involved in a public transport accident that was not your fault, there may be a legal remedy. This legal remedy you can seek by way of a public transport accident claim.
Common Public Transport Accident Claims*
Drivers of public transport have a duty of care to ensure the health and safety of their passengers. If they have led to the cause of an accident as a result of negligence they could be seen as liable for any injuries which you have sustained. In some cases the company in which they work for may be seen as liable as they are responsible for their employees. The transport company is also responsible for ensuring that their vehicles are maintained to a high standard and are in a good condition so as to ensure that injuries are not sustained. An important part of the claims process is determining liability so it is important that you gather evidence from the accident so that you will be able to determine this.
The most common public transport accident claims are:
What do I do if I'm involved in an accident on public transport?
Following a public transport accident, there are a number of steps you should follow:
Seek medical attention
Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after a public transport accident, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries. Then check if anybody else involved in the accident need medical attention. If you or anyone else involved has sustained a serious injury ensure that you contact an ambulance to attend the scene.
For minor injuries, you must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress to a more serious injury in the future. In this case it is always better to be safe than sorry and advisable that you go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) or local GP to be checked out.
Gather all relevant information at the scene
It is important that you collect all the relevant information in connection with your accident:
- Details of the public transport vehicle number and the route you were on
- If Details of another driver(s)/people involved: name, address, contact information, vehicle registration number and vehicle insurance information. You can also offer your own information to the others involved in the accident.
- Name and contact details of any emergency service workers at the scene – paramedic/Gardai.
- Take a picture of the scene, from different angles; this will help your solicitor understand how the accident happened.
- If there are any CCTV recordings of the accident, such as CCTV cameras in a nearby shop, for example, you should try to obtain this footage.
- Record the time and date of the accident.
- Weather conditions at the time.
Report the incident to the Gardaí
Regardless of how minor or serious the public transport accident was, it is important that you call the Gardaí to report the accident immediately.
For minor accidents, the Gardaí may tell you that they will not be attending the scene. It may be a case where you can settle the issue yourself. In this scenario, the appropriate information should be exchanged. In these cases, it is also important that you visit your nearest Garda station to request that they take details of the accident and to take your statement about the accident.
For more serious public transport accidents, where an ambulance has been called, the Gardaí may arrive at the scene to assess, take statements from the people involved and any witnesses.
Contact the transport company
If you are the driver of the vehicle involved in a public transport accident or a passenger onboard it is important to inform the public transport company so they have a record.
Speak to a public transport accident claims solicitor
If you are considering moving forward with a public transport accident claim for any personal injuries sustained it is advisable that you speak with a motorcycle accident claims solicitor as soon as possible. If you are proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment. A motorcycle accident solicitor can help you in preparing your application to the Injuries Board and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format, meaning that you can move forward with your claim quickly without unnecessary delays.
It is important to remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. It is also imperative to retain copies of medical reports or Garda reports, where possible as you will need them when making a claim.