After suffering any type of injury from an accident while using MARTA or another form of public transportation, there are several things you should remember to maximize your chances of recovery, including:
Information from the accident site.
Unless you require emergency medical attention, you should have time after the accident to obtain the contact information of other passengers or witnesses who saw the crash happen. You should also take photos of the accident scene as well as your injuries as soon as possible. Contact the police if no one else has reported the accident and wait for them to arrive so you can offer your statement and find out where to obtain a copy of the police report.
The statute of limitations.
Filing a civil action against a government entity works very differently than filing an action agains t a private individual. The statute of limitations, or time limit for filing your claim, is much shorter if you intend to file a lawsuit against a public transportation organization. For example, the typical statute of limitations for a civil claim may be two years in your state but filing a claim against a government entity could only allow a six-month statute of limitations. It’s imperative that you work quickly with your attorney to build your claim and file within the permitted time.
Possible types of compensation.
You should have a strong understanding of your damages and the types of compensation that could be available to you through your lawsuit. Your attorney will be the best resource for this information. He or she will likely advise you to keep copies of all documentation related to the accident.
Compensation caps or limits.
Most states restrict the amount of compensation you can receive from filing a lawsuit against a government agency or entity. Take time to research these caps in your area before proceeding.
Civil actions against public entities like Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority require meeting strict filing deadlines. Missing a deadline or making a mistake with your filing can have negative consequences for your claim, so have your attorney advise you how to best proceed.
Some government agencies are immune to civil liability, meaning you cannot take legal action against them. Your attorney can help determine if sovereign immunity applies.
Possible third-party claims.
It’s possible that a third party caused your accident, so sometimes you must wait for an investigation to conclude before determining who is to blame for your damages. Although you do not want to wait too long and risk missing the shortened statute of limitations for filing a claim against a government entity, you shouldn’t rush a personal injury lawsuit and potentially miss a more promising avenue to compensation for your damages. Filing a civil action against a private individual is much more straightforward and flexible than suing a government agency. If an accident involved a negligent driver, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries through a car accident injury claim as well.
Immediate medical care.
After an injury, it is imperative that you seek immediate treatment, even if the injuries do not appear severe at first. Your doctor will be able to identify internal injuries or other injuries that may not immediately manifest noticeable symptoms. Seeking immediate care is not only in your personal best interests in terms of your well-being, but it will also strengthen your position in a future lawsuit. If you do not seek immediate treatment, a jury may assume your injuries were not as severe as you claimed.
If You’ve Been Injured, Act Quickly
Ultimately, acting quickly after a public transportation accident is always in your best interests. After receiving medical care and obtaining a copy of the police report of the accident, contact one of our experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney team of ChancoSchiffer Law, LLCdiscuss your options for legal recourse. Our law firm offers free initial consultations.