Florida is home to more car crashes and traffic accidents than any other state on the East Coast. In fact, as of 2022, the state of Florida ranks third in the United States in the number of annual road accidents with 2,915 crashes and 3,133 deaths in car accidents, trumped only by California and Texas. Many of these road accidents involve both private and public means of transportation. Whether you’re driving yourself, you’re on a bus, or you’ve hired an Uber, you risk an accident just by commuting in any part of the state — including West Palm Beach, FL.
West Palm Beach, FL is no stranger to its share of transport injuries. In 2021 alone, motor vehicular accidents in Palm Beach injured a total of 15,197 people. Public transportation in West Palm Beach is not free of this problem. However, if you sustain injuries from public transportation, know that you can legally receive compensation and file a personal injury claim under the state’s Common Carrier Law.
Of course, filing a claim for a bus injury in West Palm Beach will differ from filing a claim for a West Palm Uber injury. The procedures for a West Palm taxi injury will also be different from those of a West Palm Lyft injury. Nonetheless, several measures apply to all of these public transportation injuries. Read on to learn more about what you can do if you are injured while taking public transportation in West Palm Beach, FL.
Common Carrier Laws and Negligence Laws
Under Florida’s Negligence Laws and Common Carrier Laws, all drivers need to observe a “duty of care” when they take on passengers. A West Palm Beach Lyft injury or a West Palm Uber injury is a sign that the driver may have been negligent of the duty of care toward the passenger. As a result, the injured passenger can sue the driver or the rideshare company for damages.
Because of who manages and operates public transportation, any injury taking place within a bus or train can render the city’s transportation authorities liable. Hence, personal injury claims need to be directed toward these authorities. Of course, personal injury claims are only as effective as the steps taken for their pursuit. For this, we turn to the next section.
Crucial Steps to Take After Being Injured While in Public Transport, Taxis, or Rideshares
Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to traffic accidents. However, it’s a different story when it comes to injuries resulting from these accidents. For this reason, personal injury claims are filed against individuals or parties deemed liable for the resulting injuries.
To hold a party responsible for your injuries, you need to gather as much information as you can after the injury. This brings us to the first step:
Gathering information will be necessary for any tort claim. Vehicle information is especially crucial if you have been injured on a public bus or train. Also, take note of the time of the accident, and if you can, find out who the driver is. As much as possible, record this information in writing rather than trusting yourself to memorize it. The adrenaline from the accident can make these details difficult to recall later on.
During an accident, the police may be on the scene. If the police are present, give them the information you have just collected. In addition to this, tell them your best recollection of what happened leading up to the incident.
These pieces of information will go into a file that can corroborate your account of events. The police record will serve as another document that proves the occurrence of the incident and your injuries.
Seek Medical Attention
One of the first things that you need proof of is your injuries and the extent thereof. This is why it is crucial to receive medical attention as soon as you can. Medical attention will not just treat your injuries — it will also give you the physician’s findings in writing.
You may not be able to use your personal injury protection insurance if you were injured on a public bus or train. If you pay for your medical expenses, keep the receipts for documentation. You will need these and other hospital records when you file your claim.
Record All of Your Related Expenses
To ensure that you receive the right compensation, you need to know how much money you spent. The money you spent does not always have to be on healthcare; you can also include the costs of replacing or repairing damaged property.
Whatever these costs are, you must keep official receipts. These will be fundamental documents for your attorney to determine the amount you can claim.
Keep Track of Your Lost Income
Public transportation injuries can be so severe that they interfere with your ability to show up for work. If you need to recover at the expense of wages, choose recovery. However, keep tabs on the wages you were not able to make during your recovery period.
By doing this, you will be able to claim more than medical reimbursements and punitive damages; you will also be able to claim compensation for lost wages. This can make the sum you are entitled to much higher.
File a Claim with a Personal Injury Attorney
It is possible to file a claim alone. However, doing so will lead to a low chance of success. It is better to call a personal injury lawyer who specializes in Florida’s Common Carrier Laws and traffic accidents. A personal injury lawyer in West Palm Beach can provide you with legal counsel and representation throughout your claims process.
There is also a time limit for personal injury claims in Florida. The statute of limitations in Florida is four years, meaning you need to move things along in your claim quickly. An attorney can facilitate your personal injury claim, helping you receive a settlement within this time.
Call Us Now if You Have Been Injured on Public Transportation in West Palm Beach, FL
If you have been injured by a negligent bus, taxi, or rideshare driver, know that help is available. In West Palm Beach, Florida, you have the right to sue drivers who are negligent in their duties.
We are experienced personal injury lawyers in West Palm Beach who specialize in personal injury claims. Contact us now for legal counsel and representation that does not back down and gets you results.