New Jersey residents and others commute daily to and from New York City, Philadelphia, Trenton, and elsewhere on public transportation. Unfortunately, riders on trains and buses in New Jersey are injured in many types of accidents. And persons injured in public transportation accidents in New Jersey need the help of New Jersey public transportation accident attorneys.
Serious public transportation accidents can and do happen in New Jersey.
During the morning commute on September 16, 2016, a train came into the Hoboken terminal. The speed of the train increased to 21 mph as it entered the terminal. This was twice the posted speed limit. The train crashed through a concrete bumper onto the platform.
A 34-year-old woman was walking through the terminal and killed by falling debris.
Four passengers suffered various injuries, including a partial amputation of a finger, a concussion and facial fractures and lacerations.
They found the engineer driving the train unconscious in the cab. He told authorities he had no recollection of the crash.
Ultimately, New Jersey Transit paid $8.15 million to the injured passengers and the family of the woman killed.
Similarly, a deadly school bus accident occurred on May 17, 2018. In that accident, a collision occurred involving a Paramus school bus traveling on Route 80 in Mt. Olive. A teacher and student died. The collision injured 43 other bus passengers.
Public trains and buses carrying large numbers of passengers can lead to devastating accidents.
What Causes Public Transportation Accidents in New Jersey?
There are many reasons public transportation accidents happen in New Jersey. For instance, train signals at crossings can malfunction. As a result, collisions occur with vehicles or pedestrians.
Trains derail on poorly maintained tracks. Debris on tracks can cause a train to derail.
Buses are large vehicles and can be difficult to drive. Buses can get into traffic accidents for the same reasons cars do, including driver inattention, speeding and poor road conditions. In addition, inexperienced drivers get into accidents with other vehicles. For example, they may pull away from the curb before passengers who just boarded get to their seats. As a result, those passengers may fall and get injured.
Commuters can be injured in train and bus terminals from slip and fall injuries on platforms and in the terminals. They can also get injured from slip and fall accidents on the buses or trains.
Other passengers may injure commuters due to the lack of security in terminals and on trains and buses.
If a Public Transportation Accident Injures You, Act Now
If you are injured in a public transportation accident, consult an experienced New Jersey public transportation attorney as soon as you can. If the accident involved a New Jersey Transit train or bus, or happened in a New Jersey Transit station, you must file a notice of claim within 90 days of the accident; if you don’t, your claim may be barred.
If your accident happened on a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey bus, you have one year to file a notice of claim.
What Types of Injuries Occur in New Jersey Public Transportation Accidents?
There are many types of injuries that can occur in a New Jersey public transportation accident:
- Soft tissue
- Bruises, lacerations
- Bone fractures
- Concussions, head injuries
- Shoulder, back and neck sprains/strains
- Damage to internal organs
- Traumatic brain injury
- Amputations of limbs
- Spinal cord/paralysis
Serious injuries that a person sustains in a public transportation accident can mean hospitalization and multiple follow-up visits to a doctor. People who sustain the injuries listed above may also need multiple visits to a physical therapist or chiropractor for treatment.
What Are My Damages in a New Jersey Public Transportation Accident Case?
In a New Jersey public transportation accident case, there are several types of damage claims New Jersey personal injury law recognizes:
- Medical expenses-You may recover all of your medical expenses (even those for which insurance paid);
- Property damages;
- Lost wages- You may recover lost wages if you had to miss work because of your injuries;
- Pain and suffering-This type of damage is subjective but is widely recognized in New Jersey personal injury law. You can tell the jury how badly your back hurt after your public transportation accident, how you got chiropractic treatment for weeks and you still have stiffness in your back most mornings when you wake up. That is pain and suffering;
- Disability-If there are lingering symptoms from your injury (and there often are) you can tell the jury about them. Perhaps you work at a desk all day but cannot sit for over 25-30 minutes because of the back injury you sustained in the public transportation accident. You have to frequently stop working, get up from the desk and walk around the office because of your back injury. You can tell the jury about that. The jury can take that into account during their deliberations and factor it into their damage award;
- Future medical treatment-If you suffered a traumatic brain injury or compound fracture of your leg in a bus or train accident, you may need medical and physical therapy treatment for the foreseeable future. You (and your doctor) can tell the jury about that;
- Loss of consortium-If a public transportation accident killed or severely injured your spouse, the jury can compensate you for the loss of consortium-the loss of the affection, advice and companionship spouses show each other; and
- Punitive damages-Punitive damages are a distinct type of damage and are not usually available in a personal injury case. Moreover, punitive damages punish the defendant for bad conduct. Cases in which people are injured because of someone else’s negligent actions rarely involve punitive damages. There would have to be serious misconduct on the defendant’s part to justify an award for punitive damages. However, if we believe the defendant’s misconduct in your case was extreme, we will fight to get an award of punitive damages for you.
Experienced New Jersey Public Transportation Attorneys
As noted at the beginning, serious, even deadly, injuries occur in New Jersey public transportation accidents. If you were in an accident involving New Jersey public transportation, call us at 908-490-0444 at our Scotch Plains office or contact us online for a free consultation with an experienced New Jersey public transportation accident lawyer. There is no attorney’s fee charged to you unless we are successful in obtaining a recovery on your behalf.