The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority provides convenient transportation to passengers in the Boston area. Although each mode of transportation is generally safe, accidents can and do happen occasionally.
Whether you’re an MBTA passenger, a pedestrian, or another vehicle’s occupant, you can sustain injuries in accidents involving the MBTA. Whom can you sue to compensate you? Jason Stone Injury Lawyers explains.
What Kinds of Transportation Does the MBTA Offer?
MBTA passengers take thousands of trips daily; in October of 2022, for instance, there was an average of 764,000 weekday MBTA trips:
- Subway (the T): 379,000
- Bus: 295,000
- Commuter Rail: 84,000
- Ferry: 3,257
- The RIDE: 2,884
The MBTA is a division of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and is managed by a commuter services company called Keolis. By using MBTA services, passengers agree they can’t sue the MBTA for injuries sustained in an accident unless the MBTA is negligent or otherwise at fault.
That doesn’t mean you can’t sue if you sustain injuries in an MBTA accident, but your claim will face many challenges. Jason Stone Injury Lawyers will meet those challenges head-on to protect your right to compensation.
What Is a Common Carrier?
Common carriers, including the MBTA, provide transportation of passengers or goods to the public in exchange for fees. Passengers have no control over accidents, so these companies must provide the highest degree of care. The carrier assumes a legal responsibility to keep passengers safe.
Common carriers must keep their vehicles well maintained, inside and out. They must also ensure that passenger boarding areas are safe, well-lit, and in good repair. Failure to do so is a form of negligence.
What Is Negligence?
Legally, negligence is failing to meet standards of behavior that are established to keep society safe. These standards are known as a duty of care.
Everyone who drives a vehicle has a duty of care. Drivers must use reasonable care to reduce the risk of harming themselves and others. That duty includes using safe driving practices, but it also means that vehicle maintenance should be performed regularly. Examples include:
- Replacing worn-out brakes and tires
- Repairing damage to auto glass
- Replacing burned-out bulbs
- Responding to vehicle recall notices
As a common carrier, the MBTA must provide its passengers with the highest degree of care. If you are an accident victim injured in an MBTA accident, your Jason Stone Injury Lawyers attorney will need to investigate the cause of your accident to prove negligence:
- The MBTA owed you a duty of care.
- The MBTA breached its duty of care.
- That breach caused an accident.
- You sustained injuries that directly resulted from the accident.
Basically, preventable accidents are typically due to negligence. Because it is a common carrier, the MBTA must maintain each vehicle it operates, but it also has to maintain boarding platforms and stations. Some examples of MBTA negligence that can cause accidents and injuries include:
- Failing to clean up a spill in a station
- Driver errors such as speeding, using a cell phone, failing to yield the right of way, and driving while fatigued or under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Maintenance personnel knowingly failing to replace worn brakes or tires on vehicles or burned-out light bulbs in stations
- Not repairing damaged rails
- Hiring unqualified drivers
- Not providing adequate training
An investigation into these examples needs to find evidence that the MBTA had knowledge of the hazards yet failed to take action to correct them. Spills can be mopped up, and light bulbs replaced quickly, so finding this evidence is sometimes challenging.
What Complications Can You Face?
As mentioned, you can face many challenges in a claim against the MBTA. You probably don’t have the knowledge or resources to unravel these complications, especially if you have sustained severe injuries.
You don’t have to handle your claim alone. You may not know all your options, but the legal team at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers does. To find out more, Better Phone Stone. There’s No Obligation, Just Information®.
Exemption from Personal Injury Protection Insurance
The MBTA isn’t required to obtain PIP insurance. MBTA bus passengers won’t have their medical bills paid if the bus is in an accident.
Annual Budget Limit
The MBTA operates on a strict budget. This budget may not allow for year-round settlements, so you might have to wait for compensation until funding is renewed.
Any claim against a government agency is subject to stricter requirements and shorter statutes of limitations than other personal injury claims. You only have two years to notify the MBTA that you are filing a claim.
Multiple Potentially Liable Parties
If you sustain injuries as a passenger, whether in a station, at a boarding area, or inside an MBTA vehicle, your attorney will establish fault for causing the accident. Among those you may be able to sue are:
- Keolis/ MBTA
- The driver
- Those responsible for maintaining vehicles or facilities
- Vehicle or parts manufacturers
If you’re involved in an MBTA collision as a pedestrian, cyclist, or occupant of another vehicle, you can also seek compensation for your damages. Accident causes and liability vary. Ask your attorney from Jason Stone Injury Lawyers which parties you can name in your insurance claim or civil lawsuit.
What Should You Do After an Accident Involving MBTA?
If your injuries permit, you can do a few things while at the accident scene that will help your personal injury claim.
Report Your Accident
Depending upon the type of accident you have, you may need to report it to the police. For any accident involving the MBTA, you should inform your driver or other MBTA officials. They will create an incident report; you’ll need to obtain a copy of this report. Be sure to get the name and contact information of the person(s) you speak to.
Use Your Phone
The evidence you gather by taking pictures and videos at the accident site may be crucial to your claim. Try to capture things like:
- Your injuries and those of others
- The entire accident scene from various points of view
- Vehicle damage
- The cause of your accident (an un-mopped spill, for instance)
- Others present, including witnesses and their statements
- Your recollection of how the accident occurred
- Any other pertinent details
Provide this evidence to your attorney.
Accept or Seek Medical Attention
Besides potentially diagnosing unseen injuries, an immediate medical examination establishes your physical condition right after your accident. The medical professional will make a report, and your lawyer can use it as evidence in your personal injury claim.
Contact an MBTA Accident Attorney
Jason Stone Injury Lawyers will begin investigating and building your case soon after your initial contact. Waiting to contact us isn’t in your best interests.
Why Should You Choose Jason Stone Injury Lawyers?
Hiring the right attorney can make the difference between losing and winning your claim. Jason Stone Injury Lawyers has won more than $60 million for our clients, and we have proven experience in successfully handling claims against the MBTA. We are committed to providing excellent service and personal attention to every client; see our Stone Cold Guarantee for details.
Contact Jason Stone Injury Lawyers 24/7 to request your free case evaluation. We’ll assess your case, tell you how much it’s worth, and discuss your options. You won’t pay us until we win compensation for you, and there’s no obligation. Call us at (800) 577-5188, use live chat, or complete our contact request form. Before You Deal With the Insurance Companies on Your Own, You Better Phone Stone®.