Travelling on public transport is cheap, easy, efficient and generally pretty safe too. However, as with any kind of transport, there is always the risk of an accident.
If you are involved in an accident when travelling on public transport then it’s important that you know how to make a claim, just as you would if you were in a road traffic accident in your own car.
As the majority of people are aware, public transport operators have a duty of care to their passengers which means that all of their vehicles and equipment should be checked regularly and maintained to a high standard in order to ensure the safety of the public.
Bus journeys account for around two thirds of all public transport journeys made in the UK every year which means that you’re more likely to be involved in an accident on a bus than any other mode of public transport.
Whether or not an accident is the fault of the bus, coach, tram or train driver or another driver doesn’t matter, if you’re injured then you may still be able to make a claim. Just as with a personal car accident, there are a number of reasons for an accident on public transport. Negligence of your driver or of the driver of another vehicle is one reason; defective equipment could be another.
Remember, an accident on public transport doesn’t necessarily mean that the vehicle has been involved in an accident. You could have an accident for a number of reasons. The most common is defective or poorly maintained equipment such as steps and luggage racks. Injuries caused by accidents of this nature can be just as serious as a road traffic accident involving a public vehicle.
What to do after an accident
After an accident involving a public transport vehicle you should do exactly as you would if you were involved in an accident in your own vehicle.
- Tell the driver – or an official if the driver’s not available – that you have sustained injuries because of the accident, regardless of the cause.
- Keep a record of the journey. Make a note of the bus number, number plate, its starting point and destination; the train time, departure point and destination etc. – never rely on your memory for specific journey details. If you can, always make a note of them at the scene.
- If there are any witnesses then you should get any information from them that you can. Most important are their names and contact numbers. If you can, it’s worth pushing for their address too because they could hold invaluable evidence for your case.
- Most people will always have their mobile phones with them, so take pictures of the scene, the cause of the accident (i.e. faulty steps) and also any injuries that you have sustained.
- You should also keep hold of any tickets or travel information that you have relating to the journey as this will help to prove that the accident happened at the time and date, and on the vehicle that you say it did.
- It’s important to get your injuries checked by a medical professional, no matter how minor they may seem at the time. A medical report can be a vital piece of evidence that’s required to win a case.
If you’ve been involved in an accident on public transport then it’s important to seek proper legal advice in order to ensure you have everything you need to make a successful claim.