The Metropolitan Transit System (METRA) helps citizens in and around Columbus, GA get around the city by bus. Unfortunately, accidents sometimes happen, and injured citizens can take legal action for compensation.
Accidents and injuries with METRA might involve serious bus accidents or even injuries at bus stops. You could be a passenger on the bus, a driver in another car, or a pedestrian during a METRA accident. People might be hurt at bus stops because of unsafe conditions or hazards. Since METRA operates under the Columbus Consolidated Government, you can hold the relevant government authorities and the driver liable for your injuries. Damages can be severe, and compensatory damages may be high. Keep in mind, punitive damages are typically unavailable when suing a government entity in Georgia. Evidence might come from security cameras, witnesses, records, and physical evidence from the crash scene.
Call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 to arrange a review of your claims for no charge with our METRA accident and injury attorneys.
Possible Accidents Involving METRA in Columbus
Accidents involving buses can be devastating. Not only are buses extremely large and heavy, but they often carry many passengers, and numerous people might be injured or worse. If you were a passenger on the bus during an accident, you could be thrown about the inside of the bus and badly hurt. Buses often do not have seatbelts, so passengers can easily get on and off. On top of that, many passengers must stand while riding if the bus is crowded.
You could also be severely injured if you were a driver or passenger in another vehicle hit by a METRA bus in Columbus. Again, buses are very large and heavy. When they are moving at high speeds, they are incredibly dangerous. Bus drivers must be extra careful when turning or changing lanes because they are much longer than normal vehicles with bigger blind spots. A negligent bus driver could easily strike a nearby car.
When pedestrians are crossing the street, vehicles must usually yield. Unfortunately, distracted bus drivers do not always stop in time, and pedestrians get hurt. Bus drivers might injure pedestrians when they come too close to the curb or street corner when picking up and dropping off passengers.
Who is Responsible for METRA Injuries and Accidents in Columbus?
After a collision with a METRA bus, you might be able to name several different parties in your lawsuit. First, you can usually name the bus driver in your lawsuit. The driver of the bus is often the person directly responsible for the crash. Unnecessary distractions, traffic violations, or a lack of driving experience are all common examples of bus driver negligence and mistakes.
Since the Columbus Consolidated Government operates METRA, you might also sue them for your injuries. When suing a government entity in Georgia, you must know specific rules and deadlines. The normal statute of limitations for personal injury cases can be found under O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33 and imposes a 2-year deadline to file your case. However, if you are suing a local government entity, you must submit a notice of your claims to the proper government authorities within 6 months of the accident, according to O.C.G.A. § 36-33-5.
If your accident happened on an interstate highway and you believe the State of Georgia should be held liable for your injuries, you have to submit a notice of your claim to the state government. According to O.C.G.A. § 50-21-26(a)(1), you have 12 months from the date of the accident to submit your notice.
Damages for METRA Accidents and Injuries
After a bus accident, there is a good chance you spent a lot of money on things like medical bills and replacing lost or damaged personal items. You might also have been too injured to return to work, losing income. These economic losses should be compensated as part of your compensatory damages.
You can also claim damages for the subjective personal experiences associated with the accident. For example, physical and mental pain and suffering might be great after a METRA accident. Not only are your injuries probably very painful, but they might leave lasting complications you now have to come to terms with, mentally and emotionally. Economic and non-economic damages are not limited, and your compensation may be as high as a jury deems reasonably appropriate.
Damages may be limited in lawsuits against the government. According to O.C.G.A. § 36-92-2(a), the local government may waive sovereign immunity for certain vehicle accidents and be liable for up to $500,000 for physical injuries or death of one person or $700,000 for injuries or death of more than one person. The government may also be liable for a maximum of $50,000 in property damage.
Punitive damages are typically available in cases where the defendant acted with gross negligence or maliciously intended to cause harm. While these damages can be significant, they are off the table if you decide to sue the local or state government after a METRA accident.
Where to Find Evidence for Your Accident and Injury Claims Against METRA
Gathering evidence is one of the most crucial elements of your claim. Much evidence might come straight from the crash scene, but other helpful evidence might be found in other unexpected places.
If possible, we might be able to get physical evidence from the accident scene. Some physical evidence is too large to bring to a courtroom, like the bus or your vehicle. As such, you should take photos of the scene and vehicles to present as evidence. The damage to the vehicles might be indicative of how the accident occurred.
METRA buses and some bus stops are often monitored by security cameras. These cameras might have recorded the entire accident and may shed light on who is responsible. This kind of footage may be extremely valuable, and we can work with METRA to get copies.
We also need some evidence of your injuries. It is not enough to simply show your injuries to the jury. We need medical records from your hospital visits to establish the magnitude and severity of your injuries. If your injuries are especially bad with lasting complications, a doctor can testify as an expert and fully explain your injuries to the jury.
Call Our Columbus METRA Accident and Injury Lawyers for Help
Call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 to arrange a free assessment of your case with our METRA accident and injury lawyers.