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What Happens If I’m Injured on Public Transportation?

Many people in Nova Scotia rely on public transportation every day.

Statistically, public transit is considered a very safe way to travel.  However, car accidents and other types of accidents still happen from time to time. A car accident involving public transportation can be just as scary and confusing as being in an accident in your own car.  Additionally, the injuries you may sustain can impact your life in all the same ways.

Public transit accidents can take many shapes.

Sometimes mechanical failures can lead to passenger injuries. Pedestrian and cyclist accidents are also a possibility. Slip and fall accidents are always possible on buses, at bus stops, bus shelters, and even on municipal ferry services.

An injury sustained on public transit where someone else acted negligently, yields the same rights to claim for compensation as it would with a private vehicle accident. However, there are some very important differences that you need to consider.

Suffering injuries as a result of a car accident sustained while riding on a city bus has a number of claim opportunities.

An injured passenger can submit a claim for compensation against the driver/public transit/municipality if the accident is the bus driver’s fault. If the accident is another driver’s fault, the claim against the other driver will proceed in the ordinary way.

In either case, it is the public transit’s insurance that will provide the no-fault accident benefits. This includes associated costs such as physiotherapy, immediate wage loss benefits, and so on. Following the accident, the passenger should contact the city’s public transit department to set up a claim for benefits.

As an injured passenger, be very careful and clear who you talk to from the public transit/municipality. Ask if the adjuster you’re speaking to is dealing with the benefits or the bodily injury side of your claim. It is best to contact a personal injury lawyer to understand the important differences between these two claims.   They can direct you in what you should/should not be discussing with the adjusters.

There are some other unique considerations to keep in mind.

In Nova Scotia, when your claim is against your municipal government, local legislation establishes the limitation period as one year.  For reference, accidents involving private vehicles, have a limitation period of two years. This same legislation says that you must formally notify the municipality of a claim at least one month before filing. This notice requires certain information to be included. These deadlines are very important and must be kept closely in mind when making a claim for injuries against public transit providers.

Navigating these unique rules can be confusing and if not done properly can have many impacts on your claim. If you are injured as a result of a public transit car accident or another type of public transit accident, you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to understand your rights and options.

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