Taking the train or bus to work can be a great way to save money and relax during a stressful commute. And while these and other forms of public transportation are typically far safer than driving your own vehicle, there are still risks associated with these options.
Whether you are riding a bus, train, Metrorail or trolley in Miami, you should be aware of the fact that accidents can happen. And when they do, it can be difficult to determine who is liable.
Risks to passengers
The vast majority of the time, trips on public transportation are safe and efficient. However, your safety is in the hands of the operator. If the operator is distracted, impaired or drowsy, he or she can cause a catastrophic accident that endangers the lives of every passenger.
That said, other parties could also be at fault. Another motorist, the public transit agency or the party responsible for maintaining the safety of the bus, train or trolley could also potentially be liable for accidents.
Getting on and off
Using public transportation typically requires people to use designated areas to enter and exit a vehicle. These spaces must be safe and properly maintained.
People can be seriously hurt while they are waiting for a bus or while exiting a ferry if the loading zones are not clear. Damaged sidewalks, potholes and missing blockades could also put passenger safety at risk.
Hundreds of thousands of people utilize public transportation in Miami every day. With so many people, you cannot ignore the potential for crime. There are muggings, thefts and assaults that can occur. While the perpetrators of these crimes are responsible for their actions, public transit agencies could be culpable, as well.
Such could be the case if they fail to take reasonable steps to protect passengers in areas known to be dangerous. Examples of these steps could include installing emergency phones and adequate lighting at stops.
It can be very upsetting to suffer an injury while waiting for, riding or exiting public transportation. Thankfully, such incidents are not common. But if they do occur, victims should examine potential legal remedies with an attorney.