While public transportation can be a great way to get to your destination, if you’re hurt while using public transit, you may be left wondering what to do and whether you will need the help of a skilled car accident lawyer.

When an accident or other incident occurs while you’re using a public bus, train, the Las Vegas Monorail, the RTC Transit system or another form of public transit, you might wonder what your options are to receive compensation. Here’s what you need to know about public transportation lawsuits.

Can I Sue If I’m Injured While Using Public Transportation?

Yes, you can sue if you’re injured while using public transportation. If your case meets the legal standards, you may qualify to bring a suit and receive compensation. However, because government entities own and operate public transportation, the rules that apply to public transportation lawsuits are different than they are for other types of civil suits. If your case falls within the laws that apply to lawsuits against government entities, you can sue if you’re injured while using public transportation.

How Do I Sue If I’m Injured While Using Public Transportation?

The first step to suing if you’re injured while using public transportation is determining what party is responsible for your injuries. In most cases, the government entity is liable for your injuries. Even if another transit patron is involved in the accident, there may be failings on the part of the public transportation company that ultimately makes them responsible for what occurred.

Before Bus Accident

If you name a private party in your lawsuit, there are no special rules or laws that apply to the claim against them. In that case, the general negligence rules apply. However, if you name the public transportation unit as the defendant in your claim, there are some special steps to follow for claiming compensation.

Legal Standards for Public Transportation Lawsuits

The standards for legal liability in a case against a public transportation entity are similar in many ways to lawsuits against non-government parties. You must show that your injuries result from the negligent actions of the government agency. If the accident occurs because of the negligence of an employee, that’s usually enough for the government agency to be liable. The general rules are that you can recover for the same types of damages that you may be able to claim in a negligence case against a private entity.

There are some key differences to be aware of between lawsuits that involve public transportation and lawsuits that involve private parties. First, when you sue a public transportation company, you must give notice of the claim. Providing notice of the claim means telling the government entity that you plan to file the lawsuit before you formally submit the paperwork. The notice gives the government entity the time to consider the claim and work to resolve it efficiently without needing formal litigation.

The notice requirements come from both the 1946 Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), and Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 41. If the case is against a federal government public transit agency, the FTCA is the law that applies to giving notice. If the case is against a Nevada state or local public transportation company, it’s Nevada law that applies to require notice. Both the FTCA and Nevada law waive sovereign immunity in some cases against government entities including public transportation companies.

Nevada Law 41.033 and Public Transportation Lawsuits

Although the general principles of civil negligence apply to cases against public transportation companies, some exceptions apply that are relevant to public transportation cases. Nevada law 41.033 protects public transit companies from lawsuits that are based on a failure to discover hazards. No person may bring a claim that’s based on the failure to inspect a building and detect hazards, deficiencies or other matters.

Nevada law 41.033 complicates public transportation lawsuits that are often based on wet surfaces, inadequate security or other dangerous conditions. However, there are still many avenues for pursuing a claim against a public transportation company if you’re injured in an accident. Your attorney can help you determine how Nevada law 41.033 applies and what legal strategy you might employ to get the compensation that you deserve.

What Can I Recover in a Lawsuit Against a Public Transportation Company?

Generally, you can ask for compensation for any category of damages that apply in a negligence claim. Damages may include your medical bills and pain and suffering. However, Nevada law 41.035 limits your damages to $100,000. Exemplary and punitive damages are not allowed. In addition, you may not bring a claim for compensation if you’re engaged in criminal activity at the time of the accident.

What Is a Public Transportation Company for the Purposes of an Injury Lawsuit?

When you’re thinking about a lawsuit against a public transportation company, it’s important to distinguish between a public transit company and a private company of public accommodation. The rules for suing a public transportation company apply to companies that are owned and operated by the government like the Las Vegas Monorail or RTC Transit.

Companies like Uber, Lyft, and taxi companies might be companies of public accommodation, but they’re not government entities. There are unique things to know about lawsuits that involve Uber, Lyft or a taxi company, but it’s important to remember that private transportation companies are not public transportation companies for the purposes of a public transportation accident lawsuit.

How Our Car Accident Attorneys Can Help

If you’re hurt while using public transportation, having an experienced Las Vegas car accident attorney on your side can help you file your claim. To receive compensation, you must determine if the rules for public transportation apply. You must determine what entity to name and how to give notice. You must file your claim in the right court within the time frame allowed. It’s up to you to prove the elements of your claim.

While it can all seem overwhelming, at Adam S. Kutner & Associates, we’re enthusiastic about helping victims who are injured while using public transportation. We’re here to help you manage all aspects of your claim with the goal of helping you get the most possible compensation for your public transportation accident. Call us today or message us for an immediate and confidential communication about your case.

Adam S. Kutner

Adam S. Kutner Personal Injury Lawyer

With more than 28 years of experience fighting for victims of personal injury in the Las Vegas valley, Attorney Adam S. Kutner knows his way around the Nevada court system and how to get clients their settlement promptly and trouble-free.