CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH CAPITAL METRO PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS
If you live in the crowded downtown Austin area, or simply work there or like to visit on the weekends, then you likely know that public transportation can be a quick and cost-effective way to get around. Capital Metro is the organization in charge of the public transportation system in Austin and they operate hundreds of different routes by rail and bus. This substantial presence in the city, while convenient, also means that there are lots of chances to be injured by a CapMetro vehicle. After your injury, the best way to try to get compensation may be to contact a Capital Metro personal injury attorney.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a Capital Metro vehicle, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312.
WHAT TO DO AFTER AN AUSTIN CAPITAL METRO ACCIDENT
Most people have some idea of what to do after they are in a car or bus accident. Things like exchanging contact information with the other driver are fairly common knowledge. However, it may be a bit more confusing for accident victims when they are in an accident involving public transportation. While no two accidents ever play out in the exact same way, it can be helpful to have a few steps that should typically be completed in every accident scenario.
1. Prioritize Your Safety
If you are able, take action immediately after the accident to prevent any further harm to yourself. Try to move to a safe location away from the accident scene to ensure that you are not injured further. After things have calmed down, make sure that you get the appropriate medical attention. Getting medical attention quickly serves two distinct purposes—first, you may be able to begin to treat and prevent your injuries from becoming worse. Your ability to receive compensation will depend on being able to link your injuries to the accident you were in. Getting medical attention soon after your accident may help to strengthen this link.
2. Report the Accident
Even if the accident may seem relatively minor at the time, make sure to call the police before you leave the scene and file a report. Be as thorough as you possibly can and make sure to relay all of the facts that you can think of surrounding how the accident happened. Reporting the accident gives you a good opportunity to talk about the accident while it is still fresh in your mind, and there may be legal requirements to report if you want to seek compensation.
3. Document the Accident
At the outset of any potential claim, it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine what may end up becoming important to have as evidence. This means that it is important to be as thorough as possible when documenting your accident. Take pictures and videos of the accident scene, gather contact information for witnesses and keep all of the documentation for everything that you do after your accident, such as going to the doctor or repairing your car.
4. Contact an Austin Personal Injury Attorney
There is really no such thing as an easy, straightforward, personal injury claim. When the accident involves a government agency like Capital Metro, things become even more complicated. Unless you have significant experience in the field of personal injury law in Austin, your best option will likely be to hire a Capital Metro personal injury attorney. An experienced attorney may be able to give you an idea of what your case could be worth and what your options are, keep you informed of the proceedings as they are happening, and ultimately fight on your behalf for maximum compensation for your injuries.
COMMON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION INJURIES
With the different types of transportation that Capital Metro operates and the wide range of potential severities, there are many different types of injuries that could lead to an injury claim against Capital Metro. A few of the more commonly suffered injuries are listed below.
Brain and Head Injuries
Brain and head injuries can be some of the most serious and difficult to treat injuries an accident victim can suffer. They can result from blunt force trauma to the head but can also occur even if there is no contact with the head, for example, if a sudden change of speed causes the head to whip back and forth. The symptoms of brain injuries can present themselves as fairly innocuous, so it is critical that you get evaluated by a medical professional if you think you may have suffered from a head injury.
Anytime that there is an extreme force exerted on a bone, it is liable to suffer a break. Breaks can range from small hairline fractures to more serious compound fractures. Not only are broken bones typically painful, but they can also prevent you from doing your job, further compounding the problems for you and your family caused by the accident.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue is a medical catch-all term that refers to all of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your body. Injuries to the soft tissue are classified into different categories like contusions, sprains, stress injuries, bursitis, and strains. Soft tissue injuries may sometimes be treated by simple measures like rest and ice on the affected area, but they could also require extensive surgeries or therapy.
THE TEXAS TORT CLAIMS ACT
When thinking of pursuing a claim against Capital Metro, the Texas Tort Claims Act will likely come into play. Stemming from the development of the law in England that eventually made its way to the United States is a concept known as sovereign immunity, which is the basic idea that the government is not liable to its citizens for the harm that it causes. However, the Texas Tort Claims Act, which was passed in 1969, partially waives this immunity and allows citizens to sue in situations defined by the Act.
One important component of the Texas Tort Claims Act as it relates to the field of personal injury law is that it defines the situations in which a government entity can be held liable for its actions. Liability is a crucial component of any type of personal injury claim because, without it, there is no chance of winning your case. According to the Texas Tort Claims Act, government entities can be held liable for the injuries that they cause as the result of negligent actions, operation of a vehicle or machinery during the performance of government duties, or the use of personal or real property if they could have been held liable had they been a private citizen. Government entities can also only be held liable if the employee who caused the accident was acting in the scope of their employment at the time the accident occurred.
A critical component of a personal injury case will usually be to prove that the other party, in this case, Capital Metro, acted negligently. Negligence is the legal term for establishing that the person or entity who caused your accident had a responsibility to act in a certain way and failed to live up to that responsibility. The first component of this is establishing that duty to act in a certain way. For government entities like Capital Metro, this duty could be to ensure that it hires people who are qualified to drive their buses or to ensure that its vehicles are in safe condition.
Next, you must establish that this duty was breached. This could be proven through the testimony of witnesses, documentation detailing the hiring process of an individual, or photo or video evidence. Finally, you must be able to connect the accident that you were involved in with the injuries that you sustained. Even if the person who you wish to file a claim against was acting irresponsibly, if that action is not what directly caused your injuries, it is likely that they will not be liable to pay anything.
LEGAL TIME LIMITS
After your accident, it is important to note the statute of limitations that might apply to your case. The statute of limitations is the legal term for how long you have to file a claim based on a given accident. In Texas, the generally applicable statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years, which means that you have two years from the date of your accident within which to file a claim or risk having it dismissed for untimeliness. Under the Texas Tort Claims Act, however, the governmental entity you are suing must receive notice of the claim within six months of the accident.
There are certain exceptions that could apply to your situation, however. For example, if the accident was a minor, then the statute of limitations might not begin to run until they reach the age of majority. Also, the statute of limitations could begin to run later if your injuries don’t present themselves until well after the accident itself. However, it is always best to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to make sure that you don’t run into any issues with the statute of limitations or any other time restrictions that could apply to your case.
CONTACT ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
Dealing with any accident is scary, but the pressure can be ratcheted up a notch when you are dealing with a government entity like Capital Metro. Zinda Law Group’s Austin Capital Metro personal injury attorneys are standing by to help you and your family get through this difficult time. What’s more, we won’t charge you anything unless we win your case for you because we believe that accident victims shouldn’t have to worry about their ability to afford legal representation. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
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