Many people rely on public transit as their main mode of transportation. Not only is it less expensive, it can also be much more convenient. Especially when you factor in things like traffic and parking. Having residents’ take public transit is good for the city as well. It cuts down on congestion and reduces the city’s overall carbon footprint. In Ottawa, seventeen city councillors have even taken a public transit challenge in an effort to survey and improve riders’ experiences. But while taking transit has many advantages, it is not without its risks. Should you or a loved one ever incur a public transit accident, it’s important to know your rights. Here’s some information about how to go about making a personal injury claim after a public transit accident.
What is eligible for making a personal injury claim?
First and foremost, its important to understand what constitutes as eligible for compensation. In 2011, The Better Tomorrow For Ontario Act (Bill 173) amended sections of the Insurance Act, which impacts public transit vehicles. Under the revised Insurance Act, making a personal injury claim after a public transit accident is allowed only if there’s a collision with another vehicle or object. This is why many often refer to the bill as, “no crash, no cash”.
As a result of the “no crash, no cash” bill, it is more difficult to file a claim against public transit authority for other types of accidents (e.g. falling after a sudden stop). However, it’s not impossible. If an injury sustained was not the result of a collision, but was the result of the driver’s negligence, you could file a claim through a tort action. Additionally, if you are insured under an automobile insurance policy you can file a claim for Statutory Accident Benefits (SABS) with your own insurance company. The benefits that you can receive from this type of claim include coverage for medical treatment and lost income.
Important things to remember after a public transit accident:
• Have someone treat your injuries right away, no matter the severity. Not only is it important for your health, it will also help when you file your personal injury claim.
• Make sure to document as much as you can. If possible, take photos of the accident and your injuries. Ensure you receive documentation from any medical professionals who examine you. Take notes and document any and every follow up appointment that you have.
• Keep financial records of any and all expenses that you incur as the result of the accident.
While there are certainly many advantages to taking public transportation, it’s important to be aware of the risks. In unfortunate cases, the injuries and expenses sustained in public transit accidents can be serious and life-changing. In these circumstances, making a personal injury claim can make a big difference. If you are or a loved one is ever involved in a traffic accident with a public transit vehicle, consulting an experienced vehicle accident lawyer can help ensure you get fair and rightful compensation.