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Mass Transit Accidents – An Overview

City BusMany residents of the greater Wilmington areas rely on mass transit to get to and from work, social activities and to conduct most of the other business of their lives. For many, a primary consideration is the sense of enhanced safety—that they don’t have to incur the risks of taking an automobile on the busy roads in the area. Unfortunately, though, far too many people suffer needless injury on commuter trains, buses and other types of mass transit.

The Common Causes of Mass Transit Accidents

Far and away, most injuries suffered on buses, light rails, subways and commuter trains result from collisions with other objects, including automobiles, guardrails and bridge abutments. These collisions may cause passengers to be thrown to the floor, or even from the car or bus. The accidents are often the result of operator error or negligence, such as speeding, but may also stem from dangerous or defective vehicle components, from poorly maintained tracks or roadways, or from other negligence by owners or operators.

In the Wilmington-Philadelphia area, weather can often contribute to unsafe conditions on mass transit. Patrons can slip on icy or wet steps or floors, and bus operators may experience more difficulty controlling or stopping a vehicle.

The Responsibility of Mass Transit Operators

Buses, trains and light rails are generally referred to as “common carriers,” and have specific duties under law, including:

  • Reasonable care in hiring people who are qualified to operate the bus, train or other vehicle
  • Routine maintenance of vehicles, engines and other parts
  • Regular monitoring to determine any design flaws
  • Ensuring that access and exit points are safe, with appropriate lighting and free from obstructions
  • Providing security, if necessary, to ensure safety of passengers

Contact the Law Office of Michael J. Hood

At the law office of Michael J. Hood, in Wilmington, we bring more than 30 years of experience to personal injury victims in Delaware. For a free initial consultation, contact us online or call our office at 302-777-1000 for an appointment.

Bus Accident Attorney in Delaware

Bus-Motor Vehicle Collisions | Sudden Starts or Stops | Excessive Rates of Speed | Dangerous or Defective Equipment

For many, commuting by bus reduces upkeep on a personal vehicle, or even does away with the need to own a car. It can also reduce the risk of injury in a motor vehicle accident. But bus travel is not completely safe. Far too often, the owners or operators of a public bus don’t take reasonable precautions to protect the safety of riders. If you have been injured in an accident involving a bus, or because of the carelessness or negligence of a bus driver, you want an experienced lawyer to help you get full and fair compensation for all your losses.

At the office of Michael J. Hood, LLC, we have fought for the rights of personal injury victims in Delaware for more than 31 years, including people hurt in bus and other motor vehicle accidents. We recognize that every case is different, so we take the time to learn exactly what happened to you, so that we can give you a realistic assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your case, as well as your likelihood of success. We will always tell you what you need to know, even if it’s not what you want to hear.

To set up a free initial consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at (302) 777-1000.

Our Bus Accident Practice

Attorney Hood will handle all matters related to any injured suffered on a bus or in an accident involving a bus. We will conduct a careful investigation of the details of the accident, traveling to the scene, if necessary. Attorney Hood will work with expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals and financial planners, to put together the most persuasive arguments for full financial recovery.

We take all types of injury claims related to or arising out of bus accidents, including:

  • Injuries suffered in a collision between a bus and another vehicle, whether as a passenger on the bus or a driver or passenger in another vehicle
  • Injuries suffered on a bus because of the careless or reckless driving of the bus operator, including trauma caused by sudden stops or starts, excessive rates of speed, improper lane changes, or negligence in making turns

Attorney Hood will help you pursue damages for all your losses, from wages and income to physical pain and suffering, from the costs of medical care to loss of companionship or consortium.

We take all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. We will only charge attorney fees if we recover compensation for your losses.

Contact the Law Office of Michael J. Hood, LLC

Contact us by e-mail or call our office at (302) 777-1000 to set up an appointment. Our office is open Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., but we will meet with you evenings or weekends upon request. We will travel to your home or the hospital, if necessary.

See No Evil – Hear No Evil – Speak No Evil at the Metropolitan Transit Authority

If an organization was involved in a major accident in which several people were killed, you would hope it would learn from its mistakes and take responsibility for its actions.  If the organization is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the accident is the train derailment in the Bronx that killed four and injured more than 70 two weeks ago, it’s not clear the organization is heading in that direction.

Metro North Mass Transit Accident

According to an article in the New York Times, the MTA’s board had their first public meeting since the accident, on December 16. Safety issues came up, as they have in the past year.  According to the Times,

The meeting on Monday was held as the Federal Railroad Administration was to begin a sweeping review of Metro-North’s operations and “safety culture,” the first such inquiry into a passenger railroad in the federal agency’s history. The derailment has capped what was already a difficult year for the railroad. Other troubles have included a train collision on the New Haven line in May; the death of a track foreman, who was struck in West Haven, Conn., less than two weeks later after a trainee rail controller opened a section of track without proper clearance; and the derailment of a freight train on the Hudson line in July.

Despite these repeated safety problems, some of which ended up killing people, The Times reports board members largely praised the transportation authority’s leaders, including the chairman, Thomas F. Prendergast, and Metro-North’s president, Howard R. Permut, even while they questioned the railroad’s safety record. “He didn’t cause this accident,” one board member, Charles G. Moerdler, was quoted as saying of Mr. Permut.

“You see very clearly, firsthand, the impact of the incident on people’s lives,” Pendergast was quoted,  recalling the sight of victims being removed from the Bronx crash scene. He said he was involved in “soul-searching,” trying to determine, “What could you do to prevent a recurrence from happening?”

That’s an important question to ask.  Maybe one thing that could be done is to hold leaders accountable if their organization repeatedly makes mistakes that cost lives. Without accountability, there’s little incentive to change.

In situations like this, if an organization won’t take responsibility for itself, it’s often legal claims by accident victims that result in facts coming to light and organizations being held accountable financially by the courts for their negligence and the harm they inflicted. Time will tell how this will play out for the MTA.

Contact the Law Office of Michael J. Hood, LLC

If you or a loved one have suffered serious injuries in a mass transit accident, contact our office online or call our office at (302) 777-1000. There is no charge or obligation for your first visit. Our office is open Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., but we will meet with you evenings or weekends upon request. We will travel to your home or the hospital if necessary.

The Law Office of Michael J. Hood represents accident & injury victims throughout Delaware and Pennsylvania including individuals in New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County in Delaware. Also Delaware county, Chester county and Philadelphia county in PA.