Rely on a Los Angeles Metro Accident Lawyer to Protect Your Interests
Many residents get around Los Angeles via the Metro system because of the convenience or to avoid the extremely congested city streets, while others ride because they assume that it is a safer option. The statistics on car accidents are disturbing, and you may expect that you are at a lower risk of injuries by taking public transportation. However, whether due to confusing signals at crossings, a distracted train operator or other factors, Metro accidents are more common than you think. When collisions do happen, the physical, emotional, and financial impacts on victims are devastating.
If you were injured in such an accident, please contact the Dolan Law Firm to set up a free consultation with one of our skilled Los Angeles Metro accident attorneys. Our dedicated team can assist you in getting the compensation you deserve, a task which can be extremely complex when dealing with a government body. We will explore all legal remedies and develop a strong strategy to help you recover as fully as possible for the trauma you experience.
Complications When Suing the Government
In a typical personal injury case, you need to prove that the responsible party breached a legal duty of care and caused the accident in which you were injured. You must also show that you suffered losses as a result of your injuries. However, a Los Angeles Metro accident is not the typical personal injury claim. The public transportation system is operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (LACMTA), a governmental body. Therefore, a special set of laws applies if you are a victim of such a crash.
California Tort Claims Act
Under this state law, there are certain steps and rules that you must follow when pursuing government agencies, including the LACMTA. Failure to comply could lead to your personal injury claim being rejected initially, or even barred forever.
Some of the procedural rules involved with filing a claim against the LACMTA include:
- You must submit your written claim to the LACMTA within six months after the incident that caused your injuries;
- In your claim, you must list your own basic contact information and identify the LACMTA as the party that caused your injuries and losses;
- Your claim must also include:
- The date, location, and other details about the accident; and,
- A description of the circumstances of the accident, providing as much detail as possible.
As you may expect, even when you file within the timeframe and include all the necessary information, your claim is likely to be rejected. Fortunately, you can still file a lawsuit in court against the LACMTA, but – again – a different set of rules applies. For one, you must sue the agency within one year after you receive an official denial of your administrative claim from the LACMTA. This time period is significantly shorter than the general statute of limitations for personal injury cases in California, which is two years.
Other California Laws Affecting Your Claim
One legal concept that still applies when you are suing a government body is comparative negligence, and it could lead to an unfortunate result if you do not employ the right legal strategies. Under this theory, your compensation is reduced if your own actions were a contributing factor in the Metro accident. The amount you can recover is lowered on a percentage basis, which is calculated by the fault associated with your conduct. For instance, if you were 40 percent at fault and claimed $100,000 in damages, you can only recover $60,000.
Get Compensation for Your Losses as a Victim
If successful in establishing the required elements in a negligence case, and you comply with the requirements of the California Tort Claims Act, you may be able to recover for your losses. There are two types of compensation available, which are based upon the types of damages you sustain.
- Economic Damages: This category includes the documented, calculable losses you suffer due to your injuries, some of which may be out-of-pocket expenses. Examples of economic damages include:
- The costs of medical treatment, emergency transportation, surgery, physical therapy, pain prescriptions, and related expenses; and,
- Lost wages, if you are prevented from working as a result of your injuries.
- Non-Economic Damages: Though they cannot be quantified, you may experience other subjective losses for which you are entitled to compensation. Non-economic damages may be recoverable for:
- Pain and suffering;
- Losses based upon your personal relationships;
- Emotional distress;
- Scarring and disfigurement;
- Diminished quality of life and overall well-being; and,
- Similar types of damages, depending on the circumstances of your claim.
Filing a Claim for Los Angeles Metro Accident Injuries
Like any type of accident, the circumstances behind a particular Los Angeles Metro crash are unique. There may be just one cause but, in most cases, there are multiple, interconnected factors that lead to a collision. As such, there may be parties besides the LACMTA that could be responsible for your injuries, such as:
- A private company or government body that owns the section of the track where the accident occurred, if that entity failed to maintain it in safe condition;
- Another vehicle driver, such as where the incident involved a car or truck that was on or near the tracks;
- The manufacturer of the engine or any train components, especially where the accident resulted from defective parts or related equipment;
- The manufacturer of a railway crossing barrier, if the gate did not lower or no alarm sounded regarding an approaching train; and,
- Many other potential parties.
Set up a Free Consultation with a Metro Accident Lawyer in LA
When the unthinkable happens and you are hurt in a crash on public transportation, you need solid representation from a knowledgeable attorney. At the Dolan Law Firm, our Los Angeles Metro accident lawyers have the skills and experience to help you seek your legal remedies from the LACMTA and other potential parties. Please call us toll free at 1-888-452-4752 to schedule a free consultation regarding your claim, or visit our website to learn more about our legal services.