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Public transport injury claims: Are you owed compensation?

By z4027672030, May 12 2016 12:19PM

Accidents can occur anywhere and at any time, including on public transport. Whilst they do happen, how they are dealt with in personal injury law is not well known.

Due to this lack of clarity, we have taken a look at what you need to know regarding being involved in an

accident which involves public transport.

What is classed as “public transport”?

Public transport is defined as a mode of transport made available for use for members of the public. If you have ever travelled on a bus, train, ferry or plane, you have travelled using public transport. It doesn’t matter if you have ridden the underground or travelled to France via the UK on the Eurostar, the situation wouldn't be any different.

How are accidents on public transport categorised within the law?

Injuries on public transport are dealt with under the UK’s personal injury laws, as you have suffered a degree of harm whilst using the service. The situations in which you could suffer a personal injury on public transport can vary.

For example, you may have been hurt by a member of flight staff who wasn’t paying attention whilst serving from the refreshment trolley, or you may have hit your head when a bus driver brakes abruptly.

How can you claim for compensation?

The most important part of making a claim for compensation as a result of an injury sustained on public transport is that you are able to show the court you were entitled to expect that you would not be injured, and that someone else failed to observe your entitlement.

It can be quite a complicated process, but the compensation claim involves demonstrating two things:

Firstly, you must be able to show the court that you were entitled to be able to expect that nothing would be done to put you in harm’s way. This is more commonly known as establishing the existence of “duty of care”.

The difficulty in establishing this duty of care will vary, depending on the circumstances. People responsible for public transport (the bus drivers, train operators etc.) are under an obligation to fulfil their duties with the care and skill that is expected of someone in their position.

A bus driver is not expected to drive with the same skill level as a racing car driver; only with the level expected of the job they are doing.

Secondly, and perhaps the more difficult of the two is to demonstrate that the duty of care you were owed was breached. Essentially, you have to establish there was negligence on the part of the person your claim is against.

In order to establish this negligence, there has to be convincing evidence of it. It is your responsibility as the person claiming financial compensation to prove negligence, and this is why any evidence you are able to provide is important.

If you are able to give a detailed account of your injury, it will make finding negligence easier. Evidence can include things such as the circumstances surrounding the incident, statements from witnesses of the accident, details of your injury and photographs of the incident or injuries suffered as a result.

This is just a guide of how you may be entitled to compensation as a result of an injury suffered on public transport. If you believe you are entitled, why not seek advice from a Devon personal injury solicitor here at Taylors? We will be with you every step of the way, providing a professional and friendly service. Contact us today for more information.

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