MARTA Bus Accidents
In large cities like Atlanta, city buses are a common sight on the roadways. While riding on public transportation is generally safe, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) buses are occasionally involved in accidents that injure their passengers and other motorists. If such an accident is the result of negligence on the part of MARTA, anyone who’s injured may be able to seek compensation through a personal injury suit. The attorneys at Slappey & Sadd can guide you through the often-complex process of filing a personal injury suit against a government entity and obtaining the maximum compensation to which you are entitled. We serve MARTA’s entire service area, including Fulton County, Clayton County, DeKalb County, and Cobb County.MARTA is a Common Carrier
MARTA is a common carrier and thus owes its passengers an extraordinary duty of care. A common carrier is a company that holds itself out to the general public for the transportation of goods or people and that operates under the authority of a regulatory body. “Extraordinary care” is a legal standard that is much higher than ordinary negligence, and means that, in actions for negligence and in cases of loss, the presumption is against the carrier. In addition to public transit companies, common carriers include airlines, railroads, bus lines, taxi companies, cruise ships, and freight companies. By contrast, a private carrier is not licensed to offer services to the public and provides transport only on an irregular basis and only to its owners. Thus, if you are injured while you are a passenger on a MARTA bus, the legal system will hold MARTA to a very high standard of care that is much more difficult for them to overcome than it would be for a defendant held to an ordinary standard of care.Types of MARTA Accidents We Handle
There are an almost infinite number of things that can go wrong and cause an accident during a bus ride:
- the bus stops too suddenly, causing riders to fall forward onto the floor;
- the bus accelerates too quickly, causing riders to fall backward onto the floor;
- the driver engages in unsafe or reckless driving practices;
- the bus turns too widely and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian in its path;
- a rider is victimized by a crime committed on the bus that was a result of MARTA not adequately protecting its passengers from crime.
Even though MARTA is a common carrier and is subject to a high standard of care, lawsuits against it can be difficult because it is also a public entity. Public entities enjoy “sovereign immunity,” which prevents them, in most cases, from being sued by private citizens. In some cases, however, the public entity will waive sovereign immunity and allow itself to be sued. When this happens, there are often many more hoops to jump through than there would be in an ordinary personal injury suit. Thus, if you are injured in a MARTA bus accident and plan to sue, it is important that you seek legal counsel to navigate your case through this additional procedural thicket.