One of the best things about living in San Diego is the convenience of its public transport system, from the light rail system to the trolleys that ferry people around the city. They are accessible, affordable, environmentally friendly, and are a great way to get around whether or not you own a car. They are also safe, at least most of the time, but like any form of transportation, they are prone to accidents.
When an accident does happen the victim may be unsure of what steps to take next, which is why they need to hire a personal injury attorney to help them. At Injury Trial Lawyers we have over ten years of experience helping people who have been injured in a number of different scenarios. That means we know what to do if someone has been injured by a trolley in San Diego. It is the kind of situation that can get very complex for the average person, which is why you should get in touch with us if you have been in a trolley accident.
Trolley Accidents in San Diego
San Diego’s trolley system is ridden by about 120,000 people every day and is the sixth oldest in America. It is generally a safe form of transportation, but when accidents do happen they can be very serious, and sometimes even fatal. Accidents can happen inside or outside of the trolley, though the latter is more dangerous. The reason is that pedestrians and cyclists can get hit by the trolley, which can lead to serious injuries.
There are a few reasons why trolley accidents can happen, some of which are caused by operator error or negligence. The operator may be tired, intoxicated, or distracted, or they may simply be operating the trolley in a careless manner, like making sudden stops. Accidents may also occur because the tracks or the trolley are poorly maintained and unsafe to use. It is only fair to mention that some accidents are caused by pedestrians or cyclists who are not paying attention and walk or ride into the path of an oncoming trolley.
Liability in a Trolley Accident
The party responsible for the trolley accident is determined by what caused the accident in the first place. If the cause was operator error, then the operator or the MTS (Metropolitan Transit System) can be held accountable. The MTS can also be held liable for the accident if it was caused by poor maintenance of the track or the trolley. However, if a defective part was the cause of the accident, then the company that manufactured the part should be held accountable.
No matter who is at fault, the injury claim process is likely to be difficult since dealing with a large company or a government agency can be complicated.
Trolley Accident Injury Claims
The injury claim in a trolley accident depends on who was liable for the accident. That means the process is different if the MTS was responsible or if a manufacturer was responsible.
If The MTS Was Liable
If it is determined that the MTS was at fault for the accident, then the injury claims process will be different because it is a government agency. The California Tort Claims Act allows private citizens to file injury claims against the government. However, it has to be done following a strict set of rules, and within a certain time frame, which is why the assistance of an attorney is a must. In the case of a trolley accident, the claim against the MTS must be filed with the Government Claims Program of the Office of Risk and Insurance Management; this costs a small fee of $25.
The claim must be filed within six months of the accident and must include the following information:
- The name and address of the accident victim
- The address where the injury claim must be sent
- The date and location of the accident
- The circumstances that caused the accident
- A description of the damages, injuries, and other losses suffered by the accident victim at this point
- The name of the government employee responsible for the accident if it is known
- The settlement amount if it is less than $10,000. If it is more than $10,000, then the dollar amount should not be included, but it should be stated if the claimant has a limited civil case.
Once the claim has been submitted, the government agency has 45 days to respond to it. They can choose to accept it or reject it explicitly, but if they do not respond within the 45 day period, then that means the claim has been rejected. If the claim is explicitly rejected, then the accident victim can file a lawsuit against the government agency within six months of the rejection. That timeline is extended to two years if the agency rejected the claim by not responding to it.
If a Manufacturer Was Liable
If the accident was caused by a defectively manufactured component, then the manufacturer of that component should be held liable. In that case, the injury claims process is more straightforward, but it will still be challenging because the victim will be facing off against a big company. It can seem intimidating at first but with an experienced attorney from Injury Trial Lawyers representing them, they have a fighting chance of getting the compensation that they need.
Contact Injury Trial Lawyers If You Were in a Trolley Accident
Trolley accidents are fairly rare but they can be very dangerous when they do occur. They can also get very complicated since the victim will either have to face a government agency or a large company. That is why a trolley accident victim in San Diego needs to have an experienced personal injury attorney representing them.
At Injury Trial Lawyers we are ready and willing to take on big companies and government agencies on behalf of our clients. We will use our years of experience to fight for them so that they can get the compensation that they need. So if you have been in a trolley accident in San Diego, do not hesitate to contact us to find out how we can help you.