A Guide to Public Transportation Accidents in Nevada
While we often discuss private passenger vehicle accidents, one topic we don’t cover too often is an accident that occurs on a public transit system. There’s certainly no Las Vegas car accidents shortage, but the chances are that you have a valid claim to compensation if you’re injured while on public transit due to an accident. Many people assume that this is not the case because they aren’t the one operating the vehicle. However, nothing in Nevada Code prohibits legal action due to injuries sustained from an accident on public transit in the state, as injury lawyers of Nevada would tell you.
The Parties Involved
When you’re on public transit, you’re entrusting your safety to the bus operator. Of course, your insurance would have nothing to do with a claim. Regardless of whether another driver breaking the law caused the accident or negligent action by a transit operator caused it, it would be at least one of these parties who would pay out legitimate personal injury claims, if not both.
How It Works
99% of the time, when there’s an accident, it’s between two private vehicles. This is because public transit operators are typically more cautious than the average driver, they’re usually in very large vehicles, and they are far outnumbered on Nevada’s roads by private cars.
However, Nevada has what is known as the “Torts Claim Act.” This makes it far different from simply filing a claim through your car insurance company. We’ll discuss some of the oddities of this law that you need to know before stepping onto the bus further down. In short, this law explicitly allows bus passengers to follow a process to be allowed to file a formal personal injury lawsuit if the accident is believed to be primarily the fault of the transit operator.
Under this law, passengers involved in an accident can individually file specific forms with typically either the City of Las Vegas (if it occurred within city limits on city-owned transit) or the Nevada State Board of Examiners (if it occurred elsewhere).
Oddities of Nevada’s Torts Claim Act
First, this can only be invoked if the accident is likely the fault of the transit operator. If a third party, like a reckless driver outside the bus, clearly caused the accident, this is the individual from whom an injured party would need to seek compensation.
Should you decide to follow this process, it’s best to involve a well-known personal injury law firm Las Vegas before filing the paperwork. Remember, since it’s public funds at stake, the examiners will try to find any reason to deny it and prevent the case from going to court. Even forgetting one single field or misspelling a street name can sometimes be enough to have it completely thrown out! An extra set of experienced eyes can never hurt on this.
Second, you’re subjected to a short statute of limitations when filing under this Act than if you were filing a traditional insurance claim. Again, because it’s public money, the state tries to make it difficult by capping the statute of limitations at a very small two years. This means that a lawsuit must be filed within two years.
Is It Even Worth It?
Now that you know the oddities and technicalities in Nevada’s “Torts Claims Act,” you may be wondering if you should even bother filling out the paperwork. The answer is that, if there’s a chance that you suffered harm due to an action taken by a transit operator or due to improperly maintained equipment, you should! However, it should be done under the supervision of an experienced legal team!
If you decided that you’d like to proceed with a claim under this Act, we commend you! The Schnitzer Law Firm can assist you with every aspect of your case and help you get the best outcome possible after assessing the circumstances in a no-obligation consultation! Just give us a ring at 702-960-4050, email us at Contact@TheSchnitzerLawFirm.com, or click here to fill out our contact form today.