Los Angeles Public Transportation Attorneys
People use buses, subways, trains, and trolleys each day without thinking twice—more than 31 million persons board public buses and trains in the Los Angeles area each week alone. Millions more hail taxis, call Uber and Lyft, climb aboard trolleys or charter buses, or take shuttles to get where they need to go in a convenient and less expensive manner.
While never expected, a sudden accident can change the lives of hundreds of people. Mass transit crashes often cause catastrophic, disabling, or fatal injuries to many people. Even just one victim may incur millions of dollars in losses.
When such a disaster strikes, the lawyers of Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, are here to help accident victims recover financially. If you or a loved one was a victim in a mass transit incident, the lawyers at Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, have represented countless clients in similar situations. We have obtained more million dollar settlements and verdicts than any other injury firm in all of California. We regularly take on challenging multimillion-dollar cases, and we fight to maximize each client’s recovery. If you suffered severe injuries in a mass transit accident, please contact our office right away to discuss a possible case, either by confidential email or at (310) 576-1200.
Billions of Dollars Obtained for Public Transportation Accident Victims
While each claim is unique and we can never predict or promise a certain result, our past case results prove our commitment to excellence and our tradition of success for our clients. Our attorneys are not intimidated by big corporations. In fact, we welcome the opportunity to help clients seek justice in even the toughest situations. The following are some examples of case results we achieved involving public transportation or mass transit vehicles:
- $73 million for injured passengers and families of wrongfully killed individuals in a crash involving a defectively and dangerously designed 15-passenger Ford van.
- $36.1 million for a young girl whom a car hit due to the dangerous location of her school bus stop.
- $32.5 million for a client who suffered devastating injuries in an accident involving a large bus.
- $25.9 million for a family who lost a wife and mother in a crash due to a dangerously designed church van.
- $22 million for a client who suffered serious injuries in a Southern California Rapid Transit District accident.
- $13.9 million for a passenger on a Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) bus who suffered brain damage and paralysis when the bus crashed.
- $8.15 million for a wrongful death that occurred due to a school bus accident.
- $7.5 million for a client who suffered life-threatening injuries in an accident involving a Los Angeles Metro bus.
- $3.67 million for a child who suffered brain injuries, facial paralysis, and many other catastrophic injuries due to negligent bus operation.
- $3.4 million for a client who was boarding a San Diego trolley and sustained severe injuries due to the defective design of the trolley system.
- $3.2 million for a young UCLA student who suffered severe brain injuries when an MTA bus struck her.
- $2.6 million for a man whose arm a Santa Monica bus ran over and amputated.
These are only a fraction of our many groundbreaking settlements and verdicts for victims of public transportation and mass transit accidents. To discuss a possible claim after your accident and injury, please call our office for a free case evaluation today.
Why Call Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, After a Severe Mass Transit Injury?
Not every law firm has the experience and resources needed to handle mass transit injury claims. First, when filing a claim after these accidents, you are likely filing a claim against a large corporation or a government agency. This involves a completely different approach than filing a lawsuit against an individual driver after an auto collision. Special deadlines and procedural requirements may apply, so you need a lawyer with experience handling this particular kind of case.
Next, mass transit accidents commonly result in catastrophic and life-altering injuries. Many California injury lawyers have settled hundreds of cases involving relatively minor injuries, though this does not mean they know how to sufficiently help clients with catastrophic injuries. A catastrophic injury can cause permanent disabilities and require lifelong medical care. The long-term effects and losses suffered by victims usually mean millions of dollars in damages. You need an attorney who has handled a case like yours before and is prepared to handle such high-dollar claims.
At Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, we focus our practice on the toughest injury cases. We do not accept any type of case, so we can give each severe injury case the full attention it deserves to obtain maximum compensation. Our firm regularly obtains multimillion-dollar settlements and awards, so we have more resources to devote to our future clients. We have in-house investigators and a network of experts ready to help with complex mass transit cases, and not every law firm can afford to maintain these resources at hand.
Our long history of success has forced insurance companies and other law firms to recognize that we do what it takes to win for our clients. The other side knows we will push to accept only what our clients deserve. This reputation and respect benefit our clients at both the negotiating table and in the courtroom.
After a devastating injury in a complicated mass transit crash, never hesitate to consult Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP. We have the experience, resources, and reputation to help clients in your position. Consultations are always free and come with no obligation.
Devastating Injuries From Public Transportation Accidents
When accidents do occur on public transportation they often cause catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Some injuries our clients suffered in mass transit accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injurie including quadriplegia and paralysis
- Amputated limbs and severe crush injuries
- Catastrophic burns
- Internal hemorrhaging and damage to vital organs
If you or someone close to you was seriously injured or killed in a mass transit accident, discuss your case with a one of our lawyers who understands these cases and has a successful track record. We have helped clients after a full range of public transportation accidents, including:
Even claims involving privately owned mass transit vehicles can prove complex and involve different legal standards than regular car or truck accidents—because mass transit accidents involve common carriers, who have a higher duty of care to their passengers than owners of regular vehicles. Our law firm understands this standard and knows how to demonstrate to a jury when a carrier failed to meet it.
A common carrier is a legal term for a party that offers to provide transportation to the public in exchange for a fee. Common carriers can carry cargo, passengers, or both. Common carriers must comply with government operations to lawfully operate.
An important distinction between a common carrier and a regular driver is an elevated duty of care. To transport passengers for a fee, common carriers must meet the highest standard of care to ensure the safety of those passengers. Any breach of this duty that causes injuries should result in legal and financial liability for the common carrier. Our attorneys at Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, handle claims against negligent common carriers, including:
- Public and private charter buses
- Shuttle buses
- Cruise ships, ferries, and tour boats
We know how to handle all types of common carrier claims, and we are familiar with the many common carrier companies in Southern California and across the state. Some companies include the MTA, the Metro, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Culver City Bus, Long Beach Transit, the Red Line, the Blue Line, the Orange Line, the Green Line, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, San Diego Trolley, charter bus companies, Yellow Cab, and many independent taxi companies.
We want to best represent our clients’ rights after a devastating common carrier accident, and improve safety within common carrier practices for future passengers. If you suffered catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one in an accident involving any type of common carrier, contact our legal team right away to discuss your options.
While riding the subway or light rail system is statistically safer than driving yourself, data shows that more than 600 persons suffer injuries on trains, light rails, and subways each year. When subway and metro train accidents do occur, the results can be devastating, as many people suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries.
Subway and metro accidents can happen for many reasons, including fatigued or impaired operators, inadequate maintenance, faulty tracks, improper communication between trains, and more. Our team of lawyers and investigators know how to gather evidence that helps us identify and prove the cause of the accident and the liable agency.
Most Californians will never forget when the Chatsworth Metrolink train crashed in 2008. The crash resulted in 25 tragic deaths and severe injuries to at least 135 others. Our firm was nominated by other lawyers to be on the plaintiffs’ steering committee to help guide the way for a true and meaningful result for the injured. We were proud that the Metro accident victims and their families selected us and to aggressively advocate for their rights and best interests.
Metro and subway claims can present serious complications, so move quickly to meet all time limitations. Our attorneys know how to file timely claims with all applicable government agencies, including the MTA and the Southern California Rail Authority. After a serious injury on the subway, do not wait to call our firm to discuss a possible claim immediately.
Throughout Southern California, drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians travel right alongside light rails and trains. In many places, traffic and trains must cross paths, and they usually do so safely. Sometimes, however, a mishap occurs, and someone gets catastrophically or fatally injured at a railroad crossing.
Many railroad crossing accidents occur due to problems involving warning systems or sightlines of drivers. Following a train crossing accident, our investigators will examine the following and more:
- Can drivers and train operators see one another clearly at the crossing?
- Is the crossing gate lowering properly and in advance of coming trains? Are warning lights working and bright enough for drivers to see during day or night? Are warning bells working and loud enough for drivers to hear?
- Are traffic signals timed properly with crossing signals to minimize the risk that a driver will unknowingly cross the tracks?
- Does the responsible agency properly inspect and maintain the warning system and the area surrounding the crossing?
These are only a few factors that our team may investigate when a railroad crossing collision causes severe injuries or fatalities.
If you or a family member suffered serious injuries at a railroad crossing with a Red Line, Blue Line, Metrolink, or MTA train, consult a our team of lawyers that have experience handling claims against these agencies. It can take extensive investigation and presentation of evidence to prove a crossing accident happened due to the negligence of the railroad company.
A number of federal regulations regarding standards for railroad crossing safety may apply to your case. You need an attorney with a thorough understanding of these complex safety regulations and who can identify when a railroad violated any laws or failed to meet any statutory requirements. This is vital to any railroad crossing case and is only one of the many complexities involved. Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, has an extensive history of successful railroad crossing cases, often obtaining high-value trial verdicts for our clients.
Hotels, car rental companies, airports, colleges, and tour groups all use shuttle buses as a convenient way to transport larger numbers of people all at once. Many different companies own and operate these shuttles, such as DASH, Roadrunner, Super Shuttle, Prime, Flyaway, and more. While taking a shuttle is often significantly more affordable than taking a taxi or Uber, these large vehicles can cause highly dangerous accidents.
Shuttles have a higher risk of rolling over than may other vehicles. Rollovers can occur as a result of a collision with another vehicle, because a curb or object tripped the tires, or because a shuttle operator took a turn too fast. Rollover accidents can throw passengers around inside a shuttle, especially since many shuttles do not contain easily noticeable or accessible seatbelts. Rollovers can result in multiple traumatic and often life-threatening injuries to passengers.
In addition to the design defects of many shuttle buses, negligent operators can put passengers at risk in many ways. Many operators have very little training driving large shuttles, or they may engage in dangerous acts like speeding, drunk driving, reckless driving, distracted driving, or violating traffic laws. In one instance, a shuttle bus operator was trying to change a DVD in the player and, as a result of the distraction, the shuttle flipped over on the highway, causing severe injuries to multiple passengers.
Our attorneys understand how to best represent injured shuttle accident victims. Because shuttles can flip over easier due to their design, these vehicles should always come with accessible passenger restraints and other necessary safety features. When appropriate, our investigators examine whether seatbelts were available and whether the design of the shuttle was inherently dangerous. We also gather evidence of driver negligence, poor maintenance of the shuttle, negligent hiring of drivers, or any negligence on the part of any third parties that contributed to the accident. We engage in thorough and detail-oriented investigations to build the strongest case and obtain maximum compensation for our clients in shuttle bus accident claims.
Ridesharing and Taxis
Uber, Lyft, and taxis can form a convenient way to travel if you do not want to drive your own vehicle or take other forms of public transportation. Ridesharing and taxi companies are common carriers, which have the highest duty of care when it comes to keeping passengers safe from harm. Despite the legal obligation to drive safely, anyone who has hailed a cab or taken an Uber or Lyft ride knows that taxi drivers do not always exercise caution.
Riseshare and taxi drivers are known for negligent and often reckless driving behaviors. Speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, cutting off other vehicles, racing through intersections, and distracted driving are only some of the many dangerous behaviors for which taxi drivers are notorious. These can often cause devastating crashes and injuries to taxi passengers, other motorists, pedestrians, or bicyclists.
In addition, the car itself may malfunction and result in a crash. Some rideshare drivers and taxi companies fail to properly inspect or maintain every vehicle, or the manufacturer may have produced an inherently defective vehicle.
Uber and Lyft, meanwhile, have an obligation to ensure they contract with safe drivers whose vehicles are in proper condition to serve the ridesharing public.
No matter what caused your accident, holding taxi companies and drivers liable for injuries and losses is no easy task. Many taxi companies such as Yellow Cab try to work the system when it comes to meeting necessary insurance requirements, which can make filing claims a complicated and stressful process. However, in some cases, additional policies or a parent company’s policy may present opportunities for seeking compensation. You need a skilled taxi accident attorney on your side who understands how to successfully pursue common carrier and complex insurance claims in California.
About 250 million persons travel to or within the state of California on an annual basis, bringing in hundreds of billions of dollars for the state’s economy. Plenty of features attract tourists, including the extensive coastline and beaches, vineyards, amusement and theme parks, Hollywood and celebrities, national parks, and much more. Unfortunately, serious accidents and injuries disrupt can California vacations Some tourists may end their journeys with a trip to the hospital, or they may not survive their accidents.
Many tourist injuries occur due to public transportation accidents. Visitors often do not bring their own cars, so they rely on buses, shuttles, the Metro, the subway, taxis, ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft, and other forms of mass transit to get around town or the state.
Bird, Lime, Jump (which is owned by Uber), and other companies have begun renting electric scooters in Los Angeles and the surrounding communities. Metro Bike Share not only offers standard bicycles for people to use, but also bicycles with electric pedal-assist motors.
Devastating accidents can happen during a ride on public transportation or while using ride- and bike-sharing services, leaving a tourist with disabling and lasting injuries.
At Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, our lawyers aggressively seek justice for our clients, and we also work to improve safety standards, so others do not suffer the same fate. We regularly work for safer tourist attractions, public transportation, roads, beaches, crosswalks, and more so residents and tourists alike can avoid injuries. If you suffered catastrophic injuries while visiting California, call our accident and injury law firm immediately for more information.
Many transit companies in Southern California and throughout the state operate buses, trolleys, and other large passenger vehicles. While transportation experts consider these vehicles relatively safe, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported that in a single year, about 67,000 bus accidents took place in the United States, resulting in about 14,000 serious injuries and more than 250 fatalities.
Our attorneys have successfully represented clients injured on buses and trolleys operated by the following companies, among others:
- Culver City Bus
- Santa Monica Big Blue Bus
- Long Beach Transit
- Ocean Express Trolley
Regardless of the differences between bus companies, all of them are common carriers and owe the highest duty of care and safety to passengers. When bus companies or drivers fail to abide by this duty and injure others, our attorneys help injured victims hold drivers and companies fully accountable for their losses.
Determining and proving the cause of a bus accident can pose highly technical challenges. Our in-house investigators and legal team have successfully obtained multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts for bus, trolley, and transit accident victims. We also represent pedestrians and motorists in cars who suffered injuries in bus accidents. We do not hesitate to take on claims against either public or private bus companies.
The above are some examples of public transportation cases we handle at Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP. To prevail in these claims, a law firm must have substantial resources and extensive understanding of the transportation industry and applicable safety regulations and standards. Our track record makes use confident in our ability to succeed for our clients injured in traumatic public transportation crashes.
Successfully Proving Mass Transit Claims
The attorneys of Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, have a long history of success in obtaining financial compensation for clients injured on or around buses, trains, and other forms of mass transit, from airport shuttles to taxis. Mass transit accidents are legally different from other vehicle accidents for many reasons.
First, in many cases involving public transportation accidents, the liable party is a governmental entity. Whenever the defendant is the government, your attorney must understand the nuances of governmental liability, including the strict deadlines and exemptions that apply. Our law firm has prevailed in a wide range of governmental liability cases, including those involving public transportation.
The undeniable legal obstacles of suing a government entity create significant differences from a lawsuit against a private party. The government itself can present one of the greatest difficulties in obtaining the compensation injured victims deserve after a bus, subway, or a railroad crossing accident. Fortunately, our lawyers fully understand how to pursue claims against California government agencies so we can fully protect the rights of our clients.
In fact, in many situations, other law firms turn to Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, for assistance with claims against government agencies. This is yet another sign that you can rely on our legal team to fight for full compensation in every case we take. However, do not wait to consult our team if a public vehicle caused your injuries. You face strict time limits to file government lawsuits in California, which are much shorter than those for private lawsuits in civil court. You want your attorney to have ample time to fully investigate your claim and notify the government of legal action so that you do not forfeit your right to compensation.
Our clients can trust that we are skilled in public transportation litigation. We understand the unique aspects and nuances of public transportation claims, and we have won millions of dollars for public transportation accident victims to compensate them for their losses.
Investigating and Proving a High-Value Mass Transit Claim
Mass transit accidents often involve complex vehicles, and many other factors may come into play. The first step when evaluating an accident victim’s rights is to determine the cause of the accident and which parties acted negligently. The many possible causes of mass transit crashes include:
- Driver fatigue, distraction, or impairment
- Dangerous operation of the vehicle
- Inadequate driver training
- Negligently hiring or retaining drivers
- Failing to take disciplinary measures against negligent employees
- Failed or inadequate safety features
- Inadequate maintenance or inspections
- Poorly maintained railroad or subway tracks
- Defective vehicle design
Sometimes, more than one factor leads to an accident. For example, in two U.S. train crashes in recent years, the train operators suffered from untreated sleep apnea, which can cause severe fatigue during waking hours. Transportation officials also found that neither train station employed appropriate automatic-braking safety systems to stop either train from going off the end of the tracks.
Our in-house investigation team gathers and reviews large amounts of information and evidence involving every possible aspect of a crash. Investigations can often require technical knowledge of safety, design, and maintenance standards of mass transit vehicles, and we have experts ready to weigh in on the cause of an accident.
Our investigators often collect extensive evidence in public transportation accident cases. We leave no stone unturned and have our evidence warehouse ready to organize, analyze, and store all the evidence needed in appropriate cases. We regularly examine the following and more:
- Formal reports – Law enforcement and other first responders who report to the scene of a mass transit accident will write reports. Such reports may include the details of the scene, any arrests or citations they issued to the driver, or any other signs of wrongdoing that led to the crash. In addition, in many cases, agencies such as the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash and issue reports on their findings. We obtain all available reports to help prove claims of fault and liability.
- Safety and maintenance records – Companies should keep careful records showing whether they inspected and maintained their vehicles in line with applicable transportation regulations. Experts can review these records and identify whether a company knew or should have known of a defect yet failed to repair it.
- A driver’s history – Companies should fully vet all drivers they hire to operate mass transit vehicles. Drivers should obtain the proper licenses and training, and not exhibit a history of dangerous driving. For example, if a cab company owner hired a friend or family member despite a history of reckless driving or DUI convictions, the company can face liability for negligent hiring if that driver causes injuries. In addition, we can review employment records to determine whether a company should have disciplined or terminated a driver due to misconduct.
- Witness interviews – In many situations, witnesses involved in the accident or who saw the accident occur can give their accounts of what happened. Witnesses can relay whether a driver was speeding, fell asleep, or seemed impaired before the crash. Witnesses can also give information about any other vehicles involved and may corroborate our clients’ version of events.
- Surveillance video – In this day and age, cameras are everywhere. When an accident happens, cameras mounted on nearby buildings, traffic signals, parking lots, train stations, and other locations may have caught footage. In addition, many buses and trains have cameras installed that can show what happened in the moments leading up to the accident.
Our investigators know how to gather as much evidence as possible to prove each claim, and our attorneys know how to present the evidence to adverse parties and juries in the most persuasive and understandable manner. We have even held live demonstrations in our evidence warehouse for defendants, insurance company representatives, and jury members to witness in person. Knowing how to present technical evidence in the right manner often leads to successful settlements or jury verdicts for our clients.
Discuss Your Situation With the Public Transportation Accident Lawyers at Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, as Soon as Possible
The scene after a mass transit accident is often chaotic. After doctors begin treating your injuries, you may still find a long road to recovery ahead of you, and a catastrophic accident may change your life forever. While you may not know where to turn for help, always discuss your situation with a law firm that has experience helping public transportation accident victims.
Whether you suffered catastrophic injuries aboard a commuter rail line, a public bus, or in a taxi, email the attorneys of Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, or call us at (310) 576-1200 as soon as you can. We allow our clients to focus on their physical injuries while we handle the legal process. You can trust our lawyers to fully commit to each and every case that we accept, always seeking full compensation and justice for our clients.
From offices in Santa Monica, we get results for clients throughout Los Angeles and Southern California, as well as the entire state. We also consult with attorneys and clients nationwide. A member of our team is ready to discuss whether we can help you.