The light rail is an important form of transportation to San Jose and San Francisco Bay Area residents. Locals, commuters, and tourists alike rely on Caltrain, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) train, the capitol corridor train, and Amtrack rails daily. The extensive light rail system, known as the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), is integral to life in the Bay. Sometimes, however, a light rail ride can end in disaster. The mass transit accident lawyers at Henshaw & Henry, PC is here to assist if you’ve been in a local light rail accident.
The light rail is typically a safe and convenient way to get around. Unfortunately, acts of negligence on the part of train operators, the VTA, and third parties can sometimes risk the health and safety of passengers. The most commonly reported injuries on the light rail come from VTA trains striking pedestrians. Other incidents that could result in passenger injury include:
After sustaining an injury on the light rail or in connection with one of its trains, report it to the authorities. Tell the train operator about what happened. If your injuries are serious or stem from a crime, call 911 and report your accident. Get medical attention for your injuries right away. Then, talk to a lawyer about your options. The light rail will typically have a “black box” that records data such as the train’s speed and braking performance at the time of the incident. A lawyer can access this information and help you seek damage recovery.
Conductor error, incompetence, or negligence may result in a light rail crash in San Jose. Operators are employees of the VTA. This makes the VTA vicariously liable for their actions and mistakes. If an operator or other light rail employee caused your harms, you may need to pursue a claim with the VTA’s insurance company. A lawyer can help you negotiate your claim with insurance adjusters, and take your case to court if necessary for just compensation.
The VTA may also be liable for your light rail accident if the company itself was negligent in some way. If poor train maintenance, unprotected railroad crossings, mechanical failure, or safety violations lead to accidents and passenger injury, victims may be able to sue the VTA for damages. As a common carrier, the VTA Light Rail owes certain duties of care to passengers. A breach of any of these duties, resulting in harm to others, is negligence.
A third party may be at fault for your accident if someone attacked you on the train, a motor vehicle crashes into the train, or if a defective part caused the crash. There is often more than one defendant in a light rail accident claim. Injured victims could have the right to obtain compensation from all negligent people or companies. The first step toward recovery for your losses is to contact Henshaw & Henry, PC. Call (408) 533-1075 for an appointment with one of our attorneys.