Whether you’re a resident of the San Francisco area or a visitor, San Francisco offers a network of Muni buses, light rail Metro trains, streetcars, and cable cars all overseen by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). These are a convenient and affordable way to commute or to explore the city, and they are usually safe and efficient forms of transportation.
When you or someone you love chooses one of the transportation options provided by the SFMTA, you are entrusting your safety to the driver. You don’t usually consider the possibility that something bad could happen, but there are times when the unexpected does happen while you’re a passenger.
Muni Accidents and Other Public Transit Accidents in the San Francisco Area
Accidents can and do happen to people using the different forms of transportation provided by the SFMTA. Some examples of the types of accidents that may occur include:
- A passenger in a Muni bus, train, streetcar or cable car accident
- A collision between your vehicle and an SFMTA vehicle
- A collision between your motorcycle and a Muni bus, train, streetcar or cable car
- A bicyclist or pedestrian injured by a Muni bus, train or cable car
- A slip and fall accident in a SFMTA station
These public transportation accidents can result in very serious or possibly life-threatening injuries. Head trauma, back injuries, neck injuries, broken bones, and organ damage are all possible consequences of being involved in a public transportation accident.
Possible Causes of an SFMTA Accident
Drivers of buses and trains are human and are just as capable of making a mistake while driving as any other driver. Contributing factors in accidents in a Muni bus, train or cable car may include:
- A bus or train driver error – This may include the same errors drivers of motor vehicles make, such as being inexperienced, being distracted by a cell phone or passenger, driving too fast, looking away from the road for a minute or driving while fatigued or under the influence of substances.
- An accident caused by a motor vehicle driver – When a motor vehicle driver makes an unexpected move such as swerving into the wrong lane, it can cause a bus driver to lose control of the bus.
- A defective vehicle part – If a bus or train part malfunctions, it can lead to accidents.
Statute of Limitations for SFMTA Accident
Usually in California, if you’re injured in an accident, you have up to two years to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations in California for filing a claim against a government agency is much shorter and is only six months.
This means if you’re hurt on a Muni or other public transportation, you have to file a claim against the SFMTA within six months of your accident or your time has run out. The SFMTA may be considered responsible if your injuries happened because of driver error. Drivers of public transportation vehicles owe a duty of care to their passengers and are expected to use the highest care and vigilance possible when driving these vehicles.
Get Legal Advice for Public Transportation Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured while you were a passenger on an SFMTA vehicle, or if your own vehicle was hit by a Muni or other public transportation vehicle, you may have a case against the SFMTA.
Since the statute of limitations is so short, get in touch with an expert personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Kuvara Law Firm wants to help. Fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch to set up a free consultation right away.