Accidents happen. It’s just a part of life – but what happens when you are injured while riding public transportation? With this simple guide, we’ll walk you through what to do if you are hurt in an NJ Transit accident. New Jersey Transit may be the nation’s third largest provider of bus, rail, and light rail services. But it may not be the case that “bigger is better” when it comes to safety. The simple fact is that New Jersey Transit has a higher proportion of accidents than the majority of transit authorities in the US. Over the past five years, there have been over 150 accidents reported across the system, with the most recent being on April 29, 2018, when an NJ Transit train struck and killed a 16-year-old girl just east of Paterson Station, near Clifton.
It is not just accidents which have dented the reputation of New Jersey Transit. Federal investigators documented over 800 violations in 2017 alone – with 42 percent being safety violations and 22 percent faulty equipment. While NJ Transit reports that they have addressed the federal investigator’s claims, they have still spent well over half a million dollars to settle safety violations over the last decade.
If You Were Injured, Time is of the Essence
If you were injured in an NJ Transit accident, whether while you were on a bus, on a train, or in an NJ Transit station, you may be entitled to seek compensation. Though it is essential that you file your claim quickly. As NJ Transit is a government entity, any claims against them are subject to particular time constraints. This means that you must notify the authority by filing a Tort Claim notice; no later than 90 days after your accident. Also, as some buses are owned and leased by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, you only have one year to sue for your injuries; as opposed to the two year period typically allowed under state law.
Steps to Take if You or a Loved One Were Injured
If you or a loved one were injured while using NJ Transit, here are the steps you must take immediately:
- Receive medical attention as soon as possible. Gaining an accurate and thorough understanding of the injuries you have suffered is essential for filing a claim.
- Gather as much information as possible – photograph the scene of the accident and obtain witness contact information.
- Alert the operator that you were injured.
- Contact an experienced lawyer who has experience in dealing with public transportation
Filing a claim against the NJ Transit Authority can be a daunting task. You need a dedicated, experienced, and knowledgeable attorney who will fight for you. At the Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A., we have decades of experience in getting our clients the results they deserve when injured while on public transportation. If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in an NJ Transit accident, call us today at (973) 358-6134 for your free consultation. Our knowledgeable team will provide you with the information you need about your legal rights. And they will work diligently to protect your rights.