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Public Transport Accident Compensation

Overview

Claiming Compensation From Public Transport Accidents

When you use public transport to travel, whether by bus, train or tram, you assume you’ll get from point A to point B without accident or injury. Unfortunately, this basic expectation does not always match reality. Like driving your own automobile, public transit is not without risk. Each year a few dozen Australians are killed in accidents involving buses, with many more left with serious injuries.

Luckily, compensation options exist for those who have been injured in public transport accidents. If you or a loved one is hurting, physically, emotionally or financially, talk to the experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners. Our team of solicitors and barristers can help you to gather evidence and manager your claim to improve your chance of success.

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What is a public transport accident claim?

A public transport accident claim is a form of personal injury claim in a situation where your trauma was the result of an accident involving a public transport vehicle. To claim for damages, you can be either a passenger on the involved public transport vehicle or a pedestrian or other driver impacted by the accident. In most cases, your claim will be lodged against the public transport operator of the involved vehicle.

Public transport accident claims can generally be divided between being classified as a motor vehicle accident or public liability case. Motor vehicle law applies in cases where your injuries were caused by a public transit vehicle, such as a bus or light rail, colliding with another vehicle or other obstacle. In this situation, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the public transport operator was in some way at fault for the accident.

Public liability law, meanwhile, applies to situations where you were injured while being a passenger on a public transport vehicle. These laws establish that the owners of a space that is open to the public, in this case, the transport operator, have a certain duty of care to anyone in their space. If the transit operator is in some way negligent or falls short of their duty of care, they are liable to pay damages.

An example would be a case where a person slips and falls while riding a light rail because of slippery floors. To make a successful claim, a plaintiff must demonstrate both that their injuries occurred on a public transport vehicle and were the result of negligence on the part of the operator.

In addition to seeking compensation from the responsible public transport operator, accident victims in Victoria can make a claim with the state’s Transport Accident Commission (TAC). TAC is a government-owned organisation that, amongst other things, delivers benefits to residents who have been injured in transport accidents, including passengers on public transport. During the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the commission paid out $1.6 billion in compensation to over 58,000 thousand people. Injured passengers seeking compensation can use an online lodgement form to make their claim. While TAC handles compensation in approved cases, you must still report the accident to the responsible public transport operator.

While TAC only pays for accidents in Victoria, other states do have compensation schemes for specific injuries. For example, if you have a severe spinal cord injury, you may also be entitled to access to the Lifetime Care and Support Scheme (LCSS), which can cover your medical and rehabilitation costs, as well as other expenses. If you are unsure which avenues to pursue to get compensated, or not sure if your situation applies, the guidance of a trusted solicitor can help set you on the path toward a successful claim.

Process

What kind of compensation can I expect from my public transport accident claim?

If your back injury occurred on the job, in a public setting or is the result of an automobile accident, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

  • Medical expenses

This includes reimbursement for both your immediate and long-term medical care. Immediate care includes any emergency room treatment or appointments with both general practitioners and specialists following an accident. Long-term care includes ongoing treatment like physical therapy, sessions with a psychiatrist or possibly in-home care.

  • Future medical expenses

If your medical treatment will go on for an extended period of time, or possibly indefinitely, you can seek compensation that will go toward paying for future expenses.

  • Economic loss

If your injuries have limited your ability to work or prevented you from working entirely, you can claim for lost wages and superannuation. Much like medical expenses, you may be able to claim for future losses if you will be out of work for either an extended period or permanently.

  • Pain and suffering

This category covers the psychological and emotional distress or loss of quality of life that the injury may have caused you.

Your compensation amount may also be dependent on whether you choose to settle your claim in mediation or go for a full amount in court. The majority of both public liability and motor vehicle accident claims end with both sides agreeing to a settlement during the mediation process. While this means you may end up with a smaller amount, it also increases your chance of being compensated and could also save you money in lower legal costs.

Free Resources
Our guide to Motor Vehicle Accident Claims​

Download our guide to understand important time limits and processes that you need to follow to maximise your chances of success.

GErard Malouf & Partners

How can a lawyer help my case?

How can a Car Accident Lawyer help my case?

Whether you’re pursuing a motor vehicle or public liability claim, working with a solicitor who is an expert in their field can greatly increase your chance of a positive outcome.

Your solicitor can review the specifics of your situation and help you to determine if you have grounds to make a claim. From there, a solicitor can gather the evidence necessary to demonstrate both the severity and impact of your injuries and the culpability of the involved public transport operator.

If your claim is rejected, or you are offered insufficient compensation, your lawyer will be your advocate, presenting your case in both mediations and, if necessary, arbitration.

Gerard Malouf & Partners are proud to represent everyday Australians like you in the fights for compensation. Our solicitors and barristers have run thousands of both motor vehicle and public liability accident claims and can provide you with a no obligation legal review of your claim – contact us to find out more.

We're here to help

Contact us for no-obligation legal advice about your claim.

Car Accident Lawyers
Free Resources
Our guide to Motor Vehicle Accident Claims

Download our guide to understand important time limits and processes that you need to follow to maximise your chances of success.

“I really appreciate all the hard work you put in for me during my case. I only have the highest regard for you and your team!”


Our Client
Our Team

Meet the Motor Vehicle Accident team

Meet some of the diverse and dynamic compensation lawyers that support our clients with their Motor Vehicle Accident claims.

Rita Furfaro
Senior Associate
Vrege Kolokossian
Senior Partner
Garbis Kolokossian
Partner

We're here to help maximise your compensation

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of our compensation experts, or make an enquiry online now.

Gerard Malouf
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Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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