Public Transportation AccidentsProving Negligence After an Accident on Public Transport

December 6, 20230

Being injured in an accident on public transportation can be a traumatic and frustrating experience. As a passenger, you expect the transportation provider to get you to your destination safely. When an accident happens due to their negligence, you have the right to hold them accountable and seek compensation for your injuries. Here is some guidance on proving negligence after an accident on a bus, train, or other public transit.

Duty of Care

The first element you must establish is that the transportation provider owed you a duty of care. This means they were responsible for your safety and had an obligation to protect you from harm. Public transit operators have a very high duty of care to passengers as they are transporting large numbers of people. This duty begins when you board the vehicle and ends when you safely exit.

Breach of Duty

To prove negligence, you must also show the transportation provider breached their duty of care through their actions or failure to act. Examples could include the bus driver texting while driving, the airline failing to properly maintain the aircraft, or a train operator falling asleep at the controls. The breach is defined as conduct that falls below the reasonable standard of care expected of transportation providers.

Injury Caused by Breach

Your injuries and damages must be caused directly by the defendant’s breach of duty. For example, if the driver’s texting resulted in them running a red light and hitting another vehicle, injuring passengers – the injuries were a direct result of the distracted driving. The cause must also be proximate, meaning there is a close connection between the breach and accident, without any intervening factors to break the chain of causation.


To receive compensation, you must have quantifiable damages that were caused by the accident due to the defendant’s negligence. This can include medical bills, lost income from missed work due to the injuries, pain and suffering, property damage if personal items were lost or destroyed, and other costs stemming from the incident. Document these damages with evidence like medical records, pay stubs, repair bills and receipts.

Evidence Gathering

Proving negligence relies heavily on evidence. Some strategies for gathering evidence after a public transit accident include:

  • Taking photos and videos of the scene, vehicles, and your injuries
  • Obtaining police reports, transit authority reports, witness statements
  • Requesting maintenance logs, inspection records, training records from the transit provider
  • Retaining and preserving evidence like tickets, schedules, or items damaged in the crash
  • Consulting experts like accident reconstruction specialists or investigators
  • Subpoenaing surveillance video if available
  • Looking for previous negligence or safety issues with the transit provider

Having an experienced personal injury attorney assist with evidence collection can ensure it is done properly. They know what evidence is needed to build a strong negligence claim.

Proving the elements of duty, breach, causation, and damages is essential to showing the public transportation entity was negligent and accountable for the harms their actions caused to passengers. Consulting us at Binder Law Group can help you navigate this complex process and obtain fair compensation when an accident leads to serious injuries or other substantial losses. We can guide you in gathering persuasive evidence and presenting a compelling case. With the right approach and legal support, compensation may be within reach.

Call into our office at 16633 Ventura Blvd. #602 Encino, CA 91436.

Call now for a free consultation on (818) 659-8588.