MARTA bus accidents are not uncommon. MARTA stands for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, and it provides cost-effective, convenient public transportation. MARTA buses convey thousands of people to different locations within and outside Atlanta daily. So, MARTA bus drivers and officers are responsible for the safety of their passengers.
Also, like every other vehicle and road user, MARTA drivers owe a duty of care to everyone on the road. Thus, when an accident occurs from their negligence, a victim can hold the driver responsible for their injuries. However, there are instances where the driver might not be the only liable party in a crash.
In such an instance, it is crucial to know the proper party to sue. In this article, our Atlanta MARTA accident lawyers provide answers on who you can sue following a MARTA bus accident. If you suffer injuries from an accident of this type, contact us for expert legal advice and representation.
What Are the Causes of a MARTA Bus Accident?
Like most motor vehicle crashes, several factors cause traffic collisions involving MARTA buses. Some of the most common ones are:
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
In Georgia, it is unlawful for a driver to operate a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol. The legal blood alcohol concentration limit for adult drivers is 0.08%. But for bus drivers and other operators of commercial vehicles, the BAC limit is 0.04%.
Impairment affects the driver’s cognitive abilities and the central nervous system. As a result, MARTA bus drivers who drive impaired are more likely to swerve, make inappropriate lane changes, and collide with their vehicles and objects. When this happens, there will be both criminal and civil liabilities.
Distractions can be visual, manual, or mental. When a driver loses focus from driving, they are more likely to cause an accident. MARTA bus drivers must keep their eyes on the road at all times, as it takes only about three seconds for a distracted driver to crash.
Speeding is a common cause of MARTA bus accidents. This is because of the large sizes of these buses and their inability to stop in time to avoid a crash. Also, MARTA buses are prone to hydroplaning on wet roads, and combined with speed, accidents are likely to happen.
Sharply Taking Turns
Due to the long size of buses, taking turns might be difficult for drivers. For this reason, MARTA bus drivers should slow down when taking turns and avoid swinging too wide. Failure to do this would likely cause an accident at the intersection.
Who Can You Sue Following a MARTA Bus Accident?
After a MARTA bus accident where you’re not at fault, you can sue three sets of people for damages.
The Bus Driver
The first person you can sue for a MARTA bus accident is the driver. The driver would be liable when their negligent act caused the accident. For example, if a bus operator was impaired while driving or responding to a text on their phone, they will personally bear the damages in the crash. You’ll have to file a claim against their insurance provider to get compensation for your losses.
As a government entity, the officials or city government would be indirectly liable for any damages resulting from the MARTA bus accident. For example, suppose MARTA officials hire drivers who have no experience or a history of drunk driving citations. They will be guilty of negligently hiring an unfit driver.
Thus, when an accident happens, the agency would be the one to pay damages. Note that accidents involving MARTA fall under Georgia carrier laws. Hence, you need to file a claim against the agency within one year of the crash. After that, MARTA can either accept or deny your claim. If they accept, you’ll get compensated, but if they deny it, you’ll need to file a personal injury lawsuit.
There are times a MARTA bus accident occurs due to the negligence of a third party. For example, if a vehicle suddenly enters in front of the bus, and the driver swerves to avoid a collision but ends up hitting your car. In such an instance, the liable party would be the first driver who started the events that led to the collision.
Experienced Atlanta MARTA Accident Lawyers Can Help You Win!
Since MARTA is a governmental agency, winning a claim or lawsuit against them can be difficult alone. But with our team of experienced Atlanta MARTA bus accident lawyers at The Weinstein Firm, you stand a chance of getting the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.