Can You Sue Public Transit in San Jose After a Brain Injury?

Many residents of San Jose rely on the public transit system to travel safely around the city. Services like the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) system are crucial for many people who are trying to get to work, visit friends, or simply explore the beautiful area of San Jose and San Francisco. But what happens when you become injured? What happens when it becomes clear that this public transit system is not as reliable or as safe as you initially thought? What happens when you’re left with a potentially life-altering brain injury that was caused by the negligence of BART workers or the inadequacy of the system itself?

If you have suffered a brain injury after using public transit in San Jose, you need to get in touch with a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. When it comes to filing a claim against a government agency like BART, time is of the essence. Your chances of achieving a favorable legal outcome increase considerably if you act quickly and get in touch with a professional soon after your accident. Getting medical treatment is always the first priority, but you should consider your legal options as soon as you are able.

The Statute of Limitations

The first thing you need to know is that it is possible to sue public transit systems like BART and bus operators. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that these are technically government organizations, so they enjoy a certain degree of protection from lawsuits. Perhaps the most notable form of protection is the statute of limitations. This prevents you from filing lawsuits against BART and other government agencies if you wait too long after your accident.

For a typical personal injury lawsuit in California, you have two years to file a claim. But when you are suing a government agency for a personal injury, you only have six months to file your claim. This is an extremely short window of time when compared to a normal personal injury lawsuit, and it highlights the importance of acting quickly after your accident.

Head injuries can be especially problematic when dealing with these deadlines. In many cases, victims may be hospitalized for longer than six months. During this period, they may be dealing with significant cognitive impairment. They may require complicated surgical procedures that take months to recover from. They may need to re-learn how to perform basic tasks, like reading, speaking, and walking.

In some cases, patients may need extensive psychological treatment to help them deal with things like aggressive and impulsive behavior as a result of their brain injury. Some brain injury victims may remain in comas for months or even years after the accident.

So what happens if a brain injury patient misses the six-month deadline because of these various factors? Fortunately, the clock only starts ticking when a plaintiff becomes aware of their injuries. This means that when a person regains their cognitive abilities or comes out of a coma, they can file a personal injury claim against BART even if the normal deadline has passed. 

Notable BART and Bus Accidents

There have been a number of public transit-related accidents in California over the years, and many have caused serious injuries and fatalities. In 2021, a man stole a vehicle and crashed it into a public bus in Santa Barbara. This caused six passengers on the bus to suffer injuries. In 2016, two people were killed when a Greyhound bus crashed in San Jose. The crash also caused eight people to be seriously injured. It was later revealed that driver fatigue was a major factor in the crash.

In 2019, a VTA bus in East San Jose caught fire after colliding with a high-power transmission line. The driver of the bus and the driver of an SUV were treated for injuries before being transported to a nearby hospital. The danger of electrocution was incredibly high, as the power line ended up dangling over the street as bystanders watched and took pictures with their phones.

In 2013, two BART workers were killed after being struck by a train. The two individuals were reportedly investigating a dip in the track when a train collided with them. The train was in “automatic mode” at the time, and human error was apparently not to blame. In 2018, a man was caught between the platform and the train at Balboa station, causing a serious medical emergency. After this incident, many observers pointed out notable design flaws in the train’s construction, such as the lack of trackside barriers.

You Can Also Sue BART for Assaults

If you are assaulted and beaten by criminals while on BART premises, you can also sue the organization for failing to provide adequate safety measures. While being assaulted or robbed, many victims suffer head injuries. A notable case occurred in 2017, when a family sued BART for $3 million after being attacked by a mob of criminals. The plaintiff argued that BART was guilty of gross negligence for not keeping them safe, and he claimed that there was “better security at the mall.”

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney as Soon as Possible

If you have been searching the San Jose area for a legal professional who can help you with your personal injury claim, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. Your head injury could have a significant effect on your future well-being, and you are fully entitled to take legal action against negligent parties, such as the BART. While there are a few notable challenges associated with suing a government agency, you stand a strong chance of a positive outcome with our help.

Reach out today, and we can help you take legal action in a swift, effective manner. Remember, the statute of limitations requires you to move quickly after your accident. With the right legal representation, you can recover compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and other damages. Book your consultation now.