Getting injured can be a life-changing incident. It’s normal, then, to want to make sure that someone who causes an injury has to deal with at least some of the consequences of his or her actions. If you were injured on a bus, for example, it’d be reasonable to think about bringing a suit against the bus company. Things get more difficult if you are hurt getting off the bus – especially in a situation that you’d describe as hurting yourself. As explained below, though, you may still have a case against the bus company.
Before you can start looking at whether or not the bus company actually has any kind of liability, you must determine whether or not you have actually suffered and injury that can receive compensation. Generally speaking, injuries in a legal sense are injuries that have an effect that causes you to somehow lose money. This might include medical care, time you’ve lost at work, or even long-term issues that will stop you from making money in the future. Simply feeling pain is rarely enough to qualify as an injury, unless the pain you feel is enough to interfere with your ability to live your life.
Duty of Care
The issue at hand here isn’t whether or not you injured yourself getting off a bus. Instead, it’s an issue of determining the duty of care that was owed to you by the transit company. When you become a customer of the bus company, you put yourself into the care of that company. Under the law, the bus company is supposed to protect its passengers. Indeed, a bus company actually owes its riders a fairly heavy duty of care, one that puts the onus of keeping passengers safe on the company.
In the case of a person who is injured, that generally means taking the steps necessary to insure against injury. While most might think of this as making sure passengers are safe in the event of a crash (and indeed, making sure crashes don’t happen), it can still apply both when the passenger is boarding and disembarking the bus. If the bus company hasn’t made that process reasonably safe – or if it knows of a potentially dangerous situation it could have prevented – that duty of care has still been breached and the company may have some degree of liability when it comes to your injury.
Whether or not you have a case, then, depends both on whether your injury is severe and whether your injury was caused by an incident that the bus company had a duty to prevent. If the stairs were wet, the bus driver moved the bus unusually, or you were using unsafe equipment, the bus company may well have still owed you some duty of care. This is a situation in which all of the facts of the incident matter quite a bit, so it’s important to gather as much information as possible before you speak to an attorney.
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