Can I sue the transit authority if I was riding on a bus when a car hit us from behind and now I have a bad back?

I was headed to work on the bus going southbound. I was sitting in the back when the bus made a stop. A truck headed eastbound made a right hand turn ,hitting the bus from behind enough to startle the rest of the passengers. I completed an incident report and gave it back to the driver. I also took a picture of it for my files. I’ve had a bad back and this a.m. I woke up with more pain. Is there anything I would be entitled to?

Asked on June 18, 2012 under Personal Injury, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

What exactly did the transit authority or the bus driver do wrong? From what you write, the bus was hit from behind by another vehicle; when that happens, the law presumes that the other driver is at fault (i.e. the one behind is presumed to have the better chance to avoid the accident and thus to be responsible for failing to avoid it), unless exceptional circumstances demonstrating the lead driver's fault can be shown.

The transit authority is not your insurer; they do not have to pay you simply because you were injured on their bus. They would only be liable to the extent they were at fault, and, if not at fault, do not owe you compensation.

You could potentially sue the truck driver who hit the bus, if you believe he/she was negligent, or careless.

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