Public Transit Accidents in the GTA

Public Transit Accidents in the GTA

Public Transit Accidents in the GTA

Have you been injured on our public transit? Many Torontonians don’t realize that there is a way to file a claim against an entity such as the Toronto Transit Commission, but in fact, hundreds of claims are made each year. In 2017 alone, the TTC paid out $33.6 million for injuries. Many of these claims were for incidents involving collisions between TTC vehicles and other vehicles -- in the three-year period between the beginning of 2014 and the end of 2016,  TTC buses, streetcars, and Wheel-Trans vehicles were involved in 11,498 crashes. Some of the claims involved incidents where TTC vehicles struck pedestrians or cyclists. These accidents ranged from minor ones where no one was injured to major accidents where fatalities resulted.

However, many claims were for other types of incidents such as slip-and-fall accidents on TTC property, or injuries sustained due to driver error. Recent stories about TTC-related accidents include reports about people slipping on poorly-maintained TTC station stairs, as well as incidents where passengers were flung from their seats when newer articulated (“bendable”) streetcars rounded a corner too quickly. Fortunately, most of the injuries sustained in these types of incidents have been minor, but even minor injuries can create pain, discomfort, and inconvenience for those who sustain them.

If you are injured while riding the TTC, or on TTC property, how should you proceed?

What To Do

First, remain calm, take your time, and ask for the help you need. Many times when people are injured in a public place, embarrassment causes them to downplay the incident and assure those watching that they are fine. However, often when you are injured you are in shock and don’t realize the extent of your injuries. You may be injured and not yet feeling the full effects. If you suspect that a bone has been broken, if you have been cut and are losing blood, if you are in pain, or if you have lost consciousness even briefly, have someone call an ambulance. These types of injuries require emergency medical aid. Even if you are able to get up, walk, and continue with your day, go to a clinic or to your family doctor as soon as you can. There are two reasons for this: you may need treatment for your injuries, and you may need to have a medical record of your injuries in order to proceed with a claim.

Another thing to consider, if you or a companion is able to, is that it can be beneficial to record the accident scene by taking photos. A photo of a puddle on the stairs can prove that there was a reason for a slip-and-fall, for instance.

Again, if you are able, gather contact information from any witnesses at the scene. If you pursue a claim, statements from witnesses that corroborate your account can be invaluable.

Finally, consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. A lawyer who has experience with personal injury cases can help to guide you through the process, which can be complex and exacting.

What to Look For

The lawyer you choose to help you can make a huge difference. Many people, worried that engaging a lawyer will be costly, attempt to navigate the process by themselves. However, this choice can end up costing you money – and it will add untold stress to your life!

Contact a law firm with experience in personal injury law and ask for a meeting with one of their lawyers. (Most personal injury lawyers will provide an initial consultation free of charge.) Once you explain what happened, the lawyer will be able to advise you about how to proceed. Unlike many other kinds of lawyers, most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means that you will not be billed for the firm’s services until your claim is settled; your lawyer will simply retain a percentage of the settlement amount. If you do not receive a settlement, you will not be charged.

Filing the paperwork necessary to make a claim is extraordinarily difficult for someone who has never done it before, and it’s easy to miss a deadline, or to make errors in submission. A lawyer who has experience with these kinds of cases is invaluable. But a good personal injury lawyer can also be a great support during a difficult time. When you are injured, you may be experiencing stress and worry about health and finances. A personal injury lawyer can help you to find ways to reduce these types of stresses, and be a support for you as you heal.

When you consider that TTC vehicles cover 750 million kilometres per year, and that these carry 538 million riders, it’s inevitable that accidents will occur. If you have been injured, please don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury law firm, and get the compensation that you deserve.