Paratransit Accident: Dropped While Being Transported to the Hospital, Nursing Home, or Doctor
Gregg Hollander | March 29, 2022 | Personal Injury
Paratransit accidents can cause severe personal injuries. If you use paratransit, you probably lack the strength to catch yourself if you get dropped by a transportation service provider.
In many situations, you can hold someone liable for a paratransit accident. This will help you or a loved one gets compensation for medical bills and other damages caused by the drop.
Here is a quick guide to paratransit accidents and how to get compensation for them.
How Paratransit Accidents Happen
Paratransit accidents can happen in a variety of ways. These include:
- The driver fails to secure your wheelchair in the wheelchair lift and drops you
- The wheelchair lift malfunctions and drops you
- Your wheelchair comes loose while the bus is moving
- A bus accident causes you to fall from your wheelchair
These accidents can often cause serious injuries. Paratransit customers often lack the arm and leg strength to catch themselves as they fall. Many paratransit passengers have health issues that can leave them vulnerable to fractured bones, blood clots, and brain injuries.
Liability for Paratransit Accidents
When a paratransit accident happens, you can often seek injury compensation. You have many options for recovering compensation, depending on the facts of your accident.
Some parties that might bear liability for your injuries include:
When a paratransit driver acts negligently, their employer bears vicarious liability for its employee’s actions during the scope of employment. Thus, if you believe your accident resulted from the negligence of the paratransit operator’s employee, you will assert a claim against the operator.
A paratransit operator could also bear liability for:
- Failing to maintain or repair equipment
- Poor training of employees
- Deficient procedures for handling injury accidents
- Negligent hiring
If you got injured on a paratransit bus operated by Broward County Transit (BCT), you can still recover injury compensation. Normally, government agencies have immunity from lawsuits under the doctrine of sovereign immunity. However, Florida has waived sovereign immunity for claims involving negligence in certain circumstances.
To file a claim against BCT, you may need to jump through some extra hoops, such as notifying the county of your claim within a set period after the accident.
If your paratransit accident happened on BCT, you should contact an injury lawyer to discuss the steps you need to take to preserve your claim.
If your accident happened because of defective equipment, you may have a product liability claim against the equipment manufacturer. For example, if the wheelchair lift broke and dumped you out of your chair, you could assert an injury claim against the lift manufacturer.
To prove the equipment was defective, you must show that the equipment had a defect in the product design, manufacturing, or warnings. This means that you can win your case if you show that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s hands. This will make the manufacturer liable for your injuries, even if the manufacturer was unaware of the defect.
Repair and Maintenance Facilities
Suppose that the paratransit operator outsources maintenance and repair. You might have a claim if your accident resulted from negligent maintenance or repair work. Thus, if the strap for holding your wheelchair in place was frayed and rotted, you can pursue the facility responsible for replacing worn straps.
Suppose that a paratransit operator was contracted by your hospital, nursing home, or doctor. You might have a claim against the entity that hired the paratransit service.
You would assert that the hiring entity failed to adequately check the paratransit operator. You would prove this by showing that the operator had a checkered past that should have raised red flags. By ignoring these red flags, the hiring entity exposed you to an unreasonable risk of injury.
Contact an Attorney About Pursuing a Paratransit Claim
You should speak to a lawyer about your paratransit claim. As mentioned above, you may have special rules for your claim if your injury resulted from BCT’s paratransit service.
Contact a personal injury lawyer for help pursuing a claim after a paratransit accident. They can help you explore your legal rights and calculate your damages from the incident.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in South Florida
If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers in Florida at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today. We have three convenient locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.
We proudly serve Palm Beach County, Broward County, and its surrounding areas:
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
7000 W Palmetto Park Rd #500
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
200 S.E. 6th Street #203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – West Palm Beach Law Office
319 Clematis St #203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401