Life can change dramatically in an instant, as a Maryland man recently discovered when his scooter collided with a public bus, leading to severe injuries. Such incidents raise the question: What happens next?
In Maryland, those who suffer injuries due to collisions with public buses may be able to claim damages against the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA).
Filing a claim against the MTA
The MTA is the government agency that operates the public bus system. And filing a claim against the state agency takes work. Those injured may encounter some challenges and limitations when considering filing a claim. Here are some of the factors that they need to consider:
- They may need to file a notice of claim within 180 days: Before anyone can sue the MTA for injuries, they need to file a claim with the MTA within 180 days of the accident. This claim should include their name, address, phone number, the date and location of the accident and other important details about the incident. Failure to file this claim within the specified period may result in the MTA disregarding the motion.
- They may need to prove that the MTA was negligent: To obtain compensation from the MTA, victims must demonstrate that either the MTA or its employees acted negligently, contributing to the accident. For instance, a scooter rider might have to show that the bus driver was speeding, distracted, impaired or that they failed to maintain the bus properly.
- The accident caused their sustained injuries: They may also need to show that the accident caused their injuries and not by any pre-existing conditions or other factors.
- They may face caps or limits on their compensation: The MTA benefits from the protection of the Maryland Tort Claims Act (MTCA), limiting the liability of the state agency against personal injury claims.
After an accident, a victim can recover up to $400,000 each. However, if more victims were in the same incident, they’d have to split a max of $800,000. Some might seek punitive damages, which are meant to punish bad behavior and prevent it from happening again. However, the MTCA does not permit such damages. The whole legal system can be complex. So, it’s crucial for anyone hurt in an accident to understand their rights and the compensation avenues available to them.