San Francisco residents have access to ample public transportation. Through the San Francisco Muni, residents can utilize buses, trolleys, light rail, cable cars, and streetcars. The city’s public transportation system is the seventh-largest in the United States, providing over 200,000,000 rides per year.

Unfortunately, buses and trolleys aren’t always safe. They injure some Muni passengers. Other times, buses hit car drivers or pedestrians. San Francisco is known for its dangerous roads. In 2019, the city declared a state of emergency for traffic safety after more than twenty people died in crashes. Despite this caution, Muni accidents have increased in recent years.

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a Muni bus crash, you need an experienced accident lawyer. The legal advocates at The Wakeford Law Firm help San Francisco bus accident victims get the compensation they need. Attorney Wesley Wakeford has been fighting for people injured on the streets of San Francisco since 2003. As an experienced trial lawyer, Wesley has the knowledge and skill to fight big insurance companies to get victims a fair settlement.

Here are some more things you should know about Wesley Wakeford:

  • He has settled or litigated hundreds of cases;
  • He represents clients in lawsuits against individuals, governmental agencies, insurance companies, and businesses;
  • He volunteers with the AIDS Legal Referral Panel and the San Francisco Bar Association; and
  • He has recovered collective millions for accident victims.

To speak with Wesley about your Muni accident injury, contact his law office for a free consultation. If you would like to learn more about Muni accident lawsuits, this article provides an overview.

What Causes Muni Accidents?

Muni accidents occur for many reasons, from driver error to hazardous weather conditions. Here are some of the common reasons people are injured by Muni buses, trains, and trolleys:

  • Vehicle malfunction,
  • Distracted driver,
  • Intoxicated driver,
  • Reckless driver,
  • Driver error,
  • Weather conditions,
  • Distracted pedestrian,
  • Negligent car driver, and
  • Roadway damage.

If you were injured for any reason on a Muni bus, you should consult an accident attorney. While you can’t sue for every Muni injury, an attorney can help you evaluate your situation to determine what compensation you might pursue.

How Does Muni Injure People?

While providing public transportation to millions of people, Muni buses and trolleys sometimes cause injuries. Passengers, car and motorcycle drivers, and pedestrians might experience these Muni injuries:

  • Concussion or traumatic brain injury,
  • Broken bones,
  • Spine injuries and paralysis,
  • Soft tissue injuries,
  • Internal bleeding,
  • Lacerations, and
  • Disfigurement.

Some Muni injuries are life-altering, while others are just serious enough to put your family in financial jeopardy. You shouldn’t have to worry about your finances when you are trying to recover from accident injuries. An accident attorney can help you fight for fair Muni injury payment.

When Can You Sue for a Muni Injury?

After you suffer a bus injury, you have only a limited time to sue. California imposes a six-month statute of limitations for lawsuits against government agencies. Such a short opportunity for legal action means you must consult an accident attorney soon after your accident. If you try to file a claim after six months elapses, the court will likely throw out your lawsuit.

If you have already lost the opportunity for a Muni lawsuit due to the statute of limitations, you may have other legal options. For instance, if a defective product or another driver caused your accident, you may have longer to sue. In those cases, the statute of limitations may extend for up to two years.

What Do You Have to Prove in a Muni Accident Claim?

To win a Muni accident lawsuit, you must prove Muni’s liability for your injuries. Liability requires showing these elements of negligence.

Duty of Care

As a government entity, Muni has a duty to protect riders, pedestrians, and other drivers. This means the company must show responsible work practices, including these:

  • Mechanics must safely maintain and repair buses;
  • Supervisors must train mechanics, drivers, and other employees; and
  • Drivers must obey traffic laws and pay attention to roadway hazards.

All roadway drivers have the responsibility to take reasonable precautions to avoid injuring others. As “common carriers,” people involved in bus transportation owe an even higher duty of care to passengers. California law requires common carriers to use the “highest care and the vigilance of a very cautious person” toward their passengers.

Breach of Duty

If any Muni employee breaches a duty of care, it could cause an injury. For instance, maybe a mechanic failed to check brake fluid balances. Perhaps a driver was under the influence of drugs. Maybe a supervisor didn’t conduct a thorough background check before hiring a driver known for recklessness. These breaches all put passengers at risk of harm. 

Breach Causes Harm

If a Muni employee’s irresponsible actions caused you harm, you may be able to sue. Only harm that you suffered in the bus accident in San Francisco is eligible for damages. For instance, if you already had a broken leg when you boarded the bus, you can’t claim that injury in a Muni lawsuit. However, physical and emotional harm resulting from the bus accident in San Francisco can be compensated.

Damages Resulted

Many SF Muni accidents cause serious harm or death. However, if you suffered only a minor injury, you might not be able to file a lawsuit. An injury that didn’t require you to miss work or incur medical bills probably isn’t worth the time and expense of a lawsuit. However, if you suffered serious harm requiring expensive medical treatment and lost wages, you might be able to recover compensation from Muni.  

Consult an Accident Attorney About Your Muni Claim

If you were injured in a Muni accident, you need immediate legal assistance. California places a very short time limit on lawsuits against government agencies, so you must act fast. Contact knowledgeable accident attorney Wesley Wakeford for a free consultation. Wesley and his experienced legal team aim to relieve you of the stress of paperwork and negotiations while fighting for your maximum injury compensation. Put their skill and knowledge to work for you. Contact Wakeford Law Firm today to start your Muni claim.