The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is the principal public transport operator in the Atlanta metropolitan area operating in Fulton County, Clayton County, DeKalb County, Cobb County, and Gwinnett County. It offers both light rail and bus services, and Georgia Code § 46-9-132 establishes that MARTA operators and officers must exercise extraordinary diligence to protect the lives and persons of their passengers but are not liable for injuries to them after having used such diligence.
While many people use MARTA on a daily basis without issue, there are several occasions in which MARTA vehicles are involved in accidents that cause serious injuries. Any person who suffers injuries in an accident involving a MARTA vehicle will want to work with an experienced Johns Creek injury attorney because it can be incredibly complicated to recover financial compensation in many of these cases.
Common Causes of MARTA Accidents
There are many different possible causes of a MARTA accident, but some of the most common causes generally include, but are not limited to:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to inspect and maintain buses, trains, and vans
- Negligent maintenance of MARTA property, such as elevators, escalators, or stairs
- Inexperienced or untrained MARTA drivers
- Driver fatigue or drowsy driving
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs
- Failing to provide passengers with safe places to board and depart vehicles
- Aggressive driving
- Failure to wait for all passengers to be seated before moving
- Negligent security measures at MARTA bus stops and train stations
One very important point that needs to be made to people is that while Georgia state law typically gives a person two years to file an injury claim, Georgia Code § 36-33-5 establishes that within six months of an injury upon which a claim against a municipal corporation will be predicated, the person having the claim must present the claim in writing to the governing authority of the municipal corporation for adjustment. No action can be entertained by courts against a municipal corporation until the cause of action has first been presented to the governing authority for adjustment.
When a person submits a claim to the government, it may attempt to settle the claim or deny it outright. When a claim is denied, a person will then have the right to file a lawsuit.
Types of MARTA Accident Injuries
People can suffer a wide range of possible injuries in MARTA accidents. Certain injuries may be relatively minor, but many others will be extremely severe and require months or years of medical attention.
Some of the most common kinds of injuries in these cases can include:
- Head injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Chest injuries
- Fractures or broken bones
- Crush injuries
- Closed head injuries
- Back injuries
- Knee injuries
- Leg injuries
- Neck injuries
- Arm injuries
- Internal injuries
- Skull fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Permanent nerve injuries
- Severe burn injuries
- Wrongful death
Other Types of MARTA Accidents
Bus and train accidents are certainly the two most common kinds of MARTA accident claims. There are certainly other kinds of injury claims involving MARTA.
For example, people can be injured because of unsafe conditions at a MARTA station. Malfunctioning escalators or elevators and other hazards that cause people to fall can be reasons for people to file injury claims.
There can also be issues relating to a lack of MARTA security, meaning a person could have a case against MARTA when they are attacked or injured on MARTA property.
MARTA Accident Statistics
MARTA Key Performance Indicators show that four violent crime types (homicide, forcible rape, aggravated assault, and robbery) and four property crime types (larceny/theft, motor vehicle theft, burglary, and arson) per one million unlinked passenger boardings were 2.58 in 2022. The number of collisions involving bus service per 100,000 miles was 4.98.
The number of collisions involving Mobility service per 100,000 miles was 5.23. Customer complaints about bus service were at 11.85 per 100,000 bus passenger boardings.
In one year, MARTA had two accidents that triggered National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigations, including a train near Avondale station striking two automatic train control technicians inspecting a relay box in February and a train striking a bucket lift containing two contract workers at Lenox station in April. MARTA trains have derailed no less than five times, and MARTA had three separate escalator accidents injuring 11 people at Five Points station and Dome/GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN Center station.
WXIA-TV reported that five people, including four minors and one adult, were killed in a collision with a MARTA bus near Bolton Road and Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway in a recent year. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Oakland City MARTA station had to be shut down for hours after a person was hit by a train and killed.
Damages in a MARTA Accident Case
People involved in MARTA accidents are often entitled to compensatory damages for their losses. Compensatory damages typically come in two forms: economic damages and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages are tangible costs that are much easier to prove and calculate. They commonly include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
Noneconomic damages will be much more subjective. Common kinds of these damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Another kind of damages that is far more rare is punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages or vindictive damages. Under Georgia Code § 51-12-5.1, punitive damages can only be awarded in tort actions in which it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that a defendant’s actions demonstrated willful misconduct, fraud, wantonness, malice, oppression, or that entire want of care that raises the presumption of conscious indifference to consequences, and they are awarded not as compensation but strictly to punish, penalize, or deter a defendant.
Punitive damages have a maximum of $250,000.00 in Georgia. Punitive damages are generally more likely when a person has multiple DUI arrests on their criminal record.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer
Did you suffer serious injuries or was your loved one killed in a MARTA accident in Georgia? Contact Spaulding Injury Law as soon as possible to get help filing an injury claim so you can recover all of the compensation you are entitled to.
Our firm has handled various kinds of MARTA accident claims, so we know how to fight to make sure people are able to recover all of the money they need and deserve. You can call us or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.
Practice Areas We Serve
Brain Injury Lawyer Johns Creek GA
Johns Creek Back And Neck Injury
Johns Creek Car Accident Lawyer
Johns Creek Drunk Driving Accident
Johns Creek MARTA Accident
Johns Creek Motorcycle Accident
Johns Creek Pedestrian Injury Lawyer
Johns Creek Personal Injury
Johns Creek Truck Accidents
Johns Creek Uber & Lyft Accident
Johns Creek Wrongful Death Lawyer