The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is the primary public transport operator in the Atlanta metropolitan area operating in Fulton County, Clayton County, DeKalb County, Cobb County, and Gwinnett County and offering both light rail and bus services. Under Georgia law, MARTA operators and officers must exercise extraordinary diligence to protect the lives and persons of their passengers but will not be liable for injuries to them after having used such diligence.
Although you might use MARTA on a daily basis without issue, there are many occasions in which MARTA vehicles can be involved in accidents causing severe injuries. Anyone who suffers injuries in an accident involving a MARTA vehicle should be sure that they are working with an experienced Roswell MARTA attorney because you might struggle to obtain any compensation on your own.
Common Causes of MARTA Accidents
MARTA accidents can involve several different causes, but some of the most common causes often include, without being limited to:
- Failure to wait for all passengers to be seated before moving
- Inexperienced or untrained MARTA drivers
- Failing to provide passengers with safe places to board and depart vehicles
- Distracted driving
- Driver fatigue or drowsy driving
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs
- Aggressive driving
- Failure to inspect and maintain buses, trains, and vans
- Negligent maintenance of MARTA property, such as elevators, escalators, or stairs
- Negligent security measures at MARTA bus stops and train stations
A very important point here is that although Georgia state law usually 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 could be predicated, a person having a claim must present the claim in writing to the governing authority of the municipal corporation for adjustment. No action will be entertained by courts against a municipal corporation until a cause of action has first been presented to the governing authority for adjustment.
If a person submits a claim to the government, it could attempt to settle the claim or deny it outright. If a claim is denied, the person can then have the right to file a lawsuit.
TYPES OF MARTA ACCIDENT INJURIES
You may suffer many kinds of possible injuries in MARTA accidents. Some injuries could be relatively minor, but several others will be extremely severe and require months or years of medical attention.
Common kinds of injuries in these cases can include:
- Fractures or broken bones
- Permanent nerve injuries
- Head injuries
- Skull fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Chest injuries
- Back injuries
- Knee injuries
- Leg injuries
- Neck injuries
- Arm injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Crush injuries
- Closed head injuries
- Internal injuries
- Severe burn injuries
- Wrongful death
OTHER TYPES OF MARTA ACCIDENTS
While bus and train accidents are two of the most common kinds of MARTA accident claims, there are other kinds of injury claims involving MARTA. You should not think that MARTA cases are only limited to bus and train accidents. You could be injured because of unsafe conditions at MARTA stations. Malfunctioning escalators or elevators or other hazards could cause you to fall and be reasons to file injury claims.
Another issue could be a lack of proper MARTA security, meaning a person has a case against MARTA when they are attacked or injured on MARTA property.
MARTA ACCIDENT STATISTICS
According to MARTA Key Performance Indicators, 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 per 100,000 bus passenger boardings was a rate of 11.85.
MARTA had two accidents in 2000 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 at least five times, and MARTA had three separate escalator accidents injuring 11 people at Five Points station and Dome/GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN Center station.
According to reports, 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 March 2020. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also 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
Anyone involved in MARTA accidents can be entitled to compensatory damages for their losses. Compensatory damages usually involve economic damages and noneconomic damages. Economic damages will be a person’s actual costs. They often include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
Noneconomic damages generally do not have inherent financial values. These damages could include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Another kind of damages that is much rarer is punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages or vindictive damages. Georgia Code § 51-12-5.1 establishes that 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.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer
If you suffered severe injuries or your loved one was killed in a MARTA accident in Georgia, you are going to want to be sure that you retain legal counsel without any delay. Spaulding Injury Law understands how complicated MARTA claims can be for most people, but we will be able to walk you through the entire process and can fight for you when necessary.
Our firm has extensive experience when it comes to MARTA accidents. Call us or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.
Type Of Cases We Handle
Personal Injury Lawyer in Roswell
Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Roswell
Roswell Uber & Lyft Accident Lawyer
Roswell Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Roswell Pedestrian Injury Lawyer