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Mass Transit Accidents

We’re trial lawyers. Our core competency – above everything else – is trying cases to juries. And we specialize in beating giants.

Minneapolis Mass Transit Accident Lawyer

In a city with mass transit options, you might choose to take these modes of transportation for your own ease and convenience. Using these methods to carpool can also be good for the environment because they cut down on the number of cars on the road and reduce traffic. However, even making the decision to take public transportation and allow someone else to drive you can still end up with you getting injured.

If you took a bus or train and got injured from an accident or were in your vehicle when a mass transit vehicle crashed into you, then you could use the help of our Minneapolis mass transit accident lawyer here at Madia Newville. We’re here to help you recover the compensation that you deserve for your injuries and any other damages that you sustained.

Let’s take a look at the different modes of mass transportation in Minneapolis.

Mass Transit in Minneapolis

It’s important to know the different ways that you can get around in Minneapolis when you don’t want to walk or drive. While the options for mass transit aren’t free, they are a more cost-effective way to travel if you don’t want to spend money on gas, pay for parking, and the upkeep of your vehicle. Here are some of the different options for public transportation that you have in our city as well as other mass transit vehicles:

  • Taxis
  • Metro Transit buses
  • Light Rail Transit
  • Free Ride buses
  • Private buses
  • Railroads and trains
  • Shuttles

All of these transportation methods are set up to help you. Public transit is a great and cost-effective alternative for citizens who don’t want to spend money on a car, pay for its maintenance, or don’t want to walk from one place to another. However, you should feel completely safe while you’re riding the transit of your choice.

When you experience an accident while riding one of these services, you shouldn’t feel intimidated to take action. With the help of our Minneapolis mass transit accident lawyer, you can feel confident that you can take action against the entity who caused your accident and injuries.

Let’s take a look at some of the different causes of public transit accidents in Minneapolis.

Causes of Mass Transit Accidents

There are many modes of transportation in our city. When you choose to use public transportation, it’s likely because it’s your best option. It should also be a safe option. Unfortunately, accidents also happen on mass transit, just like when you’re driving your own car.

Here are some of the most common causes of mass transit accidents that could lead to you suffering from injuries:

  • Untrained bus or taxi driver, or train operator
  • Driver error
  • Defective part
  • Insufficient maintenance
  • Failed inspection or failed to routinely inspect
  • Poor design of roads or railway
  • Confusing traffic signs or lacking traffic signals

The driver, the transit company, or another person could be at fault for the accident. Since the transportation is run by the city, it could also be the fault of someone like the city planner if the railways are what caused your accident.

Determining exactly who was at fault can be difficult and complicated. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced lawyer on your side. Our Minneapolis mass transit accident lawyer will fully investigate what happened so that we can determine who was at fault and hold them accountable for their actions that caused you damage.

What Damages You Can Collect 

A mass transit accident is slightly different than a car accident in Minnesota. While our state follows the no-fault rule, meaning that you mainly rely on your own insurance to cover you after an accident, you can still recover damages from the at-fault party when a mass transit vehicle is involved. Since it was likely a private company or government agency who owns the transit vehicle and was at fault, you can hold them accountable.

The driver of a bus or train could be found to be at fault. These drivers typically undergo extensive training and get certifications. If they were breaking regulations or not fully trained, they could be held responsible for the accident that they caused.

Typically, in other accident cases, your lawyer could have a hard time collecting evidence to prove fault. However, when it comes to public transportation, a lot of these vehicles and spaces have cameras recording at all times. This can make it easier for your attorney to prove that the driver, company, or another party was guilty for the accident that injured you.

After the claim with your own insurance, you’ll likely be interested in filing another claim against the party who was at fault for the collision. In holding them accountable, you can recover economic and noneconomic damages. Some of the factors we will consider when calculating how much you’re owed are:

  • Medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

These are just the basics of what you might be able to recover from the negligent party. With the help of our mass transit accident lawyer, you’ll get an accurate and fair number for what you should receive in a settlement from the other party. With Madia Newville’s guidance, you won’t settle for less than you deserve, and we are prepared to take your case to court if necessary.

Reach Out Today

Filing a claim against a large company, like a government agency, can be intimidating. That’s why Madia Newville is here to help you. We’ll fight for your rights to be protected, no matter how small or large the violator of your rights was. With Madia Newville’s expertise, you can feel confident in your claim and know that you are being fully supported.

After you’ve been injured in a mass transit accident, you want to reach out to a lawyer right away so that you don’t miss the statute of limitations. Our Minneapolis mass transit accident lawyer will guide you through the legal process and ensure you are within the designated time limit. Contact our office today so that we can get started.

THE MADIA NEWVILLE WAY

We have a process that works in getting exceptional results for our clients. 

We are trial lawyers who prepare every case for trial from Day 1. Investigation and legal research are the first things we do, and we spend a lot of time on them. Because we haven’t filed the case yet, we have complete control – the defendant has no say and we want to use this time wisely.  We interview witnesses that can help us prove the case.  We’ll ask you for all relevant documents in your possession and review those carefully as well.  We also will spend some time conducting legal research about unique issues in the case.  We pull the jury instructions that the judge will ultimately charge the jury with after closing arguments at trial. 

Our next step is typically to send a demand letter to the defendant. In the letter, we thoroughly lay out: the facts surrounding the defendant’s misconduct; the applicable law (including statutory and case citations) that make clear that the defendant broke the law; an analysis of your damages and the defendant’s monetary exposure; a demand for a monetary amount to settle the claim; and an instruction to preserve all relevant evidence, including electronic evidence. The point of this letter is to give the defendant a chance to do the right thing and pay a fair amount before litigation, and to give the defendant an opportunity to present any defenses or evidence it wants us to consider before moving forward.  Sometimes we skip the demand letter if there are strategic reasons to move straight to filing, but we typically give defendants a chance to do the right thing.

If early negotiations fail, great – we file a Complaint and serve the defendant with it. A Complaint is a legal document that states the facts of what happened and alleges how the defendant broke the law. It formally starts the lawsuit.  Many lawyers draft complaints in a general and relatively vague way, just to get it done and filed – because that’s all that’s really required.  We take a different view. We view the Complaint as our first chance to tell your story to the judge, and we take it seriously. So we draft detailed complaints and include legal citations to statutory and judicial authority on unique points.  Sometimes we’ll include a number of exhibits, diagrams, or other demonstrative aids to help the Court understand our claims.  A secondary benefit of this approach is that defense lawyers reading the Complaint can become educated on the problems of their case and the state of the law – sometimes this leads them to reach out to us shortly after service of the Complaint to re-initiate settlement negotiations.  Of course, by that time, the price for settlement has gone up.

Some lawyers view written discovery as a necessary evil – something to get done and out of the way before depositions.  Not us.  Written discovery is a gift and an opportunity.  We spend a great deal of time crafting requests for documents and interrogatories (questions for the defendant to answer in writing) that are specific, detailed, and tailored to get what we need to prove our case.  Many lawyers – even great ones – think written discovery is a waste of time because defense lawyers typically answer them on behalf of their clients and can try to stonewall with legalese and objections.  We view this as a wonderful opportunity.  In our experience, most defense lawyers can’t help themselves when answering discovery: they over-state their defenses and make assertions that their clients will not be able to support in testimony. So we get to commit the defendant to defenses that they can’t back up, leading to contradictions, confusion, and chaos in their depositions later on.  We also use Requests for Admission – which many lawyers don’t.  The Federal Rules and Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure allow us to ask defendants to “admit” certain facts.  We send them RFAs that are very difficult for them to deny.  Of course, they do it anyway, but that sets them up later for cost and fee-shifting, which the Rules mandate for defendants that deny RFAs that are later proven true.  And usually, we can get the defendants’ own witnesses to admit facts that their defense lawyers denied in RFA.  That’s a great situation that leads to more chaos and confusion on the defense side.

One last point on written discovery – we send multiple waves of it throughout discovery.  We typically send 3 or 4 sets of written discovery requests to defendants throughout discovery.  This compounds the problems for them, because the defense lawyers continue to overstate their defenses, but now run into contradictions from not just the defendant witnesses’ deposition testimony, but also their own previous discovery responses.  This makes for a great record that we can present to the judge at dispositive motions, and use for impeachment at trial.

This is our chance to question relevant witnesses, on the record with a court reporter (we typically videotape important depositions as well). We get to confront the defense witnesses with all of the evidence we’ve developed through written discovery and document production. By this time, the defendant put its witnesses in an impossible position through its written defenses, which are often untrue and indefensible.  So the witness has to either lie to support the defense, or admit it’s not true.  That’s a dilemma that works for our clients either way, no matter which option the witness takes.  We use depositions to expose contradictions, create a record for dispositive motions, lock witnesses into their stories so that we can impeach them later at trial, and sometimes, to show defense lawyers how hopeless their case is.  We often calls from defense counsel shortly after depositions of their clients, seeking to re-start settlement negotiations.

The defendant will usually make a motion for summary judgment after discovery, asking the Court to throw out the case without having a jury trial. Because we’ve hit discovery so hard – both through written discovery and depositions – this is a tough motion for defense counsel to write in our cases.  We draft our response for the Court and now get to bring everything together: the admissions, contradictions, nonsense, and obvious fact disputes that we’ve uncovered through discovery.  We tell a compelling story that wraps everything together for the Court and makes clear that the defense motion has to be denied, and the defendant needs to face a jury for its conduct.

Sometimes, we’ll even make an affirmative motion for summary judgment, asking the Court to grant judgment in favor of our client without a trial. These motions are generally rare for plaintiffs to make, because the defendant can usually point to some fact dispute on its intent or some other factor that necessitates a trial. But we make affirmative summary judgment motions significantly more than is typical for plaintiffs, and that’s because the work we put in during discovery helps build a fantastic record to do so.

After the Court denies the defense motion for summary judgment, the defendant has only 2 options: 1) do the right thing and pay you a fair amount to our client to settle your claim (usually much, much more at this point than the defendant could have paid at the beginning of the case to settle); or 2) face a jury for its conduct and risk an enormous verdict. This is the dilemma that we have been creating and forcing the defendant into for the entire case. We’ll engage in settlement negotiations at this point from a position of extreme strength, mainly because most defendants are (rightly) terrified of facing a jury to defend their conduct.

This is, candidly, our favorite part of the case – why we went to law school: to hold the powerful accountable before juries.  We prepare heavily for trial, including: detailed witness preparation, focus groups, and mock trials.  At this point, the potential outcomes and consequences for the defendant are much more severe than if it simply did the right thing at the beginning of the case and paid a fair amount to compensate our client for its misconduct.  As we advocate to the jury for our client, we’re also mindful of protecting the record so that defendants will be unsuccessful in attacking the verdict in post-trial motions or appeal.

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