Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) operates some of the largest public transportation programs in the State of Texas. DART’s trolley and streetcar are one of the many ways to get around town in Dallas, but they pose injury risks that other train systems do not. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving a DART trolley or streetcar, call the Queenan Law Firm today to discuss your case.
You may be entitled to substantial financial compensation if you were seriously injured in a public transportation accident. For a free legal consultation, call our Dallas DART trolley and streetcar injury lawyers today to discuss your options for filing and learn how much your case might be worth. Our number is (817) 476-1797.
Common Accidents on DART Trolleys and Streetcars
DART streetcar are sleek, modern streetcars while the M-Line Trolley is a classic, traditional trolley used for public transit and sightseeing. With either system, the vehicles travel on the street alongside other vehicles, increasing the chance of an accident compared to an underground subway or elevated rail system.
In many streetcar and trolley accidents, the trolley operator is at fault. Cars essentially own the road, and other drivers expect that everyone else on the road has the ability to steer, speed up, and slow down at will. Since a trolley operator cannot steer, they must rely on their ability to brake or accelerate to avoid dangers. If they get in the way of other vehicles on the road or make mistakes during a long work shift, they could crash into cross traffic or oncoming cars.
In some accidents, the other drivers are at fault. Trolleys are on tracks, and it is somewhat simple to predict where the streetcar will be going. Crossing the trolley’s path or suddenly pulling out in front of it is a serious mistake that can cause a high-speed accident. Failing to stop at red lights, failing to yield where required, driving under the influence, speeding, or failing to signal can also lead to accidents.
Pedestrians are also at risk for injuries from streetcars and trolleys. People crossing the street may not be able to properly anticipate the speed of trolley cars, and trolleys may have limited visibility during turns. Pedestrians typically have the right of way at crosswalks, and when a trolley or streetcar operator hits a pedestrian, the operator is likely responsible for the crash.
Suing DART for M-Line Trolley and Streetcar Accidents
If you were injured while riding as a passenger on a streetcar, as a pedestrian, or while driving another car, you may be entitled to sue DART for an accident with one of their vehicles. In cases where another driver caused the crash, you may be able to sue the other driver as well, but DART’s insurance may nonetheless cover riders and you should probably include DART in the lawsuit.
Since DART is a company, it is not a specific person you can accuse of being at fault. Instead, lawsuits against transportation companies are usually filed against the driver or operator directly, and their employer is “joined” in the lawsuit as a second defendant. You can claim compensation against the driver, and DART’s insurance should cover the payments, but you may also be able to sue DART in three common ways.
First, you can sue DART as the driver’s employer. As long as the operator was working for DART and working within the scope of their job when the accident occurred, you can typically hold the employer liable for its employee’s errors.
Second, you can sue DART for other mistakes it makes in its own right as the vehicle’s owner. If the accident was caused by mechanical issues or problems with vehicle upkeep, you can hold DART liable for those issues. They should not put unsafe vehicles into service and doing so can open them to liability for injuries their dangerous trolleys and streetcars cause.
Third, you can sue DART for problems with its employees. DART is liable for hiring a driver they should have known was dangerous or for keeping an employee on after other complaints or dangerous actions on the job. If the streetcar or trolley operator had a history of mistakes on the job and DART knew they were dangerous, you can sue DART for negligent hiring or negligent retention of their employee. You can also sue DART for forcing an employee to drive tired or for keeping an operator on overly long shifts without breaks.
Damages for Trolley Accidents in Texas
When you sue for a trolley accident, you can claim any economic and noneconomic damages you faced from the crash. Economic damages may include vehicle damage, medical bills, lost wages, and other financial harms you faced because of the accident. Noneconomic damages most commonly include damages for pain and suffering, which can be paid on top of the medical bills and other economic damages.
These damages are difficult to calculate without fully examining your case. Because of this, it is vital to talk to a lawyer about how much your case is worth. DART, their lawyers, or their insurance company might try to offer you a settlement for your injuries, but it is important not to accept this money until you talk to a lawyer, because accepting a settlement could bar your claim from court.
Call Our Dallas DART Trolley Accident Lawyers for a Free Legal Consultation
After an accident, you may need money to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call the Dallas DART trolley accident lawyers at the Queenan Law Firm today to discuss how much your trolley accident case might be worth and what options you have to sue DART and fight for financial compensation. For your free legal consultation, call our lawyers today at (817) 476-1797.