Council Compensation Claims

We work in partnership with National Accident Helpline, the UK's leading personal injury specialists.

Council Compensation Claims

Free, no obligation advice

Not sure if you have a valid claim? Contact us for free advice, with no obligation to proceed.

Council Compensation Claims

No win no fee guarantee

No win no fee* takes the risk out of making an injury claim. If you lose your case, you don't pay a penny.

Council Compensation Claims

Talk to the experts

We work in partnership with National Accident Helpline, the UK's leading personal injury experts.

Council Compensation Claims

Free, no obligation advice

Not sure if you have a valid claim? Contact us for free advice, with no obligation to proceed.

Council Compensation Claims

No win no fee guarantee

No win no fee takes the risk out of making an injury claim. If you lose your case, you don't pay a penny.

Council Compensation Claims

Talk to the experts

We work in partnership with National Accident Helpline, the UK's leading personal injury experts.

Public Transport Accident Claims

Using public transport is a convenient and cost-effective way to travel around towns and cities and between different regions. With an extensive network of buses, trains, trams, and sometimes underground services, passengers in the UK have various options to reach their destinations. Other forms of public transport include ferries, taxis and, more recently, Ubers.

While public transport is typically safe and companies take all necessary measures to keep passengers safe, accidents can occur. These include road traffic collisions, slips, trips and falls, injuries caused by damaged seating and being hit by falling luggage. When someone else’s negligence causes such accidents, you may be entitled to make a public transport accident claim. You could receive compensation for your pain, suffering and any related financial losses if successful.

For a free consultation with a friendly legal adviser, do not hesitate to call 0800 678 1410 or use our online contact form to request a call back. They will let you know if you have a valid case and answer all your questions about the claims process.

What is public transport?

Public transport refers to the various modes of transportation available for use by the general public, typically operated by the government or private companies. It includes services such as buses, trains, trams and taxis, which can be used by paying a fare for the journey. These are essential for many people who commute to work, school, shopping, leisure activities, and travel between cities, towns, and counties.

Public transport networks are well-developed in the UK, providing efficient and accessible options for passengers. They also play an essential role in reducing traffic congestion and promoting sustainable travel. Key features of public transport include:

  • Buses. The bus is the most common form of public transport in the UK. According to the Department for Transport, there were 1.5 billion local bus journeys in the year ending March 2022, a 96% increase compared to the previous year.
  • Trains. The UK’s extensive rail network provides fast and efficient transportation between major cities and towns. The stations are located in urban and rural areas, ensuring a smooth and reliable journey.
  • Underground. The London Underground, commonly known as the Tube, is one of the world’s oldest and busiest metro systems. Other cities like Glasgow and Liverpool also have underground networks, which offer rapid travel across the city.
  • Trams. Several cities across the UK, such as Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, and Sheffield have tram systems. They run on tracks along public roads, providing convenient transport within urban areas.
  • Ferries. Ferries operate along rivers and stretches of water, offering passenger and vehicle transport to islands, peninsulas, and waterfront destinations.
  • Taxis. You can find a cab for hire in most urban areas and towns throughout the UK. They provide on-demand transportation services, offering passengers flexibility and convenience.

All public transport services owe a duty of care to clients and other road users, which will be detailed in the section below.

Duty of care of public transport providers towards customers

All operators of public transport, as well as their employers, have a duty of care towards customers to ensure they travel safely and without the risk of injury. Both private companies and those run by the government must abide by the Occupiers Liability Act 1957, which states that they must do the following:

  • Carry out regular risk assessments to identify risks of injury to passengers and other road users;
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure that premises, such as stations, platforms, and vehicles, are safe for passengers to use;
  • Ensure that all their vehicles are regularly inspected and maintained to prevent mechanical failures that could endanger passengers;
  • Keep records of all inspections and repairs;
  • Employ qualified drivers and other staff who have the proper training to operate vehicles and assist passengers;
  • Keep records of duty rosters, tachograph charts and timetables;
  • Carry out annual MOT tests for vehicles that are over three years old;
  • Communicate schedules, routes, and safety instructions clearly to passengers;
  • If there are any hazards or dangers that may not be immediately obvious to passengers, provide adequate warnings to avoid accidents or injuries;
  • Take extra precautions to prevent accidents and injuries to children;
  • Have procedures in place to respond to emergencies promptly and effectively.

Drivers of public service vehicles must also uphold the duty of care outlined by The Public Service Vehicles (Conduct of Drivers, Inspectors, Conductors and Passengers) Regulations 1990, which includes:

  • Operate the vehicles safely and following traffic laws and regulations;
  • Have professional conduct towards passengers;
  • Adhere to the rules and standards regarding the operation of public service vehicles;
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure the safety and well-being of passengers;
  • Take appropriate actions to safeguard passengers in case of an emergency.

If you were involved in an accident due to a breach of duty, you may be eligible to claim public transport injury compensation.

Am I eligible to make a public transport accident claim?

The easiest way to find out if you are eligible to make a public transport injury claim following an accident is through a free consultation with a legal adviser. They will review your case to determine whether:

  • Another party, such as the vehicle driver or a public transport company, owed you a legal duty of care;
  • They breached their duty through an act of negligence or omission;
  • You were injured in an accident on public transport due to their negligence.

As seen in the section above, a duty of care can be established by referring to the relevant legislation. Once confirmed, your solicitor will prove liability based on the available evidence and help you start your claim. The steps taken when making a personal injury claim are detailed below.

It is essential to note that you may also be able to claim if your accident was due to another road user’s negligence. In this case, a legal duty can be confirmed based on The Highway Code or the Road Traffic Act 1988. If another driver, bicycle rider, biker or pedestrian caused you harm by causing an accident with a public transport provider, a solicitor can help you make a road traffic accident claim.

public transport accident claim

What are the steps of the personal injury claim process?

If you were injured on public transport and want to make a public transport accident claim, you will typically go through these steps of the claims process:

  • Free assessment. This is a free initial consultation with an experienced legal adviser who will assess your case and determine whether you have a fair chance at compensation.
  • Appointing your solicitor. If your case has merit, you will be paired with a suitable personal injury lawyer, who will work on a conditional fee agreement (also called no win no fee).
  • Letter of notification. Once it is clear you can start a public transport injury claim, your legal representative will inform the other side through a formal letter.
  • Gathering evidence. Your solicitor will assess all the proof you already have and help you gather further evidence to secure compensation, if necessary. The section below explains the type of evidence that may be helpful.
  • Letter of claim. After thoroughly investigating the case, your injury lawyer will send a letter of claim to the defendant, which will include the details of the case and the amount of compensation you are seeking.
  • The response. The other party has four months to investigate your case and send you a letter of response to admit or deny liability for your injuries.
  • Negotiations. If the other side admits liability, your solicitor will begin negotiating your public transport accident compensation award.
  • Court proceedings. If the other party denies liability or you cannot negotiate a settlement, your solicitor will issue court proceedings and be ready to fight your case before a judge. This step is rarely required, as more than 95% of all claims are settled without a trial.
  • Receiving compensation. Once you negotiate a settlement or a judge has ruled in your favour, you should receive your compensation within four weeks. This is typically a lump sum payment delivered to your bank account or a personal injury trust in your name.

You don’t need to worry about the claims process, as your solicitor will handle all communication and legal aspects on your behalf so that you can focus on your recovery.

What evidence do I need to support my compensation claim?

The types of evidence you could use to support a public transport claim include:

  • Visual evidence like photos or videos of the accident scene, before anything is moved or replaced, can help prove how the accident happened and who was at fault;
  • Pictures of visible injuries and damage to your possessions, as well as photographs taken during the recovery process;
  • Medical records that show the type and severity of the harm caused by the accident, the treatments you received and your recovery prospects;
  • Testimony from medical professionals about the long-term effects of your injuries and future care needs;
  • Your written details about the date, time and location of the accident, the public service you were on, the licence plates of all the vehicles involved and the driver’s details, if possible;
  • CCTV footage, if available, as most modern forms of public transport have security cameras nowadays;
  • Statements from any witnesses to your accident. This is why it can be beneficial to ask for the names and contact details of anyone who saw what happened;
  • A copy of an accident report that you should file with the public transport company or operator promptly after the incident;
  • Police reports and a crime reference number if you were the victim of an assault or another violent crime while travelling on public transport;
  • Any tickets, receipts for fare payments, or other documents related to your use of the public transport service;
  • Your notes about how the accident has affected you physically, emotionally, and financially;
  • Documents of financial losses you incurred, such as receipts, invoices, payslips or medical bills.

For more information about what evidence you may need to claim public transport injury compensation, do not hesitate to call 0800 678 1410 today or request a call back.

What types of public transport accidents could lead to a compensation claim?

Public transport companies have a duty to keep you safe while travelling. If they fail to uphold their responsibilities, you may suffer various accidents for which you could claim compensation, such as:

  • Bus accidents. These can have various causes, including driver negligence, wet floors from spillages, poor road conditions, or defective bus equipment. Common injuries that may lead to a bus accident claim include whiplash, broken bones and head trauma.
  • Train or tube accidents. Such accidents may involve derailments, collisions with other trains or obstacles, platform accidents, or faulty doors. If you suffered an injury due to negligence, you can make a train accident claim.
  • Taxi accidents. Cab accidents may occur due to driver error, speeding, reckless driving, or collisions with other vehicles. Passengers or pedestrians involved in taxi accidents could sustain injuries such as whiplash, head injuries, or broken bones and can start a taxi accident claim for compensation.
  • Ferry accidents. Ferry accidents may involve collisions, capsizing, sinking, or incidents like slips, trips, or falls onboard. Passengers on ferries could suffer injuries such as drowning, cuts, sprains or blunt force trauma.
  • Tram accidents. Tram accidents could result from collisions with other vehicles, derailments or platform accidents. Passengers or pedestrians involved in tram accidents may sustain injuries such as lacerations, fractures, or head injuries.
  • Pedestrian accidents. Pedestrians may suffer injuries at bus stops, train stations, or zebra crossings. They may be hit by buses, trains, taxis, or trams, resulting in serious injuries such as fractures, internal organ damage, or traumatic brain injuries.

What are the most common injuries suffered in public transport accidents?

Accidents while using public transportation can result in various injuries, ranging from minor to life-threatening. You can claim compensation for any harm caused by someone else’s negligence, except for the most trivial wounds. For example, if you fall on a bus and graze your knee, it’s unlikely to be worthwhile making a claim, even if the bus company was at fault.

The most common injuries seen in accident claims involving public transport include:

  • Whiplash. Whiplash can occur in road accidents due to sudden stops or impacts that cause the head to jerk rapidly forwards and backwards. Symptoms may include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and reduced range of motion.
  • Cuts and lacerations. These may result from broken furniture, glass, metal edges, or other sharp objects. Symptoms include bleeding, pain, and potential risk of infection. Severe cuts may need stitches and cause permanent scars.
  • Bruises and contusions. Such injuries can result from impact with the vehicle during a collision or a sudden jolt. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and discolouration of the skin.
  • Fractures. Public transport accidents can cause broken bones due to the force of impact or crushing injuries. Symptoms include pain, swelling, deformity, and difficulty moving the affected limb.
  • Head and brain injuries. Head injuries can occur if passengers hit their heads during a collision or are struck by falling objects. Symptoms range from mild headaches and confusion to loss of consciousness and cognitive impairment.
  • Back and spinal injuries. Back and spinal injuries can result from the force of impact or sudden jolts in a public transport accident. Symptoms may include back pain, numbness or tingling in the extremities, weakness, and difficulty walking. In severe cases, spinal injury can lead to paralysis.
  • Sprains and strains. Sprains and strains can occur when ligaments or muscles are stretched or torn during a sudden movement or impact. Symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty moving the affected joint or muscle.
  • Internal injuries. Blunt force trauma or penetrating injuries can cause organ damage, internal bleeding, or a collapsed lung. Symptoms may vary depending on the injury but can include pain, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.
  • Psychological trauma. Experiencing or witnessing a public transport accident can result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. Symptoms may include nightmares, flashbacks, hypervigilance, avoidance behaviours, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating.

What types of negligence could lead to a public transport claim?

Public transport accidents can be caused by various types of negligence, which can lead to a compensation claim, including:

  • Failure to maintain vehicles in good working condition
  • Faulty doors that may close unexpectedly on passengers
  • Lack of warning signs to inform customers of hazards like gaps or wet floors
  • Insufficient training of personnel
  • Negligent drivers of another vehicle who fail to follow traffic laws
  • Failure to account for adverse weather conditions
  • Overcrowding due to letting passengers board a bus or train carriage that is at maximum capacity
  • Mechanical failures due to a lack of maintenance or manufacturing issues
  • Damaged seats or other furniture leading to cuts and lacerations
  • Failure to secure bags and suitcases on luggage racks
  • Poorly lit platforms, stairs or ticketing locations
  • Operator negligence, such as speeding, distracted driving or traffic violations
  • Lack of procedures to respond to emergencies promptly and effectively

These and other types of negligence can lead to a public transport accident compensation claim if you suffer injuries as a result.

Can I make a claim as a public transport employee?

If you work as a bus driver or another public transport operator, your employer has a duty of care towards you, as stated by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. They must take all reasonable steps to protect your safety and well-being at work, such as:

  • Assess the risks to the health and safety of employees;
  • Take measures to eliminate or mitigate these risks, which may include hazards such as slips, trips, falls, vehicle accidents, and assaults;
  • Establish and enforce safe working practices;
  • Offer training on operating vehicles safely and handling emergencies and difficult situations with passengers;
  • Provide operators with the necessary equipment and tools to perform their jobs safely, such as safety gear and communication devices;
  • Carry out regular inspections, cleaning and repairs of vehicles to prevent mechanical failures;
  • Make sure that operators are not overworked and have sufficient breaks.

By fulfilling these obligations, employers can create a safer and healthier work environment for public transport operators and reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. If your employer has failed to comply with the legislation and you suffered harm because of it, you are entitled to make an accident at work claim. This is your legal right, and your employer cannot sack you or discipline you because of it.

Can I claim compensation on behalf of a loved one?

Yes. If someone you love had an accident on a bus, train, or other type of public transport, you could make a claim on their behalf. If the injured party is a child, lacks mental capacity, or is otherwise unable to represent themselves, you can act as a litigation friend on their behalf. For this, you must apply to the court and provide evidence that you have no conflict of interest with the claimant and you can make fair and competent decisions about the claim.

Becoming a litigation friend can be a long-term commitment that brings various responsibilities, such as:

  • Keep the best interests of the injured party in mind
  • Pay any fees requested by the court
  • Approve and sign legal documents
  • Meet with solicitors and take legal advice
  • Make decisions about the claim and settlement offers from the defendant
  • Go to court hearings if necessary
  • Ensure your loved one attends all medical appointments

If the case is successful, you may need to go before a judge to get the settlement approved. You may also be responsible for managing the funds in the injured party’s best interests, which may involve setting up a trust in their name. If the victim is a child, the awarded money may also be kept in a court bank account and released to them on their 18th birthday.

Although this may seem daunting, your solicitor will be there to help you at every step.

Can I claim if I was partially at fault for my injuries?

You may still be entitled to make a claim even if you were partially at fault for the accident or your injuries, such as:

  • You were not wearing a seatbelt during a taxi ride
  • You were not sitting down on a bus
  • You were distracted and stepped in front of a bus
  • You ignored safety warnings or instructions
  • You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol

In these circumstances, you may still be able to make a public transport accident claim. If it can be determined that you are less than 50% responsible, your compensation settlement will be reduced to reflect your part of the blame.

For example, if you suffered a head injury valued at £20,000 in a taxi accident and you were not wearing your seatbelt, the court may deduct 25% of your compensation for contributory negligence. In this case, you would receive £15,000 for your injury (£20,000 minus 25% for contributory negligence).

How much compensation can I claim for an accident on public transport?

There is no fixed amount of compensation that is awarded for your injuries. The value of your claim will depend on several factors, such as the circumstances of the accident, the severity of your injuries and their long-term effects. The compensation for personal injury claims includes two types of damages:

General damages are based on the level of pain and suffering caused by your injuries. This will take into account the following:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Long-term physical and mental disability
  • Mental anguish and emotional trauma
  • Loss of amenities, such as the ability to engage in hobbies or sports
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Lowered quality of life
  • Loss of consortium or companionship

Special damages are based on the costs and expenses incurred due to the accident, such as:

  • The cost of prescriptions and medical aids
  • Any private medical treatments
  • Transportation costs to and from medical visits
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Loss of earnings and earning capacity
  • Care and assistance during recovery or if you suffered a permanent disability
  • Any other out-of-pocket expenses you may have incurred because of your injuries

The settlement awards for general damages are based on historical data and the guidelines from the Judicial College, part of the Ministry of Justice. For example, you could receive:

  • £2,210 to £12,770 for a mild head or brain injury
  • £4,350 to £8,640 for damage to your spleen
  • £5,630 to £16,380 for a moderate arm injury, such as a fractured forearm
  • £2,090 to £4,080 for a soft tissue injury with recovery within three months and a year
  • £15,320 to £46,780 for a moderate leg injury with some long-lasting effects

For more settlement figures, check out our online compensation calculator or call 0800 678 1410 to talk to a legal adviser.

What is the time limit to start a public transport injury claim?

Under the Limitation Act 1980, the time limit for making a claim if you had an accident using public transportation is typically three years. This will begin from either:

  • The date of the accident; or
  • The date you became aware of your injuries – also known as the date of knowledge.

While three years may seem like plenty of time, starting your claim as soon as possible is generally advisable. This is because gathering evidence and investigating and preparing your case can be time-consuming. If you do not start your claim within three years, it will be classed as statute-barred, and you will no longer be entitled to claim compensation. There are, however, a handful of exceptions:

  • The three-year time limit for child injury claims begins on their 18th birthday. A parent or legal guardian can claim on behalf of a child at any time before that.
  • There is no time limit for a litigation friend to claim on behalf of someone who lacks mental capacity due to a brain injury, PTSD or another condition, such as Down syndrome.
  • If a loved one has passed away due to an accident on public transport, you have three years to start a claim following their death.
  • You have two years to start a claim through the CICA if you were assaulted while using public transportation.
  • If your accident happened abroad, the time limits may vary depending on the laws of each country and may be much shorter than three years.

How long will my public transport accident compensation claim take?

From the outset, it is difficult to tell how long your claim will take to settle. It can take anywhere from a few months to several years to receive your compensation, depending on the following factors:

  • The type and severity of your injuries – more severe injuries often require longer recovery times and can cause long-term complications that will take more time to assess;
  • Whether you suffered one or more injuries – this can affect the complexity of the case and the time needed for medical assessments and treatments;
  • The complexity of the case – cases that involve multiple parties, disputed liability, or that require expert opinions will take longer to settle;
  • Liability disputes – if the defendant denies being at fault for your injuries, it will take longer to gather everything you need to prove liability, and your case may go to court;
  • The available evidence – the availability and strength of the evidence you have against the defendant will be essential during negotiations;
  • The value of your claim – a high-value claim will typically take longer to settle than a claim for a simple arm fracture or strain injury;
  • The defendant’s identity – if you were the victim of a hit-and-run or criminal assault, you may have to claim compensation through the MIB or the CICA, which can take longer to resolve;
  • The negotiation process – the overall length of the claim will depend on how quickly you can negotiate a settlement that both you and the defendant can agree upon;
  • Whether your case goes to court – if you cannot settle or there are other complexities with the case, you may have to take it before a judge, which can add a lot of extra time to the litigation process.

Will my solicitor offer me a No Win No Fee service?

If you’ve been injured on public transport and are entitled to compensation, your solicitor will help you claim on a no win no fee basis. With this service, you do not have to pay them anything upfront or if your case fails.

You only pay your solicitor if your claim is successful, and their fee will be a percentage of up to 25% of your compensation award. This arrangement ensures that everyone has access to legal representation, regardless of their financial situation, without taking any risks.

For further peace of mind, your solicitor will also arrange an After the Event (ATE) insurance policy before starting legal proceedings. This will cover all of the costs if your injury claim is unsuccessful, such as:

  • Police reports
  • Medical reports
  • Court and counsel fees
  • Paralegal and other staff time
  • Travel expenses like fuel and parking
  • Expert witness fees
  • Barrister fees if the case goes to court

The advantages of using a personal injury solicitor

Using one of the experienced solicitors we work with to make your public transport accident claim provides you with many advantages, such as:

  • They will assess the merits of your case during a free initial consultation;
  • They specialise in this area of law and can navigate the legal system on your behalf;
  • They will handle all communication with the defendant and their insurer;
  • You will receive a 100% no win no fee service, so there will be no financial risk to you;
  • Your solicitor will be skilled in negotiating the maximum compensation awards possible;
  • If you have immediate financial needs, they will be able to secure interim payments from the defendant;
  • They will arrange for an independent medical review and help you gather all the necessary evidence to build a solid claim;
  • Your solicitor will keep you updated on the case progression and review any settlement offers with you.

To discuss your case with a friendly legal adviser, please call 0800 678 1410 or enter your details into our online claim form to receive a callback. They will be happy to answer all your questions and let you know whether you can start a claim.

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