Fall on Metro bus...
I had just boarded the Metro bus in Houston TX and as I was walking to a seat, the bus slammed on the brakes and I fell backwards onto the floor. A fellow passenger helped me off the floor. The bus driver stopped the bus and asked me if I was okay. I told her yeah at the time, thinking that I would probably have a scratch or something or just be a little sore in the morning.
Nevertheless, as I got home and relaxed, when I went to move, my entire right side started to hurt. My right shoulder was in pain as well as my hip. I missed the next day of work. I went to work on Friday but I did light-duty work because I was still hurting.
The next couple of days I started to see bruises forming on me. I have taken pictures of the bruises that I sustained from the incident. I am not trying to get the driver in trouble, but I would like to know if I have a case. My family still wants me to go to the doctor to make sure I don't have any blood clots and that everything is okay.
The incident happened a week and 2 days ago. Do I have a case? What can I do? Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Fall on Metro bus...":
Anonymous (Houston TX):
Seek immediate medical care. Whether you have the basis of a personal injury claim or not is is irrelevant at this time. Your health is more important. Moreover, you have a legal "duty to mitigate" your injuries. This means if you are injured and fail to seek immediate medical attention, any worsening or exacerbation of your injuries may not be covered in a subsequent personal injury claim.
From the facts you present, there is no question about liability. The bus driver suddenly stopped, causing you to fall and become injured.
While the bus driver acknowledged her action resulting in your fall, we don't know if she created an Incident Report. This report is normally required of bus drivers when a passenger is injured.
Your next step is to contact Houston Metro and file a complaint. Doing so will create a record of notification. Let them know you were injured and want to file an injury claim.
At this point it appears your injuries are no more than soft-tissue. Soft tissue injuries can include bruising, strained and sprained muscles, ligaments, and tendons, minor burns, whiplash, and similarly mild injuries.
There is no rush to finalize your medical treatment. In the event Houston Metro decides not to cooperate, you can always seek legal representation. The Texas Statute of Limitations for personal injury claims is two (2) years. This means you have two (2) years from the date of injury to either settle your personal injury claim or file a lawsuit.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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