Injured while sitting on the bus...

by Missy

My mother was traveling on a local city bus. When the bus made a stop, she was hit in the head from behind, with hard force. It was a stroller that a passenger had placed in the seat behind her. After she was hit however, she called out to the bus operator, who did not respond to her complaint.

After several attempts to get him to react to her, she had to walk up to him, while the bus was in motion, to persuade him to pull over the bus. Other passengers were shouting out loud comments and complaints as she was disoriented from the hit.

She felt that she was miss-treated and not attended to appropriately by the bus operator. Also, the local police department was not dispatched. Emergency responders were finally dispatched after her request. Should she pursue any legal actions? Does she have a case for her treatment? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Injured while sitting on the bus...":

Missy (Georgia):

Your mother may have the basis of a government tort claim AND a private personal injury claim against the woman who owned the stroller. A government tort claim is similar to a personal injury claim. The difference lies in the entity to be pursued for compensation.

In a normal personal injury claim, the negligent person is the liable party. In a government tort claim, the government agency is the liable party.

With that said, to have the basis of a personal injury and/or government tort claim your mother would need to have the following:

- An injury which required medical attention

- Proof the bus was owned and operated by the city, county, or other Georgia governmental agency (for a government tort claim)

- Proof her injury was caused by the negligence of the bus driver, or the government agency which owned or operated the bus, or the woman who owned the stroller

- Proof the negligence of the woman who owned the stroller, and/or the government agency's negligence, was the proximate cause of her injuries and resulting medical bills.

However, unless your mother's injuries resulted in medical and/or therapy bills, her claim will likely not succeed. From the facts you present, there does not seem to be any medical treatment, and you did not mention any costs related to the emergency personnel. If there are medical bills, she should speak to an attorney. Government claims can be complicated.

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,

Judge Calisi

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