If you’ve been injured while on public transport, you might wonder, ‘how do I claim compensation after an accident on public transport?’ In this guide, we aim to answer your question. 

accident on public transport
Making an accident on public transport claim

If you are asking ‘how much could I get for a public transport injury?’, we provide compensation examples from the Judicial College Guidelines. These are just illustrative, however, because we can’t provide more accurate figures unless you get in touch with our advisors for a free estimate. Also, we explore public transport accident statistics by taking a look at the latest casualty figures while on buses and coaches. 

We look at different accident scenarios that could happen while on public transport. In addition, we explore ways in which you could protect yourself from injuries. 

Hiring a No Win No Fee solicitor might benefit your claim, should you wish to file one. We discuss some of the advantages of a No Win No Fee arrangement. 

Contact our advisors if you have been injured in an accident on public transport. 

  • Get help making a claim online.
  • Call us on the number at the top of the screen. 
  • Use the live chat feature. 

Choose A Section

  1. Could I Make A Claim After An Accident On Public Transport?
  2. How Much Could I Get For A Public Transport Accident?
  3. What Are Public Transport Accidents?
  4. How Can An Accident On Public Transport Happen?
  5. Could I Get A No Win No Fee Agreement?
  6. More Information About Accidents On Public Transport Claims

Could I Make A Claim After An Accident On Public Transport?

If you were injured in an accident on public transport due to another party breaching their duty of care, you might have a valid claim. Further into this article, we discuss where you are owed a duty of care and what it means. We also look at ways injuries could occur due to third-party negligence. 

Our advisors are waiting to discuss claiming for injuries caused by negligence. 

Road Accident Statistics For 2022

The Department for Transport collects reported road casualty statistics for Great Britain. 1,506 bus and coach casualties occurred in 2020. 

Of these:

  • 4 passengers were killed.
  • 156 were seriously injured.
  • 1,346 were slightly injured. 

How Much Could I Get For A Public Transport Accident?

You might like to make a public transport accident compensation claim if you were injured. An accident on public transport claim could come with two heads: general damages and special damages. We discuss each in further detail below. You might be invited to an independent medical assessment. This is to get a better understanding of the severity of your injuries. 

General Damages

Physical injuries and any related psychological injuries are claimed under the general damages head of your public transport accident claim. A document titled the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is sometimes used by legal professionals to help assign value to your injuries. Different injuries are listed alongside the compensation bracket that might be awarded. Example figures from the 16th edition, published in April 2022, are contained in the compensation table below. 

InjuryPotential CompensationNotes
Loss of one arm (ii)£109,650 to £130,930One arm amputated above the elbow.
Very severe scarring injuries£29,780 to £97,330Severe psychological impact from disfiguring scars in relatively young claimants.
Severe leg injuries: Moderate (iv)£27,760 to £39,200Complicated or multiple fractures or crushing injuries, typically to one leg.
Moderate back injuries (i)£27,760 to £38,780Less severe residual disability.
Moderately severe post-traumatic stress disorder£23,150 to £59,860Significant disability for foreseeable future. Some recovery with professional help.
Less severe brain damage£15,320 to £43,060Good recovery but there might be persisting problems that could interfere with life and a small epilepsy risk.
Moderate neck injuries (ii)£13,740 to £24,990Permanent pain, stiffness and discomfort with movement limitations from soft-tissue or wrenching-type injury with severe disc lesion.
Serious shoulder injuries£12,770 to £19,200Pain and sensory issues from dislocation with damage to lower brachial plexus.
Chest injuries (d)£12,590 to £17,960Permanent damage to tissue from a simple injury with no long-term impact on lung function.
Lesser injuries to pelvis and hips (i)£3,950 to £12,590Significant injury with little or not residual disability.

Special Damages

The head of your claim that could recover costs incurred due to your injury is called special damages. In order to claim special damages, however, evidence is needed. This could be a receipt or payslip, for example. 

You could recover costs for:

  • Loss of earnings. 
  • Medical expenses. 
  • Cosmetic procedures if the NHS wasn’t able to cover them. 
  • Repairs and replacements of personal property. 

Whiplash Reforms

If you are over the age of 18 and involved in a road traffic accident, you might have to claim under the Whiplash Reform Programme. This applies to injuries valued at £5,000 or less. The accident must have occurred on or after 31 May 2021 to apply through the government portal. You would also need to have been a passenger or driver of the road vehicle. 

Once you have started a claim, you cannot revisit it, even if more injuries become apparent. Our advisors are available to discuss your potential claim and can estimate your general damages for free. 

What Are Public Transport Accidents?

If you are involved in an accident on a bus or train and you received an injury due to third-party negligence, you might be able to claim compensation. To start a valid public transport injury claim, however, you must be able to prove you were owed a duty of care and the breach of it caused your injuries. 

The Road Traffic Act 1988 sets out the duty of care for road users. This is then expanded upon in The Highway Code. The duty of care is for road users to act in a way that reduces the risk of injury to yourself and others. If, for example, the bus driver brakes suddenly because a car driver swerves into their lane without indicating, the car driver could be at fault. An accident could also be caused by the bus driver, for example, if the bus driver is driving without due care and attention. 

However, there is other legislation that you could use to claim if you suffered an injury due to the negligence of a train or tram driver. 

You may also suffer injuries because the public transport itself is unsafe. The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 sets out the duty of care that those in control of places accessible to the public owe users. This means that owners of a public place, such as the owner of a bus company, must take reasonably practical steps to reduce risks. A penetration wound from a piece of metal that is sticking out of railings, for example, could occur. If the piece of metal was known about, this could be considered a breach of the duty of care. 

If you were owed a duty of care and received an injury when this was breached our advisors can discuss your options for claiming with you. 

How Can An Accident On Public Transport Happen?

Proof of a breach in the duty of care is required to claim. You must be able to prove that you were owed a duty of care and it was breached. The actions you take following an accident on public transport might help strengthen your claim. 

Following an injury, you could:

  • Seek medical attention. Your medical records could be submitted as evidence. 
  • Request CCTV footage. You could ask the company that owns the train for the footage if you are involved in an accident on a train, for example. 
  • Take photographs. This could be of your injuries, the scene of the accident or of the object that caused your injuries. 
  • Note witness contact details. This could include other passengers’ details if there are any. Statements could be taken at a later date. 
  • Seek legal advice. Personal injury solicitors could help ease the claims process. 

How to safely travel on public transport

There are steps you could take to protect yourself against risks while on public transport. 

These could include:

  • Check to make sure the driver isn’t obviously intoxicated. A driver that is intoxicated or otherwise temporarily hindered from driving may not make safe decisions and cause a crash. 
  • Find a seat quickly. Wrenching-type injuries could occur if the bus or train starts moving while you are still looking for a seat. 
  • Hold onto a rail for the duration of your journey if a seat isn’t available. Broken bones could occur, for example, if you fall. 

There are times you have done everything you reasonably can to prevent injuries, however, you may still have been injured. Contact our advisors to see if you can start your public transport accident claim. 

Could I Get A No Win No Fee Agreement?

You might find the claims process easier with legal representation. However, this has traditionally been expensive. A No Win No Fee arrangement could reduce the financial risks of funding the services of a solicitor, opening up the claims process. 

Instead of an upfront solicitor’s fee, a legally capped success fee is payable. You’d only need to pay this if the claim is successful. This is taken from the award of successful claims. You might also hear No Win No Fee called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). 

Get Advice On Accident On Public Transport Claims

If you have any questions, our advisors might be able to help. You can discuss your potential claim with them. They might be able to estimate your general damages. In addition, they can discuss special damages with you and advise on what proof you could save to recover costs. Eligible claims could be passed onto our panel of personal injury lawyers. 

Contact us today:

  • For help making a claim online
  • Call us on the number at the top of the page
  • Use the live chat feature

More Information About Accident On Public Transport Claims

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Writer Danielle Ball

Publisher Ruth Vaughn