The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) operates a number
of public transportation services throughout Missouri and Kansas, including
nearly 90 local bus routes and the Metro Area Express (MAX) bus rapid
transit. Those services are critical to the public, and provide a cost-efficient
and environmentally friendly means of transportation to millions of local
residents and visitors each year. Unfortunately, as a recent
investigative report from the Kansas City Star shows, those public transit services don’t
always have the best safety records.
As reported by the Star, KCATA paid over $3 million to settle third party
liability cases involving property damage and serious injuries between
2012 and 2017. Through an open records request, the Star was able to find
the following information about payouts to victims made by KACATA:
- 2017 – Roughly $895,000 in payouts, including over 180 settlements.
- 2016 - $275,00 in payouts and over 120 settlements.
- 2012 – 2015 – Over $2 million in payouts involving more than
Not only do those cases and settlements cost taxpayers, they are often
made confidential through the use of non-disclosure agreements between
KCATA and victims. This makes it difficult to determine how those accidents
and injuries occurred and whether or not they could and should have been
prevented if not for negligence, which is something the public should
know as it pertains to their own safety. The confidential cases also create
challenges in new cases involving other victims, as those victims and
their personal injury lawyers can’t cite them as a sign that KCATA
knew of certain hazards and failed to fully address them, or that the
transit authority has a history or pattern of negligent and unsafe conduct.
In what information the Star could find out, they concluded that most payouts
involved injuries, including injuries suffered by victims who were riding
as passengers on buses, occupants of other vehicles injured in car accidents
involving public transit, and pedestrians or bicyclists.
Bus & Public Transportation Accidents: Victims’ Rights
While there are concerns being raised about what information should be
disclosed in accidents involving public transportation, as well as valid
reasons to support KCATA’s motive for protecting itself against
fraudulent claims, the fact remains that buses and public transportation
services are clearly not immune to being involved in accidents –
nor are they immune from causing those accidents, injuries victims suffer,
or even deaths.
As a Kansas City personal injury law firm with a record of success representing
auto accidents throughout Missouri and Kansas, our legal team at Montee Law Firm, P.C.
has the experience and resources to protect the rights of victims who
suffer harm in preventable bus accidents and other accidents involving
public transportation. Because public transportation accident cases involve
local government agencies like KCATA, they can make for challenging claims
and are subject to unique rules and procedures, including different standards
for holding public transit authorities liable for damages, and different
rules regarding the statute of limitations, or amount of time victims
have to file claims.
Due to the unique challenges of these cases, as well as any case involving
trucks or commercial vehicles, we strongly encourage victims injured in
wrecks involving public transit to consult experienced attorneys like
those at our firm as soon as possible after a wreck. Our legal team can
work immediately on conducting the necessary investigations, determining
fault, and exploring options victims may have when it comes to holding
an appropriate party liable for their damages – whether that means
a negligent motorist who was driving a privately owned vehicle, or public
transit operators like KCATA.
If you have questions regarding your rights as an injured victims in bus
or public transportation accidents anywhere throughout Kansas City, the
states of Kansas or Missouri, or beyond, our legal team is available to
review your case and provide the information and support you need to pursue
Contact us today to request a free consultation.