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Bus & Public Transportation Accidents: Investigative Report Shows Kansas City Transit Authority Has Poor Safety Record

Posted By Montee Law Firm, P.C. || 8-May-2018

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 425 settlements.

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 victims of 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 financial compensation. Contact us today to request a free consultation.

Categories: car accidents
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