Public transportation accidents and incidents are, by far, the most misunderstood in the entire field of personal injury law. This is largely because what most accidents and incidents appear to be about are merely symptoms of far more deep-rooted, underlying causes. Learning this early in our practice, Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, made a deliberate attempt to rely upon only the best nationally-recognized technical experts in the country, regardless of where they are headquartered. When we represent a client who has been injured in a public transportation accident or incident, we rely on experts like New York City-based Transportation Alternatives, and its President Ned Einstein, located. Mr. Einstein recently served as the expert witness in a case where in unemployed alcoholic obtained a $7.2 million jury verdict when a bus’ rear tire ran over one of his legs – notwithstanding the fact that the plaintiff, who had just gotten off the bus, was drunk at the time.
According to New Jersey law, most pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and even professional drivers struck by a moving vehicle deserve to be compensated for their injuries, or their families deserve to be compensated for their family member’s death — often by large amounts if the death or injuries warrant it. However, no insurance company is going to simply hand over fair compensation to you just because you deserve it. Private public transportation providers often have “deep pockets,” while services provided by public agencies often enjoy levels of immunity – including barriers to the collection of “punitive damages.” In order to penetrate this labyrinth of insurance-agency-stimulated legislation and to help you collect what you deserve, you need a team of experienced and, more importantly, hardworking and relentless attorneys and expert witnesses working together to fight for you. If we settle before trial or obtain a jury verdict (the final decision is always yours), our fee is contingent on the amount of recovery. If we do not win, you pay nothing. If Garces,Grabler & LeBrocq represents you, we will exhaust the limits of our resources and legal/technical team and stop at nothing to maximize the damage award you deserve. At the same time, because we do the work, including preparing you for your testimony, we make what might otherwise be an ordeal as stress-free as possible
Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq will, of course, evaluate the merits of your case carefully, and tell you the truth about these merits — even if they are not favorable to you, and even if we determine that you do not have a good case. Like all first meetings in personal injury cases, this initial consultation is free.
Since 1991, our attorneys have recovered more than $325 million in settlements and verdicts in favor of our clients. Our staff knows how to cut through the red tape and beat back the legal motions that defendant’s insurance company’s attorneys may file to impede us from pressing forward on your case.
The lion’s share of work is not testifying in trials (most cases are settled before trial) but, at Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, we prepare all our cases as if they will go to trial. In order to prepare for a trial, if necessary and our client approves, we may spend hundreds hours on research and analysis. As noted, most public transportation-related incidents merely reveal symptoms of deeper and larger underlying problems. Examples include:
- Wheelchair tipovers
- Assaults, molestations and bullying by another passenger
- Doors closing prematurely on entering or exiting passengers
- Buses pulling away before passengers can safely reach a grab rail or seat
- Stopping on the wrong side of the intersection
- Failing to pull to the curb (because merging back into traffic safely takes time)
- Failing to engage the bus’ “kneeling” feature (which takes all of two to four seconds)
- On-board slip and fall cases
The genuine cause of most such incidents is simply the fact that the bus schedules are too tight, and drivers do not have enough time to let everyone safely reach the seat of his or her choice, or spend the necessary time to load, secure, detach and unsecure even a garden variety wheelchair – and still have any “recovery time” left at the end of the “run” for the driver to catch his or her breath.
To examine such cases, one must not only explore the “symptoms” (i.e., what appears to have happened), but examine the bus, its equipment, the incident scene, the bus stop, the schedule, and most importantly, ride the route to see whether the printed schedule is a reality or, far more often, an impossibility.
Also ignored by most law firms, very few public transportation-related injuries result from collisions. Instead, most injuries results from “incidents” that do not involve collisions. In fact, the majority of incidents occur when passengers are not even on the bus – they are either crossing to or from the bus, boarding or alighting it, or are injured because of negligent location and placement of the bus stop, poor stop conditions, and even being forced to take a dangerous path to the bus stop (where they are struck by a third-party automobile or truck). In fact, after wheelchair tipovers and crossing incidents, the third most common public transportation incident theme is passenger molestation.
Finally, Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, makes every effort to extract what is known, in legal circles, as the “maximum precedent value” from every set of facts. For example, we will identify regulatory violations, like “hours-of-service” violations or violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (for which the defendants may be subject to an audit by the Federal Transit Administration with the power to cut off their funding). Or we may threaten to initiate a class action lawsuit. These dynamics can terrify defendants into “settling” for the maximum value of your case.
To speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who is an expert in public transportation accidents and incidents, immediately call us toll free at 1–800–923–3456 FREE or contact us online to discuss your legal matter today.