MBTA – T Accidents

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By Marc Diller, Esq.
DILLER LAW, P.C.

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If injured as a passenger on an MBTA bus, who will pay for the injured party’s medical bills?

In Massachusetts, generally, if the person injured is a passenger on a MBTA bus and involved in a MBTA bus accident, such injured passenger should be entitled to accident-related medical expenses coverage under PIP regardless of fault. The insurance policy responsible for covering the injured person’s PIP benefits is:

First, any auto policy in which the injured is a named insured covers medical expenses under PIP.

Second, if the first scenario listed above does not apply, the auto policy of anyone living in the injured’s household covers medical expenses under PIP

Third, if neither of the first two scenarios listed above applies, the Massachusetts Assigned Claims Plan fund may cover medical expenses under PIP. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90, Section 34N.

Fourth, if none of the above-three scenarios applies, you may have to seek to recover medical benefits, lost wages and/or out-of-pocket expenses as well as those other tort damages to which the injured passenger may be entitled from the MBTA or any other entity, who is legally responsible for causing such damages.

PIP is not available from the MBTA itself because the MBTA is self-insured and not governed by the statute requiring compulsory PIP coverage. See MGL Ch. 90, §34M.

If injured as a passenger on a MBTA train, who will pay for the injured party’s medical bills?

In Massachusetts, generally, if the person injured is a passenger on a MBTA train and involved in a MBTA train accident, such injured passenger should be entitled to accident-related medical expenses there is generally no PIP coverage available. Rather, such injured passengers right to recover damages would be governed by whether or not the MBTA or some other(s) was(were) legally responsible for causing such accident. If so, the injured person would have to recover all their accident-related damages from the entity(s) legally responsible for causing the accident.

Can an injured person recover accident-related damages against the MBTA, if the MBTA is legally responsible for causing such damages?

The MBTA, like other common carries, owes a duty of care not only to its passengers but also to those other motorists, pedestrians, and/or foreseeable strangers on Massachusetts’ roads and/or on the MBTA’s property.

An injured person can recover against the MBTA for damages caused by the MBTA’s negligence. Whereas those governmental entities protected by the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act (“MTCA”) generally do not have to pay more than $100,000 in damages to an injured person, the MBTA is not a public entity like those covered under the MTCA. Legal actions against the MBTA are governed by a separate Massachusetts law. See MGL ch. 161A, § 38

How long is the statute of limitations against the MBTA for its negligent acts?

Generally, the injured person must commence any action for personal injury or property damage against the MBTA within two (2) years of the date of such injury or damage and in case of death only within two years next after the date of the injury which caused the death.

Can the MBTA be legally responsible for the damages caused by its passengers and/or strangers on its property?

The MBTA is a common carrier and owes its passengers a higher standard of care than those who transport passengers for no fee.

The MBTA owes its passengers a duty of care to prevent its passengers from suffering reasonably anticipated harm not only from MBTA employees, but also the MBTA owes its passengers a duty of care to prevent its passengers from suffering reasonably foreseeable harm caused by other passengers and/or strangers!

For more information or a free confidential case review, contact a personal injury lawyer at Diller Law by calling (617) 523-7771, or filling out the form on the right of this page.