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Public transport accident compensation is not the normal type of claim that you would think of if you get injured on the road. Usually, you would think of car accidents or collisions on the road. You don’t usually associated public transport with accidents. That’s because you see them as having a “duty of care” towards commuters who utilize them. You pay to use public transport, therefore, you should not be scared about what will happen to you if you get into an accident.

In 2019, the UK government survey indicated that 4,513 buses and coaches were involved in accidents over the year. That is not even accounting for the amount of accidents that could have been involved on trains, ferries and taxis. Public accidents are more common than you think. That’s why you can get compensation to help you with your injuries.

You do not need to suffer in silence. Gowing Law Solicitors are here to make sure that you can recover, having all of your financial worries taken care of. It’s time to learn how we can help you with your public accident compensation claim!

What sort of public vehicles can I claim compensation for in an accident?

public transport duty

If you are using public transport, you may instinctively feel safe when you get on to the vehicle. This is because public transport drivers have received specific training to ensure the safety of all passengers when they in the vehicle. They know how to manoeuvre a large vehicle through traffic to ensure the safety of everyone on board, as well as other vehicles and pedestrians on the road. That is why when an accident does happen, it can come as a bit of a shock for everyone involved.

One of the most important things you need to know is that if a vehicle is registered as a form of public transport, then you can claim compensation if you have been involved in an accident. This could include:

  • Buses/Mini Buses
  • Trams
  • Taxis/Private Hire Vehicles
  • Ferries
  • Trains/Metros

It is important to remember that accidents do not need to solely happen on the road to have a public accident compensation case. They are not the same as car or motorcycle accidents because accidents can also happen in the interior of the vehicle. Most public forms of transport have large interiors because they need to transport a number of different people around the city. That means there’s more chance of their being a hazard during the commute. Our infographic below will have a little look into some of the examples of what sort of accidents you could encounter:

common public transport accidents infographic

Different Types of Accidents

As you can see from our last, using any sort of public transport comes with its dangers. However, what is important is to distinguish the differences in these accidents. That way you can decide who is liable for your accident. In some cases it will be the company that owns that form of transport. For instance, if you were injured on a ”northern railway”, you may want to launch your complaint to them. However, if it is a violent passenger then you may want to involve the police and ask them to pay for your compensation. Each situation is completely different, therefore you will need to decide carefully who you wish to pursue. This may change the amount of compensation that you can claim.

The main cause of your accident could be due to:

  • A fellow passenger
  • The vehicle driver
  • Other drivers on the road
  • The manufacturer of the vehicle
  • The environment (aka. the responsibility of local government)

Be aware of the environment and what impact it could have on your claim. You may think that the cause of your accident was due to your driver. However, the accident may have occurred due to a broken traffic light. Lots of factors can make up a public transport accident case, this is why you make need a lot of different witness statements to build up a clear picture of what has happened. From there, you can go to your solicitor and they can help you find the real cause of your accident.

different forms of traffic accident compensation tips

Covid-19 & Public Transport Accidents

Recently, the UK government has announced that new rules are being made in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 amongst commuters. Although you may have your own private vehicle you will be legally required to wear a face mask if you do have to use public transport. This will be from the 15th June 2020.

You should be trying to stay at home as much as possible in order to lessen the spread of Covid-19, including working from home if you can. However, if you have no choice but to use public transport then you will need to:

  • Plan your journey to avoid busy commuting times.
  • Be prepared for delays due to less vehicles being on the road.
  • Keep a 2 m distance from different people on and off the vehicle.
  • Mix up the different types of vehicles you may be using.
  • Carry the right PPE for your journey, including hand gel, hankies and gloves.
  • Be aware of any surfaces that you may touch whilst on your journey.
  • Wait for other passengers to board and leave before you do.
  • If the public transport looks busy, you may want to consider waiting for the next vehicle to arrive.

Have you caught Covid-19 from public transport?

If you think that you have caught Covid-19 from the unsanitary/crowded conditions of the transport, then you will need to prove that you specifically caught it from that area. It can be classified as a public accident. The unsanitary conditions have caused a bio-hazard that have put commuters and the staff of the vehicle in danger. Make sure to take statements and evidence from people who traveled with you. You may also want to take video or photo evidence of the state of the conditions of the transport. This could be the deciding factor between claiming compensation from the owner of the company and not being able to any compensation whatsoever.

proving where you caught covid-19 from image

How much money could you claim from an accident on public transport compensation claim?

Now, one of the most important things to think about public transport accident claims is that each case is completely individualistic. It depends on the type of accident you have been in, the severity of your injuries and the type of losses you have made thanks to the injury. This can include:

  • Physical Injury
  • Emotional Injury/Trauma
  • Financial losses (i.e. from time spent off work)
  • Medical assistance (i.e. medication and recovery programmes)

The more severe your injuries, and the losses you have made, the more likely that you could receive a bigger claim. It is important to draw on the fact that a breach of duty has occurred. Therefore, it is their duty to compensate you from their insurance.

Overall, it depends on the extent on your injuries. The most common of traffic accident injuries is whiplash. For minor whiplash, you could claim over £3,000. However, for major whiplash you could claim between £50,000- $114,000. This is a rough estimate and, again, we would like to stress that it does depend entirely on the public accident injury case that you have been through. Build up your case with the help of an experienced RTA specialist.

evidence for your public accident claim

How long should I wait to make a public transport accident compensation claim?

Do not wait to make your claim! This is one of the worst things that you can do. You are trying to recover from your injuries, therefore you need the appropriate funds to help you do this. Covid-19 may mean that there may be a backup of documents in the court system that could mean that your case is delayed.

To ensure that you receive the appropriate compensation in a reasonable amount of time, you should ask for compensation as soon as possible. You will have 3 years to claim compensation before your claim will become invalidated. So, make sure to speak to a trained solicitor about how you can approach your case. They will keep you updated about every move they make and how they are handling your case. That way you can get compensated for your injuries as quickly as possible.

How do I make a public transport accident compensation claim?

what to do if you have been in an accident gif

Although you may be tempted to make a compensation claim on your own, it is better to have the support of a solicitor to get you through the tricky jargon and court proceedings. You will need time to recover from your injuries.

If you are not injured at the scene of the accident, make sure to document evidence of what happened. This includes photographic and video evidence. You will also want to take witness statements from participants in the accident to show how the accident affected you. You can then write a letter of intent to the party who was responsible to let them know that you are going to press charges for the accident.

Once you have organized all of your information, it is time for you to get in contact with a trained RTA claims solicitor. A public traffic accident is not the same as being involved in a pedestrian accident, a car accident or any other type of road accident. They can help sort out your information and prepare you for your impending public transport accident compensation case.

Contact Gowing Law Solicitors to help with your case

RTA public accident button

All of our trained public transport accident compensation solicitors can help you with any sort of road traffic accident. You need to claim the compensation if you have been involved in an accident. This will give you the time you need to recover. Any sort of road accident can be a traumatic experience for passengers and staff on a vehicle. You deserve to feel stress-free when you recovery. So, let your trained solicitor take care of any difficulties that you may encounter. They can help understand what sort of claim you have and how you can move forward.

To contact Gowing Law, please call 0800 041 8350 or email One of our trained lawyers will then be in contact as quickly as possible. You can also visit our public accidents page for more information.

Read more about road traffic accident compensation

law blog button

Gowing Law’s blog is full of interesting law topics. These can help you learn about any sort of compensation case. That way you can feel confident that you know your stuff when you speak to one of our solicitors. If you take a look at our blogs you will find that they will detail more information about evidence about road traffic accidents and other pedestrian road accidents. We update our blog weekly and would be happy to write about any additional law topics that interest you. Send in your suggestions to

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Gowing Law are a professional law firm that specialises in the personal injury sector of the industry. Gowing Law are Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

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Gowing Law is law firm based in Manchester but offer their legal services nationwide. We specialise in the personal injury claims and our team of solicitors have the experience and expertise needed to handle your case and help you through the claims process.

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