How Do I File an Accident Claim Against the Local Government for Injuries on Public Transportation?

When you are visiting Las Vegas and are spending a lot of time on the Strip, you are probably using many different forms of transportation to get around. For instance, you may be spending part of your time walking from casino to casino, or you may be taking advantage of the Las Vegas bike share program. In other situations, particularly if you are out late at night and need a safe and quick ride back to your hotel or to a nearby restaurant, you may rely on a ride-sharing service such as Uber or Lyft, or you may call a taxi. At the same time, you might rely on Las Vegas public transportation and could be at risk of injuries in a bus accident.
Getting A Vegas Taxi
In short, you may decide to ride the Deuce, which the public transportation option available in Las Vegas. But what happens if you get hurt while you are using public transportation? While you might assume that you can file a motor vehicle accident lawsuit just as you would if you were riding on a private bus owned and operated by a private tour company, the rules are actually a little bit different when it comes to filing a claim for injuries sustained on public transportation. Why are these claims handled differently? In short, when you file a claim for an injury on public transportation, you typically need to file a claim against the government.

We want to provide you with some answers to some frequently asked questions about filing a personal injury claim against local government after injuries on public transportation.

What is Las Vegas Public Transportation, and What Is the Deuce?

As Visit Las Vegas explains, “the Deuce” is the name of the public transportation system in Las Vegas, and it is operated by the Regional Transportation Committee (RTC). The bus runs throughout the city of Las Vegas, but it has particular routes for visitors and residents alike who want to find a convenient way to get from one place to another on a regularly scheduled route. The two different transportation options for the Strip and for downtown Las Vegas are Deuce on the Strip (which stop at nearly every location on the Las Vegas Strip), and then SDX Strip & Downtown Express (which has about half of the number of stops). The Deuce on the Strip has scheduled stops every 15-20 minutes for 24 hours per day. Indeed, you can ride the Deuce on the Las Vegas Strip at any time of day. For SDX Strip & Downtown Express, the service runs from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 a.m. every day of the week, and has scheduled stops every 15 minutes.

To use Deuce on the Strip or SDX Strip & Downtown Express, you can buy a ticket on the bus when you board for a one-time fare. Otherwise, if you plan to use public transportation more than once, you might want to consider a pass. There are two-hour passes, 24-hour passes, and three-day passes, depending upon your need. There is also a new “rideRTC” app that can allow you to pay for rides and passes even faster. The Deuce is the cheapest form of transportation you can find—aside from simply walking—on the Las Vegas Strip. In other words, using the Deuce will cost you a lot less money than a taxi, as well as Uber, Lyft, or another ridesharing service.

How Do Injuries Happen on the Deuce and Las Vegas Public Transportation?

Vegas Bus System
Whether you are using public transportation to visit different locations on the Strip or to ride downtown, there are numerous ways in which accidents can happen. In some cases, another driver—other than the public transit driver or conductor—may have been negligent, thereby causing the accident. In many situations involving public transportation accidents and bus crashes, however, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada may be at fault. In these cases, you will need to speak with a Las Vegas bus accident lawyer about filing a government lawsuit.

The following are some examples of conduct that can result in an accident on the Deuce and a government lawsuit:

  • Bus driver’s aggressive driving, such as speeding or tailgating;
  • Drowsy driving, such as the bus driver falling asleep behind the wheel;
  • Drunk driving, such as the bus driver drinking alcohol before driving and causing a crash;
  • Bus driver’s distracted driving, such as texting or talking on a cell phone while driving the bus, or even simply failing to pay proper attention to the road;
  • Faulty maintenance of public transportation vehicles, like failing to have buses maintained on a regular basis or failing to adhere to motor vehicle product recall warnings;
  • Poor roadway maintenance, such as failing to maintain a dangerous section of road that causes a bus to crash; and
  • Government employee in another vehicle who caused a collision.

Can Public Transportation Accidents Affect Pedestrians and Bicyclists, Too?

Vegas Cyclists

Even if you are not riding the Deuce, it is important to know that you can still be injured as a result of a bus driver’s negligence or the negligence of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada. For example, if you are a pedestrian or a bicyclist and you are struck by a bus, you will also need to learn more about filing a government claim.

Pedestrians and bicyclists who get hurt because of a bus driver’s negligence or the government’s failure to properly maintain bus equipment or to properly maintain roads deserve to seek compensation for their losses. A Las Vegas bus accident attorney can help.

How Do I File a Claim Against the Government, and How Is the Process Different From Filing a Typical Bus Accident Lawsuit?

What are the rules for filing a claim against the government? Depending upon the specific facts of your case and the party who is responsible for the crash, you may need to file a lawsuit against the City of Las Vegas or against the State of Nevada (in the event, for instance, that a state government employee’s negligence during the course of her job resulted in the crash). Under Chapter 41 of the Nevada Annotated Code, injury victims can file a claim against the state of Nevada. You should discuss the specific details of your case with a personal injury attorney in Nevada.

Generally speaking, if you need to file a claim against the City of Las Vegas, the steps are distinct from those involved in filing a personal injury lawsuit against a private party. These steps include the following:

  • File a Notice of Claim with the Risk Management Division of the City of Las Vegas, which lets the City of Las Vegas know that you are requesting compensation for an injury for which you believe the city is responsible;
  • City will conduct an investigation, and the City of Las Vegas will make a determination of liability that may in fact be the city itself, or may be a different party;
  • City will provide you with a written determination of liability, which will typically occur from about 4-6 weeks after you file a Notice of Claim, although the timing can vary depending upon the facts of the case.

Contact a Las Vegas Bus Accident Lawyer

Determining liability in a bus accident case can be complicated. By speaking with a Las Vegas bus accident lawyer, you can learn more about who may be responsible for your injuries, from a private party to the City of Las Vegas. If the City of Las Vegas should be held liable, you can learn more about filing a Notice of Claim and seeking compensation. Contact Ladah Law Firm online or call us at 702-252-0055 to discuss your bus accident lawsuit.