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Can I Take Legal Action if I’m Assaulted While Riding Public Transit?

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Public transit provides a convenient and widely-used means of transportation. However, incidents of assault on public transit can leave victims traumatized and seeking justice. If you have been assaulted while riding public transit, it’s important to understand your legal options. This article aims to provide guidance on whether you can take legal action, potential defendants in such cases, and how you can pursue a lawsuit even if the attacker is not found or charged with a crime.

Understanding Potential Defendants

When assaulted while riding public transit, there may be multiple parties who could be held liable for your injuries. Potential defendants in such cases may include:

  • Transit Authorities: The transit agency or authority operating the public transit system can be held responsible for failing to provide adequate security measures or neglecting to address known safety concerns.
  • Transit Operators: If the assault was committed by an employee or contractor of the transit agency, the agency itself may be held liable for the actions of their employees.
  • Third Parties: In some cases, the actions of fellow passengers or other third parties may contribute to the assault. If it can be demonstrated that the transit authority or operator knew or should have known about the potential for such incidents and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent them, they may still be held liable.

Civil Lawsuits vs. Criminal Charges

It’s important to understand that while criminal charges are handled by law enforcement and the prosecutor’s office, a civil lawsuit allows victims to seek compensation for their injuries and damages. In a civil lawsuit, the burden of proof is lower than in a criminal case, and the focus is on establishing negligence and liability rather than proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Find more information on how to take legal action on assault here

Pursuing a Lawsuit Despite No Criminal Charges

Attorney J.J. Dominguez of The Dominguez Firm explains the injured person’s rights, “Even if the attacker is not found or charged with a crime, you can still pursue a civil lawsuit against the municipal transit authority in question. In civil cases, the focus is on holding the responsible parties accountable for their negligence or failure to provide adequate security measures.

To pursue a lawsuit in these circumstances:

  • Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney: Seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney experienced in handling negligent security cases on public transit. They can assess the viability of your case, gather evidence, and guide you through the legal process.
  • Establish Negligence: To succeed in your lawsuit, you will need to establish that the transit authority or operator was negligent in their duty to provide a safe environment for passengers. This may involve demonstrating a history of similar incidents, inadequate security measures, or a failure to address known safety concerns.
  • Present Evidence: Collect and preserve evidence, such as witness statements, surveillance footage, and any documentation of previous incidents or safety concerns. This evidence can help establish the transit authority or operator’s negligence and support your claim for compensation.
  • Damages and Compensation: In your lawsuit, you can seek compensation for various damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost wages, and any other losses directly resulting from the assault.

Being assaulted while riding public transit is a traumatic experience, but it’s important to know that civil lawsuits allow you to seek compensation even if the attacker is not found or charged with a crime. Consult with a personal injury attorney to see what your options are. You can assert your rights, hold responsible parties accountable, and work towards recovery and justice.