The San Francisco Gate reported on Friday of a San Francisco Muni accident that injured a local 27-year old woman. According to the story, woman was walking her dog in the Inner Sunset neighborhood in the afternoon last week when she came upon two stopped Muni Metro cars. The woman tried to walk between the cars. It seems that she made it without a problem, but her dog became stuck underneath the connector that was coupling the two cars. The woman was able to step over the connectors, but this proved too difficult for the dog. The woman picked up the dog to carry it over.
However, it was at that moment that the trains began moving again. The woman was unable to get out of the way as the train started. She and the dog were eventually dragged about a half a block before the train stopped. Authorities explain that the woman was particularly lucky. She suffered some scrapes, bumps, and bruises, but things could definitely have been much worse.
This latest accident occurred on the N-Judah train line. Local residents know that the N-Judah is one of the most accident prone lines in the city. Every year more and more residents suffer a range of injuries on the line-often as a result of equipment problems, operator negligence, and the like. As the members of the rescue crew in this case explained, Muni accidents are often quite serious. They explained, “had she gone all the way underneath, the metal wheels literally would have amputated any part of her body that they’d come across. Those accidents are usually very tragic, but she was very fortunate.”
The San Francisco injury lawyer at our firm has worked with those who have been hurt in situations like this one, involving public vehicles. There are a wide range of legal issues that are implicated whenever something like this happens. It is impossible to extrapolate on what might be involved in any specific situation from only a news stories. At the end of the day the legalities of these accidents often hinge on circumstances that are specific to each individual case.
Of course, as this case demonstrates, it remains incredibly important to act carefully when using the Metro or near it. It is always preferable to prevent one of these accidents from happening beforehand. However, if you are injured in one of these situations, please remember that you have legal rights. For one thing, the law does not require you to be completely blameless in order to seek redress for harm that you suffered as a result of a transportation accident. In many cases, these serious injuries are caused by joint negligence, where various individuals both act inappropriately to some extent, resulting in harm. For example, the woman in this case may have been negligent in walking between cars. However, depending on the circumstances, the Muni driver may have stopped inappropriately or otherwise failed to act in a safe manner. Our San Francisco Muni accident lawyers know that the injured party can still recover in these situations. California is what is known as a “pure” comparative fault state. That means that if a lawsuit arose out of a situation like this the court will assign each party a percentage of fault and the award would be reduced by the percentage of the plaintiff’s fault.
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