We’ve all heard of King County METRO. It Is the government agency that operates the public bus service in King County. I’ve represented people injured in all kinds of claims involving King County METRO busses. I’ve represented pedestrians hit by busses, car drivers and passengers injured when their vehicle was hit by a bus, and bus passengers injured when the bus is involved in a collision. Sometimes those collisions are the bus driver’s fault. Other times they are the fault of the person driving a car. In every case, there is a specific procedure you or your lawyer need to follow to make sure the claim is handled properly.
First, because King County METRO is a government agency, nobody can make a claim for damages against it without first properly filing a Notice of Claim. This is a requirement of Washington Law. If you were to try suing King County METRO without first meeting the Notice of Claim requirement, a Judge would throw out your case.
Second, you need to gather information. Most King County METRO busses have multiple cameras. It is important to ask for the camera footage, or at least to ask that it be preserved. METRO also has a policy requiring that incident reports be completed with any incident involving injuries. These reports often contain important facts about the collision and statements of passengers and eyewitnesses. It is important to get a copy of this incident report as early as possible.
Ultimately, you need to assert your claim and try to get compensation for your injuries. King County METRO does not have insurance, but is self-insured. It does not have medical payments or personal injury protection coverage, so if you are injured on a bus, you’ll have to rely on your own health insurance to pay your bills. If you have no insurance, you might be out of luck – at least until you can get a recovery from METRO, or from the responsible party for your claim.
If you can’t negotiate a settlement with King County, you may need to file a lawsuit. Sometimes King County is the only defendant. Sometimes you may also have to name other drivers or entities. If you do this wrong, you may lose the right to make a full recovery for your claim. When making a claim involving King County METRO, Sound Transit in Snohomish County, Pierce Transit, or any regional governmental bus service, it is essential that you have an attorney who understands how claims against these entities work.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a bus accident, or if you have any questions about claims involving bus accidents or any other kind of accident, please check out our website or just give us a call. We’d love to hear from you.