What to do if you have been injured in a TTC bus accident (or any other TTC accident)

By Pace Law | September 24, 2019

Injuries on the TTC and as a result of the operation of the TTC are not uncommon. You will often hear of a bus accident, someone being involved in a subway accident, or injuries while riding on the TTC. However, the TTC is governed by somewhat murky legislation that makes knowing what benefits and compensation you are entitled to difficult to understand. Unless you are an experienced accident lawyer in Toronto, that is.

Statistics on TTC ridership

  • Over 500 million riders annually
  • About 2 million riders on weekdays
  • 3rd largest ridership in North America
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Between 2008 and 2018, the TTC and municipal transport vehicles have been involved in a total of 264 accidents causing fatalities or serious injury.

In this article we will break down, briefly, three types of accidents:

  • You are a pedestrian, cyclist or driving a motor vehicle and are struck by a TTC vehicle
  • You are injured while on a TTC vehicle due to the actions of the driver
  • You are injured on the TTC due to the actions of another rider/passenger

What to do if you have been injured in a TTC accident?

Seek medical help immediately. Ensure your doctor’s observations are recorded, and you keep receipts of all expenses you incur. Contact experienced accident lawyers in Toronto as soon as possible. Investigating the accident is essential and, because of the notice limitations involved, time is of the essence.

1. Accident or collision with a TTC vehicle

Given the vast operation of the TTC, accidents are an unfortunate reality. With respect to surface vehicles, accidents are not restricted to buses — as streetcar accidents are not uncommon. For example, in 2019 a streetcar was left derailed after a collision with an SUV, which was ferrying passengers for a popular app-based cab service. In such an event, the accident must be treated like any other motor vehicle accident. You may be owed:

  • Statutory accident benefits
  • Attendant care benefits
  • Medical expenses
  • Long term care expenses
  • Income-replacement

Whether a claim of tort (lawsuit) should be pursued should also be discussed with accident lawyers in Toronto. Making a tort claim is the appropriate path to helping you receive compensation for your medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering.

2. Injured due to negligent driving by TTC driver

Rash and inconsiderate driving is not just dangerous for pedestrians and other motorists, it can be fatal for riders too, and dangerous for children who are involved in a school bus accident. Global News reported the death of an elderly woman, in 2018, after she was injured in a fall on a TTC bus. The driver had braked suddenly, causing her to fall and sustain fatal injuries. In fact, accidents involving falls, or those that result in the victims sustaining lacerations due to contact with sharp edges are more common than you might assume.

Nevertheless, TTC riders who are injured are curiously disadvantaged.

Under the Better Tomorrow for Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2011:

“no statutory accident benefits are payable in respect of an occupant of a public transit vehicle if the public transit vehicle did not collide with another automobile or any other object in the incident.”

In such cases, then, riders are ineligible to receive vital accident benefits for their medical care. In such instances, riders are left very few avenues of recourse other than:

  • Relying on their own insurance, if it covers such accidents
  • Pursuing a claim of tort

Certainly, a bus accident or subway accident caused by the reckless or negligent driving of a TTC driver gives rise to a claim of tort. However, proving negligence will require the expertise and resources of experienced accident lawyers in Toronto.

Moreover, there are complexities regarding the determination of fault. Fault may be attributed to the direct actions of the driver. However, the employer/organization may be culpable for promoting a dangerous driving culture.

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3. TTC’s liability if you are injured by another passenger or rider

If you are injured due to the conduct of another TTC user, the Better Tomorrow Act will restrict the benefits the TTC has to pay out. Your recourse will again be restricted to your own insurance policy and/or pursuing a claim of tort against the rider in question. If an investigation of the accident reveals deficiencies in infrastructure or inadequate facilities, you may have a claim against the TTC.

Limitation period

The limitation period for most accidents is two years. If delayed, vital evidence regarding the claim can be lost and a potential claim can be vitiated. Significantly, the Municipal Act, 2001 and Stronger City of Toronto for a Stronger Ontario Act, 2006 restrict claims for recovery of damages unless a written notice of claim is submitted within 10 days of the accident. Accordingly, time is of the essence if you have been involved in a TTC accident. Due to the urgency associated with such accidents, it is advisable that you contact a personal injury lawyer in Toronto immediately after your accident.

If you have been seriously injured in any type of bus or school bus accident, streetcar accident, or any other type of road accident involving the TTC, contact Pace Law Firm immediately.