The RTD light rail lines are intended to provide car-free transportation alternatives to residents and workers in the Denver-metro area. Increasing public transit can reduce traffic and help bring down the rate of injury accidents. However, in the years since the light rail was introduced and has continued to grow, the light rail has been involved in a number of accidents with cyclists and pedestrians.
Fatalities and Injury Accidents Involving the RTD Light Rail
In June, a cyclist died after an accident with an RTD train in Denver. According to the police investigation, the cyclist was crossing the tracks against a signal near the intersection of Smith Road and Quebec Street. The A line to the airport runs through this intersection, with stations on either side, between Central Park and 40th-Colorado.
In December, a pedestrian was hit and killed by a W Line light rail train in Golden. At around 8 p.m., near Sixth Avenue and Ulysses Street, the driver walked in front of an eastbound train. The train driver reportedly saw the man, hit the brakes, and blasted the horn, but was unable to stop in time.
The crossing along W Bayaud just east of Santa Fe Drive has seen a number of pedestrian fatalities. The C, D, F, and H Lines all run along this intersection, between 10th-Osage and Alameda stations. In October of 2019, in October of 2018, and again in August of 2018, pedestrians were killed in RTD rail accidents in this area.
In Aurora, a light-rail driver was fired after causing a derailment that severed a passenger's foot. According to the RTD, the speed of the train was the primary factor for derailment. The R Line train jumped the track and a door popped off. One woman was thrown from the train, suffering a severed foot.
Distracted Walking, Biking, and Scootering
Texting while driving or using your phone while behind the wheel takes your attention off the road. Distracted driving is increasingly a common cause of motor vehicle accidents, including rideshare drivers who have to use their phones in order to complete their job. However, pedestrians, cyclists, and scooter riders all have problems with moving around while distracted, which puts themselves and others at risk of an accident.
Pedestrians locked into their phones have walked into other people and do not even acknowledge they did something wrong. Denver residents walking down the 16th Street Mall have seen countless tourists cluelessly walk through the Free MallRide lane while a bus is honking at them to get out of the way. More recently, e-scooter riders have cluelessly caused near-miss accidents with the buses and other pedestrians while distracted by their phones or listening to music.
Filing a Claim After an RTD Light Rail Injury
After an accident, the injury victim may be able to file a claim against the parties responsible for causing the accident. This is known as a personal injury lawsuit. However, there is a limited amount of time to file a claim based on the “statute of limitations.” If your claim is filed even one day late, your claim may be denied.
In Colorado, most motor vehicle accidents have a three-year statute of limitations period. This three-year period starts from the date of the motor vehicle accident. However, when the defendant is a government agency, like the RTD, there may be a shorter time to file a claim.
Under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act, there is a 182-day notice requirement. Any person claiming to have suffered an injury by a public entity or employee shall file a written notice within 182 days after the date of the discovery of the injury. Filing a claim too late or not including all the necessary information could result in having the claim denied.
If you have any questions about an RTD bus or light rail accident, talk to an experienced Denver accident lawyer. Time may be limited to file a claim to get compensation for your injuries. Please do not hesitate to contact accidentdenver.com today at 303-642-8888 for a free consultation. We are here waiting for you.