A trial date has been set for a 22-year-old Massachusetts’ college student from Salem who suffered serious brain injuries and fractures in her back while riding on the trolley in downtown Boston.

The MBTA operator was reportedly texting and driving the trolley when he crashed into another parked trolley. The lawsuit alleges that the driver was negligent in failing to notice multiple red lights that were signaling him to stop before the crash occurred. The MBTA has accepted liability for the car accident.

Dozens of passengers suffered serious injuries and 49 went to the hospital following the crash. The victim of this lawsuit struck her head on a metal pole as a result of the crash. She has been experiencing the typical symptoms of a brain injury: memory loss, dizziness, loss of balance and sensitivity to light and noise. She had been attending college before the accident, but she has been unable to return to school.

As the MBTA has accepted liability for the accident, the only issue is what damages the victim is entitled to receive. She is entitled to seek compensation for her injuries, her medical bills, past and present and her future medical expenses. She can also seek compensation for her pain and suffering, her loss of earning and her loss of future earnings. Before the accident, she had planned on going to graduate school to become a research assistant or a medical doctor.

Accidents frequently happen to MBTA passengers due to the negligence of a driver. If one is injured in such an incident, a report should be filed with the proper investigative agency to determine whether the driver of the trolley was negligent and whether the accident could have been avoided.

It is important to know your rights and what compensation you may be entitled to if injured as a passenger. Passengers are entitled to seek damages from any negligent party in an accident, even if the negligent party is actually the driver of the vehicle they are riding in.

To date, 24 lawsuits have been filed against the MBTA for this one incident. Around nine of them have settled out of court. Another woman was awarded $1.2 million for her injuries in the first jury verdict in the case. That verdict will be appealed by the MBTA.

Source: Eagle-Tribune, “Salem woman hurt in subway crash suing MBTA,” Tom Dalton, July 4, 2012