In 2010, a woman named Sandra Watson was taking the B12 bus across Brooklyn, New York. She was heading from Albany Avenue to Troy Avenue in the borough. It was a normal October day at the time. The bus eventually stopped and let all of the passenger’s exit. Watson left the elevated bus through the door closest to the rear. She was forced to step down a good distance onto the ground exactly where the bus had stopped. Unfortunately, there was a pothole directly outside the back door of the B12 bus. Watson stepped into this pothole, lost her footing and fell straight to the ground.
Sandra Watson was injured and was unable to stand back up on her own. Other people on the bus helped her up. An ambulance was called to the scene to examine the injuries. Watson had to be eventually driven away from the scene for treatment in the ambulance. She later filed a personal injury claim in civil court in Kings County. Watson made the claim that the Transit Authority was responsible for the slip and fall because she had no control over where to exit the bus. This meant that the driver of the bus was negligent in choosing the location where everyone was supposed to exit.
The court in Kings County decided to bifurcate the case. This meant there would be two parts to the trial independent of each other. The part that took place first was just to determine whether the Transit Authority was liable for her injuries. Watson’s lawyer pointed out clearly that she was wearing good shoes and had no other issues that might have resulted in a fall. The Transit Authority attorney argued that the pothole was not really a hazard and Watson was just negligent herself.
A jury eventually reached a decision about the case after a full day of deliberations. The jury decided that the Transit Authority was indeed liable for her injuries due to negligence. This allows Watson to now move ahead to the second part of the trial where damages will be determined for her injuries. Choosing the right attorney for this type of case is extremely important. An experienced lawyer knows what it takes to prove legal liability even when cases seem complex. A good lawyer also plays a vital role when damages are being determined. A lawyer will fight hard to win full and fair compensation for all damages resulting from a slip and fall.