There are some great paratransit companies in our state that provide really helpful services. They help a specific portion of our population---people who are very brave and have already had to endure many challenges in life.
Unfortunately, there are also paratransit companies that are overcome with greed. They cut corners and pursue profits over people.
The first thing you need to do as quickly as possible is figure out exactly how you or your family member got hurt and make a record of it. It is not uncommon for people who have been injured in paratransit accidents (e.g., crashes, wheelchair lift failures, improper chair or seatbelt securement, etc.) to not be able to recall or communicate what happened. Also, so much of the information that is vital to the case – who the driver was, where the vehicle had traveled and how it was driven leading up to the injury, who the attendants were, what vehicle was used (e.g., wheelchair sedan, 'big box' van, ambulance, etc.), what restraints were used, what precipitated the crash or injury, what the response was, who was involved in the response and who was involved in any investigation, and much more – will quickly disappear if you don’t get this information identified and permanently secured very soon after the injury occurs.
Get an attorney with experience in handling these cases involved early. Ask any lawyer you are interviewing to hire specifically what his or her experience is in handling paratransit cases and how they would recommend handling your family member's case. If they are vague or imply that there is no particular rush, keep looking. For that matter, he or she should have a paratransit expert that they will want to utilize early on to help direct the investigation. If they don’t, this is a sign of another problem.
Your attorney should act quickly to get statements from everyone who was a witness, to photograph and inspect the vehicle and equipment that were used, and to have early contact with the paratransit company and its insurer(s). Early contact should also be made with the police or any entity investigating how your family member got injured.
As well, your attorney should start to figure out early on what industry standards were applicable and which were not followed properly and why that matters. He or she should consider having the incident that caused the injury reenacted or re-created while the memories of witnesses and the evidence are fresh. Your attorney should also be in touch with your family members friends and medical care providers in order to establish the health condition that your family member was in before the injury occurred.
These cases have to be worked, investigated, and understood at an early stage. Failure to do so can cause serious harm to a claim.