Knowledge base

Public Transport Compensation – Injured on a Bus, Train or Ferry

Train injury compensation

Many commuters spend a significant amount of time on public transportation each day. While accidents involving public transport are rare due to stringent safety standards, they do occur and can result in serious injury to passengers or bystanders. 

Victims of public transport accidents may suffer all manner of injuries to limbs, extremities, neck, back, spinal cord, head, and brain. Soft tissue injuries are common, as are concussions, abrasions, burns and psychological injuries. Even serious conditions such as paraplegia or quadriplegia may result. 

If you sustain a personal injury while traveling on a bus, train, ferry or other public transport it's likely you will be entitled to claim compensation.

Injured? Get expert advice now: Smith's are Queensland's only 100% risk-free injury compensation lawyers. Insist on our 'No Win. No Fee. No Catch' ® promise. Check your rights with no risk or obligations now and talk direct to our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith. Call 1800 266 801 OR  check if you can claim

I was injured in a bus accident - can I claim compensation?

If you are injured as a result of a crash, collision or other accident while on a public bus, you will be able to claim compensation if it resulted from someone else’s negligence.   

Injured in a bus accident

In Queensland, passengers injured in any road accident can claim compensation from the at-fault driver under the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance scheme. All registered vehicles are required to have CTP insurance covering personal injuries, including buses. Therefore if the bus driver or another driver was negligent and caused injury to you, then you can claim compensation under the CTP scheme. 

In certain situations, compensation may also be available under other schemes such as WorkCover. Who you can claim compensation from, and what process you need to follow will depend on how the accident occurred. If you are injured in a public transport incident, talk to a lawyer about your options. There are strict time limits associated with bringing injury claims and it's important to seek advice as soon as possible.

See also:

Can I claim compensation for injuries sustained while standing on a train or bus?

Limited seating on public transportation means that many passengers must stand while the vehicle is in motion, placing them at increased risk of falling. Severe injuries can result when passengers are thrust forward or backward when there is a sudden acceleration or deceleration. Common injuries include whiplash and other soft tissue injuries, spinal injuries, fractures, cuts, scratches, bruises and head injuries. 

Fractures caused by public transport accident

Drivers of public transport vehicles are obliged to drive with reasonable care to prevent injury to passengers. If a driver brakes too hard or accelerates too quickly before you have had an opportunity to sit down, you may be eligible to claim damages for your injuries. Passengers must also take care for their own safety and hold on tightly while the vehicle is in motion. 

Who you can claim from will depend on how the accident occurred. If you are injured in a public transport incident, talk to a lawyer about your options. There are strict time limits associated with bringing injury claims and it's important to seek advice as soon as possible.

Slip or trip and fall injury at a bus/train/ferry station - can I claim compensation?

Statistics reveal that around two people slip, trip or fall in some way at train stations every working day. Typically passengers are rushing to catch their train and are at risk of tripping down stairs or slipping on smooth surfaces. 

Occupiers of public transport stations such as private Queensland Rail, private bus companies or public authorities, have a duty of care toward people coming onto their property. They must take reasonable care to make sure entrants are not exposed to risks that are likely to cause injury.  This means that if there is something that is potentially dangerous on their property they must rectify it or warn people of the danger. 

You may be able to claim compensation for injuries that result from a slip or trip if it was caused by someone else’s negligence or carelessness. Simply injuring yourself while you are in a public place such as a train station, does not automatically entitle you to be paid compensation for your injuries by the occupier.   

If you have been injured, talk to a lawyer about your entitlements. There are strict time limits associated with bringing injury claims and it's important to seek advice as soon as possible.

Knee injury suffered on a ferry


Jeff is boarding a ferry when he slips on a wet walkway across the deck of the boat, suffering injuries to his knee and back. The ferry operator may be found liable for Jeff’s injuries for failing to ensure their boat did not pose risk of injury. Jeff can likely claim compensation for his injuries.  
Fiona is running down the train station steps in high heels to catch her train when she trips and falls suffering multiple injuries. As there is nothing unsafe about the stairs themselves, Queensland Transport cannot be held liable and it is unlikely Fiona can claim compensation for her injuries.    

See also: Compensation for Slip and Fall in Public Place 

If you are injured in a public transport incident, talk to a lawyer about your options for seeking compensation.

I was attacked/assaulted while on public transport - can I claim compensation?

If you are physically assaulted while on public transport, there are several options for claiming compensation. 

Compensation claim after being attacked in public transport

It may be possible to bring proceedings against the individual who perpetrated the attack. However such proceedings are often pointless if the perpetrator does not have enough money to satisfy the court’s judgment for compensation. 

A claim may be brought against the transport operator if the fault can be attributed to them for the actions of the attacker. For example, if the attacker was a railway security officer who assaulted you in the course of their employment, the railway company may be held liable for his actions. 

In circumstances where another passenger attacks you, you may be able to claim compensation from the transport operator if they created circumstances which made travelling or waiting for transport at their stations especially unsafe, such as by failing to have adequately lit and supervised areas after dark. 

Whether you can claim compensation in a particular case will depend on the circumstances surrounding the assault. Be sure to speak with a lawyer if you wish to seek compensation for injuries caused by a physical assault.  There are strict time limits associated with bringing injury claims and it's important to seek advice as soon as possible.

What to do following a public transport accident

If you have been injured in a public transport accident, there are certain steps you should take immediately following the incident (where possible) to ensure you can make a claim for compensation.   

1: Collect important information. Be sure to obtain:

  • registration details of the public transport vehicle and other vehicles involved in the accident, and,
  • the name and contact details of drivers involved in the accident and the name of their CTP insurer if possible.
List of things to do after public transport accident

2: Seek appropriate medical treatment for your injuries. Its important for insurance purposes that you have medical records to back up any claims regarding injuries, should you need to make a claim. A doctor’s notes from a physical examination on the day of the accident provide good evidence for this purpose. 

Any incident that gives rise to a serious personal injury on public transportation, should be reported to the relevant authorities as soon as possible.

  1. Incidents should either be reported to Translink or the relevant private transport operator for their records. Provide a clear description of events including as much detail as possible. For incidents on public transport in South East Queensland including Brisbane and the Gold Coast, contact Translink by phone on 13 12 30 or by online feedback form.
  2. If the incident involves a bus or other vehicles or has resulted in fatalities or serious injuries report the incident to Police. This can be done over the phone by calling Policelink on 131 444 or online at or in the “My Crash” function on the Policelink App.

If your injuries are serious or prevent you from working, contact a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss a claim for compensation. There are strict time limits associated with bringing injury claims and it's important to seek advice as soon as possible.


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Last update on:
June 1, 2021
Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For expert advice call 1800 266 801 or chat via live chat to arrange free initial advice with our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

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