Common Carrier Accidents (Buses and Transit Vehicles)
A common carrier is an organization that transports
persons or goods, and offers its services to the general public. In
contrast, private carriers do not offer a service to the public, and
provide transport on an irregular or ad-hoc basis. Common carriers
typically transport persons or goods according to defined routes and
schedules. Airlines, railroads, bus lines, cruise ships and trucking
companies may be common carriers.
Common carriers are governed by different laws from state to state. The
federal government regulates the interstate laws and the individual
state governments control the intrastate regulation. The common
carriers are required to take highest degree of care as well as employ
safety measures to make sure that the passengers can reach safely at
their destination. In case of an accident involving a common carrier,
the degree of liability to be paid by the carrier depends on the
injuries sustained by the passenger.
According to laws of some states, a common carrier does not have an
absolute responsibility of ensuring its passenger safety. However they
should take utmost care when transporting passengers to avoid
accidents. The common carrier is therefore liable for any injuries
sustained by its passengers from accidents that could have been avoided
if only the carrier was careful. The carriers are expected to take
extra care in case of elderly and disabled passengers. They are also
expected to provide seating for the disabled and the elderly. Examples
of expectations from the carriers are
- To their equipment in excellent working condition;
- They can't start and stop suddenly or drive erratically;
- They must discharge passengers in a place of safety and at their destination;
- They must protect passengers from violent acts of other passengers.
Common carriers are required to warn its passengers of the dangers
that exist inside the carrier. An example would be to warn passengers
of getting thrown out of the carrier if they stand in the aisle.
Whenever an accident results from the carrier's noncompliance of the
safety laws of the state they are totally liable for the personal
injuries suffered by the passengers.
For those who have suffered personal injury due to common carrier
accidents there is a limit to the filing period for damages. The filing
period is termed as the "Statute of Limitations". The statute of
limitation provides the time frame as to when a lawsuit for personal
injury may be filed.
If you or someone you know was involved in an accident on a
common carrier, or was hurt by a common carrier, or while getting on or
off a common carrier, contact us to discuss your case.