Causes of Common Carrier Accidents
A common carrier is a means of mass transportation of the general public from one destination to another in exchange for a fee. These carriers include airplanes, trains, subways, buses, taxis, ferries, cruise ships, elevators, escalators and ski lifts. Generally, these transportation companies issues time schedules and set rates for specified routes.
A common carrier is bound by Federal and state regulations to comply with safety laws, provide transportation units in a reasonably safe condition with competent and qualified drivers and flight and vessel crews, use its utmost care in transporting passengers and provide any necessary safety warnings to travelers. The Department of Transportation is the primary regulator of common carriers.
These carriers, however, are not insurers of the lives of passengers. They are required to exercise the highest degree of care reasonably possible to avoid accidents, but are not a guarantor for passengers' safety. In the event of passenger injury, the carrier remains liable for damages for those injuries if negligence on the part of the provider is proved.
There are some exceptions to negligence liability. The carrier may not be held responsible for compensation in certain situations so it is very important the you seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney immediately.
Common reasons for these type of accident cases include the following:
· Failure of the common carrier to follow proper safety practices. Federal and state laws set out safety protocols. Federal administrators, such as the Federal Transit Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Federal Aviation Administration and Federal Railroad Administration, enforce regulations and investigate all serious accidents.
· Failure to properly maintain transportation units. Common carriers have a duty to regularly service, inspect, repair and maintain their equipment. For instance, if brake failure on a bus causes an accident, the common carrier is responsible for injuries and losses.
· Driver or crew error. Operators of common carriers are subject to the same high degree of care as the common carrier itself. An error by a common carrier employee is also the responsibility of his or her employer, the common carrier. The majority of common carrier accidents are due to operator error.
Common carriers are responsible for a passenger from the time he or she is accepted as a passenger (i.e. check-in at an airlines ticket booth). This responsibility continues throughout travel until the carrier has delivered the passenger to a safe place at his or her appointed destination.
These types of personal injury accidents are often catastrophic. Passengers sustain severe injuries or, unfortunately, do not survive. This holds true particularly in airplane crashes or train accidents. Airplane accidents can occur on take-off, landing, in a mid-air collision with another aircraft or due to air turbulence. Train accidents can range from collision with a vehicle at a crossing to derailment or collision with another train.
If you have sustained injury or lost a loved one in a transportation accident, it is important to speak to an experienced common carrier accident attorney as soon as possible. Transportation accident claims are complex because of the number of parties involved. Lawsuits must be filed within a specific time after the accident or they will not be permitted. If any of the parties are government agencies, the time limit can be very short which is why you need to speak with a personal injury lawyer at the earliest possible moment.
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