You might not have heard the term “common carrier” before, but you’ve more than likely ridden in one. Basically, any vehicle, ship, or plane that charges for transporting people or cargo is considered a common carrier.
Although, you might have heard the term “common carrier” before if you’ve ever been in an accident with one. Common carriers can be held liable for injuries sustained by their passengers in some situations, meaning that if you’ve been in a common carrier accident caused by negligence, you may be eligible for compensation.
If you’ve been in a common carrier accident, a Houston truck accident attorney from Lapeze & Johns can help you seek damages for your medical bills, pain, and lost wages.
What Is A Common Carrier?
A common carrier is defined as an entity that charges a fee in exchange for transporting people or goods from one place to another. Carriers include buses, taxis, trucks, passenger trains, cruise ships, and commercial airplanes. In accidents involving common carriers, the company or driver may share liability in case of negligence.
Common Carrier Liability
There are standards and regulations regarding how common carriers treat and transport their passengers. As such, when accidents involving common carriers occur, the company responsible for the carrier or the driver may be held responsible. If you were injured in a common carrier accident, you may be able to hold one of these parties liable for your damages in civil court.
However, liability for common carriers is limited. They are liable for injuries that passengers sustain due to a carrier or driver’s negligence, but they don’t guarantee passengers’ safety. This means that they aren’t responsible for injuries caused by circumstances outside of their control.
You should note that the carrier’s liability generally ends when you exit the vehicle. If you were in an accident after safely exiting a bus, for instance, the driver of the other vehicle may be liable, but probably not the bus driver or bus company.
Proving Your Common Carrier Injury Claim
There are several things that a passenger must prove in order to hold a common carrier liable for their injuries.
First, they have to show that the carrier owed the passenger a duty of care, which most do. Next, they have to prove that the carrier breached that duty of care, perhaps by failing to maintain proper maintenance of their equipment. The passenger then needs to show that they were in fact harmed. Finally, the passenger will need to show that the carrier’s actions or negligence caused the harm that they sustained.
Since common carriers don’t fall under the “strict liability” doctrine, you will need to prove that the carrier breached a legal duty of care to you, thus causing you to be injured. Just proving that you were injured isn’t enough to prove liability.
Lapeze and Johns: Your Houston Truck Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been injured while riding on a common carrier, you may be able to seek damages from the company or driver responsible. Being in an accident is always difficult, but the Houston truck accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns can help.