Public Transportation Accidents—Are They Treated Differently Than Other Accidents?

Public Transportation AccidentsAre They Treated Differently Than Other AccidentsWhen you take a bus, light rail, commuter train or even a cab, you expect to be riding with professionals, and hope that your travel will be safer than if you were behind the wheel. But that’s not always the case. Every year, thousands of people in California and across the country are injured in accidents involving public transportation. But is it any different than being involved in a motor vehicle accident with a private individual. There is at least one difference that can have a significant impact on your claim for compensation for any injuries suffered—the legal designation of the train, taxi, bus or other mode of transportation as a "common carrier."

Under the law in California, and in other states, a person or company transporting goods or persons on regular routes at set rates is considered a "common carrier." These entities are typically offer services under the authority or licensing power of a governmental body. As common carriers, they have a duty to exercise the highest degree of care and diligence to maximize the safety of passengers. In contrast, a private motorist on the road has a duty to use reasonable care to minimize the risk of injury to others.

Another potential challenge when you have been injured in a mass transit accident—the party at fault may be a governmental entity and may have some degree of tort immunity. Essentially, this means that the governmental entity may be exempt from certain types of lawsuits based on personal injury. Even if you have a right to take legal action against the governmental body, the notice requirements are customarily different from those in a private personal injury lawsuit.

Contact the Law Offices of J. Lewis & Associates

To discuss your legal needs with an experienced Riverside premises liability injury lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll-free at 1-800-228-0507. There is no charge for your initial consultation. Se Habla Espanol.

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