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Public Transportation Injury Law

Public Transportation and Passengery Injury

Public Transportation Injuries:

When a passenger is hurt while using public transportation, the public transportation provider may be held legally responsible for the passenger’s injuries. Under the law, public transportation providers like city and state-operated trains, buses and light rail systems, are referred to as common carriers. In general, common carriers refer to those who are in the business of transporting property or people for the general public. Under California law, common carriers are held to a higher standard of care than other transportation services or even other drivers. Those who own and operate public transportation services are held to the highest level of care under California law. These standards extend to the employees and agents of the common carrier. Under the law, employees are agents of the common carrier and the business may be held liable for the negligence of its agents.

The duties common carriers owe to their passengers may begin before the passenger ever steps foot on the bus, plane or other mode of transportation. So long as the common carrier has accepted a person as a passenger and the passenger has placed themselves in the carrier’s care, then the common carrier has a duty to take every reasonable step to ensure the safety of the passenger. Furthermore, the carrier’s duties do not automatically end once a passenger leaves the vehicle. The common carrier must take the passenger to their intended destination and leave the passenger in a safe place. Common carriers are also liable when a known defect or a defect they should have known about results in injury to passengers. When these common carriers fail to uphold their legal duties and a passenger is hurt as a result, the injured person is entitled to compensation for those injuries.

Vehicle operators must exercise extreme caution when navigating their cargo through the streets of Sacramento. Failure to do so can result in significant injury or death to passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers.

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Types of Common Carriers:

  • City buses, private charter buses and tour bus services
  • Airlines
  • Taxis
  • Elevators, escalators and moving walkways
  • Ski lifts
  • Privately-owned transportation companies (if they transport persons for hire)
  • Trolley cars and streetcar
  • Light rail transit systems

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Common Carrier Legal Duties:

A common carrier has the duty to safely transport passengers to their destinations, to provide a safe place for passengers to enter and exit the vehicle, to take reasonable steps to protect passengers from harm, including harm by other passengers, to provide safe vehicles and maintain the safety of those vehicles, to hire qualified employees and properly train those employees and their equipment must also be safe and fit for its intended purpose.

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Common Causes of Public Transportation Accidents:

  • Poor driver training
  • Inadequate discipline of reckless drivers
  • Driver fatigue
  • Improperly maintained and decaying equipment
  • Improperly maintained infrastructure

Most common carrier accidents relate to driver negligence, operator negligence or poor equipment maintenance. Common carriers must properly train and supervise their employees, including firing or suspending them when they do not perform their jobs properly. Because they are responsible for the actions of their employees, failure to train or supervise them may result in liability against the common carrier. Furthermore, the common carrier’s equipment must be up to current safety standards and be properly maintained so that their passengers are kept safe from harm.

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Damages in Public Transportation Accidents:

The Crow Law Offices in Sacramento represent passengers and pedestrians who have suffered in public transportation accidents to recover financial compensation for damages, including pain and suffering, lost wages or income, property damage and medical bills.

Don't lose your right to seek compensation for your injuries. There are different statute of limitations that may be applicable to your case. Cases involving government entities must be filed within 6 months. Failure to do so may result in the loss of your right to bring a claim against the responsible party. If you have suffered a serious personal injury from a public transportation accident, contact the Sacramento public transportation injury specialist at the Crow Law Offices right away.

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