What You Need to Know About Common Carrier Accidents in New JerseyNew Jersey Legal News
If you have ridden on a bus, taxicab, train, or airplane, then you have taken a ride on one of many types of common carrier vehicles. A common carrier, which is typically referred to as a carrier, is a type of entity whose business has adopted the duty to transport goods and individuals from one place to another for a fee. When you think of these types of vehicles, you probably most commonly think of buses. Our New Jersey personal injury attorneys are here for you if you have been injured in one of these complex cases involving a common carrier vehicle driven by a driver who acted negligently.
Common carrier drivers have a special duty of care to drive with care and keep passengers safe from harm. This means that, if a carrier driver is known for taking risks on the road and putting a passenger in reckless situations, they could be held liable for their actions. In that same regard, carriers can also be held liable if they fail to warn passengers of a potentially dangerous condition that could expose them to legal action. For instance, what if the pilot of a plane forgets to warn passengers that they are experiencing high turbulence and, as a result, nobody fastens their seatbelt? This could lead to injurious results.
What You Need to Prove Fault in a Common Carrier Accident
If you want to show that another party acted in a reckless fashion and this led to your injuries, you as the plaintiff must be able to show these aspects:
- You must show that a defendant owed you a duty of care, such as protecting you from harm.
- You must then show that the defendant breached their duty to you. If they failed to complete an action and, as a result, you were injured, the duty was breached.
- You must show that the breach led to your injuries. If it were not for the breach, the injury would not have taken place.
- Lastly, you must show that this breach led to actual damages. For instance, if a medical doctor claims that you have suffered medical losses and bills, you could possibly be eligible for compensation.
Here are some of the ways that common carrier drivers owe a duty of care to their paying passengers:
- Common carrier drivers owe a duty of care to passengers to accept payment from passengers and never refuse a passenger a ride.
- They must also ensure that the rides are sufficient for the job at hand and that their equipment is suitable.
- A vehicle should never be loaded to maximum capacity, as it could cause a serious accident.
How Can I Show Who is Liable in My Common Carrier Accident?
In many types of car accidents, a driver who acted in a negligent fashion is always liable for taking care of the damages that another party suffers as a result. However, in the midst of a common carrier accident, things work a little differently. Let’s say that a bus driver is sitting in traffic and takes out their phone so that they can send a text message. They start drifting forward, not paying attention, and become involved in a car accident. Because of this, you would typically believe that a driver is liable for your damages – and they are.
However, common carrier accidents act a bit differently in the way that another party is also liable. Because of a doctrine known as vicarious liability, the driver’s employer is also liable for the damages that result. The doctrine of vicarious liability means that employers can be held liable for the actions of their employees while they are working in the line of employment. Though it means that you might find difficulty in your claim as you attempt to determine the liable parties, in the end, you will ensure that all of your damages are accounted for by being able to identify who was responsible.
Determining Whose Insurance Will Cover Your Damages After an Accident
After a New Jersey personal injury accident involving a common carrier, you might have questions concerning how your claim will be taken care of and how long you have before you file. To understand this, you must be able to determine who owns and operates the bus, train, plane, or taxi. You must understand that many common carrier vehicles are owned by private companies. In fact, a large majority of them are cared for in this way. If this is the case with your vehicle, you would file your claim with the help of your attorney with the company’s liability insurance provider.
Your claim might become slightly more complex if the carrier vehicle is owned by a government agency. This is due to the fact that publicly owned common carriers contain a more drawn-out and complicated process where many standards must be abided by. You have a right to file a claim against a government entity; however, there are specific rules that you must remember.
Abiding by the Statute of Limitations in Your Common Carrier Accident Claim
One important factor that you must consider when it comes to your common carrier accident is the fact that you must also abide by the statute of limitations in your case. There are almost always filing and notice deadlines that you must consider, especially in government cases, which are known for typically having a shorter statute of limitations than other cases. In many states, the time period is so short that it is merely six months or less to notify the public transportation company in writing about your accident and how it occurred, and the damages you have suffered. These limitations are taken seriously and, if you fail to abide by them, you could be completely barred from bringing a claim for damages.
How a New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
You’ve been injured in a personal injury accident with a common carrier vehicle and now you wonder how you can move forward and receive compensation for your damages. At Brady, Brady & Reilly, we have stood by the sides of many victims involved in serious accidents that are widely complex in nature. We wish to speak with you about your options during this challenging time. Please reach out to us for the help you deserve at (201) 997-0030.