What Are the Duties of a Common Carrier?
Posted in Car Accidents on April 27, 2022
When a driver has a responsibility to move passengers, he or she has more responsibilities than the average motorist. According to Missouri’s common carrier laws, any driver who operates a vehicle that transports people must follow the highest and utmost care while performing his or her duties.
If a common carrier is negligent and causes an accident, the driver and his or her employer may be liable for any injuries that the passengers experience. In these situations, it is important to consult with a Missouri personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.
What Is a Common Carrier?
According to Section 390.020(6) of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, the state defines a common carrier as any person who performs the transportation of the general public. The business performs this service for hire or compensation on public highways and airlines that are engaged in intrastate commerce.
When dealing with a common carrier, customers can purchase tickets on a first-come, first-served basis for transportation to various locations. Examples of common carrier vehicles include public buses, trains, cruise ships, airplanes, and taxis.
The Duties of a Common Carrier
When driving a motor vehicle, every person has a duty to drive carefully and follow state traffic laws. Common carriers must uphold a higher duty of care to ensure the safe transport of their passengers.
Common carriers have a duty to use the utmost care, vigilance, and diligence when operating their businesses. Some actions that a common carrier driver takes may be considered negligence in cases where a regular driver would not face the same accusations.
For example, say that a common carrier driver operates a public bus above the vehicle’s recommended speed. This speed would be safe for a smaller motor vehicle to operate at, but dangerous for the much larger bus and the road conditions at the time. If the common carrier gets into an accident due to this speed, the company and the driver will be liable for passengers’ injuries.
What to Do If You Are Injured in a Common Carrier Accident
As a passenger, you have the right to feel safe and protected while riding in a common carrier vehicle. Unfortunately, not all common carriers uphold their utmost duty of care, despite the law requiring them to ensure passenger protection.
In these situations, passengers could pursue a claim against the entity and secure compensation to pay for medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. If you are injured in an accident on a common carrier vehicle, it is important to stay calm and seek help.
- First, call emergency services and report the accident to the responding law enforcement agency. This report will be a valuable piece of evidence in your future claim.
- Next, seek medical care, even if you do not feel hurt. Save all records that detail your injuries and treatment.
- If possible, collect evidence at the scene by taking photographs, saving physical evidence, and speaking to witnesses.
- Briefly collect the driver’s name, contact information, and employer details.
After you receive medical attention, seek the help of a Kansas City personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can represent you in your claim against the at-fault carrier and secure the compensation that you need to recover. Contact a lawyer after your accident to discuss your next steps.