Many residents of Massachusetts rely on common carriers to get them to their final destination, especially if they do not own a car. Whether it is on a train, cab, boat, plane or bus, these carriers have responsibilities when transporting passengers from one destination to another. Whether an individual is traveling on a bus for tourism or to get to a specific destination, public and private buses are in the business of transporting people from one destination to another for a fee. Because of this, buses are subjected to common carrier liability in the event of a bus accident.
What is common carrier liability? If it is determined that the bus falls under the category of a common carrier and is involved in an accident, the carrier and even the bus driver could be found liable for the injuries, fatalities and damages arising from the bus accident.
A set of standards are placed on common carriers, which means that companies such as tour buses and public transit systems must adhere to these regulations. Additionally, carriers are required to exercise the highest degree of care and diligence with regards to the safety of the passengers in the vehicle. The failure to warn passengers of potentially dangerous conditions or exposing passengers to dangerous situations could result in liability being placed on the driver and transportation company.
If an investigation following a bus accident results in evidence being uncovered that a negligent bus driver was the cause or that the bus company did not adhere to the duties owed to the passengers, liability could be placed on the common carrier.
Those harmed in a common carrier accident could seek compensation through a personal injury claim. This could provide the injured victims with a monetary award that could be used to cover expenses such as medical bills, lost wages and damages.
Source: FindLaw, "What is a Common Carrier?" accessed Aug. 10, 2015