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What Is a Common Carrier and Why Is It Important?

On behalf of Schmitt Law Firm, LLC posted in commercial vehicle accidents on Friday, March 20, 2020.

A common carrier, in the United States, is simply a vehicle that transports something for commercial purposes.

A box truck could be a common carrier while transporting goods, for instance. A bus or a taxi count as common carriers while moving people from one location to another. Even larger vehicles, like commercial airliners, cruises ships and passengers trains fall into this category.

One thing these have in common is that there is a fee. If you ride home with a friend after work, your friend is not a common carrier. If you pay a taxi driver to take you home, he or she is a common carrier. You’re paying money for the service.

That’s important because with that payment comes an expectation of a certain level of care. You expect the ride to be safe. You expect the driver to do all that he or she can to keep you from being injured.

When this expectation is not met, the driver may then be liable. If the bus you’re riding on runs a red light and gets hit by a semi, you may be able to seek compensation from the driver and/or the bus company to help cover your medical costs.

This doesn’t mean all accidents in common carriers are the fault of the driver. You do have to show that negligence was involved.

That said, if the common carrier wasn’t negligent and didn’t cause the accident, you may still be able to seek compensation from the driver who did. Every case is different, but it’s important to know all of the legal options that you have.

Source: FindLaw, “What is a Common Carrier?,” accessed Oct. 27, 2017

2020-12-02T15:57:12+00:00March 20, 2020|Commercial Vehicle Accidents|
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