Admittedly, Orlando is a little behind the times when it comes to public transportation. Sure, Central Florida has a working bus system, new Uber options and even the hotly anticipated SunRail train system, but these pale in comparison to the labyrinthian subway systems and plentiful busses and trolleys in other major cities.
With the rash of accidents involving the SunRail since its completion, we cannot help but ask, how do personal injury cases involving public transportation work?
Well, it involves something called “common carrier” law. In some states, common carrier law dictates that if any public transportation systems, including trains, subways, public buses, trolleys, taxis, etc., may be sued for injuries if deemed negligent in an accident. A key differentiator in common carrier cases is that these public transportation services are often required to observe a higher degree of protection than an individual. Seemingly innocent activities, such as talking to a passenger or going slightly over the speed limit, could be grounds to prove negligence on the part of a bus driver or train operator. As with normal personal injury cases, negligence of the common carrier must still be proven.
The fact that common carriers are state or municipal agencies means that you may encounter some unique hindrances when trying to file a claim, including a shortened time period to notify the transportation company and a shortened deadline for filing the lawsuit.
In the unfortunate case that you are injured while traveling on public transportation, please do not hesitate to contact us to speak with an experienced car accident liability attorney at 407-841-7699. For additional resources, keep checking our blog, LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more helpful hints and to always be informed about best practices in law.