Can I Sue the Bus or Taxi Company for Personal Injury?
The law imposes stricter requirements for those organizations in the business of transporting people- called "common carriers". There are additional duties imposed on these common carriers:
The utmost degree of care, skill and diligence in everything that concerns its passenger's safety.1
A common carrier is one who engages in public transportation for a fee. Buses and taxis are common carriers. They owe this heightened duty to passengers. Someone may be a passenger, even if they don't pay the fare.
The unfortunate rub in many cases invovling taxi services is the lack of insurance. Although the driver is under a stricter obligation, as set forth above, his or her liability is often not in dispute. The amount of collectible insurance, or collectible funds, period, often is. Many taxi service operators employ a purported "independent contractor" business model. Under this arrangement, the cab owner operates as part of a larger association. The cab owner "leases" the cab [often with their name on the side] to a cab driver, who then delivers services to customers as an "independent contractor", not an employee, at least according to the cab companies. It's a fine legal, but vitally important, distinction. An employer is responsible for injuries caused by his or her employees. One using the services of an independent contractor is not responsible for injuries caused by the contractor.
-This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 10/16/19.
I routinely try cases that involve common carriers, and have done so for many years. I'd be happy to apply that background and experience to your claim. Contact me today to arrange a complimentary legal analysis and strategy session.
FN1. Maryland Pattern Jury Instruction 8:3.