Atlanta’s roads can be dangerous. Accidents involving public transportation are on the rise in Atlanta. It’s not uncommon for the operator of a taxi, bus, Amtrak train, Marta train, airplane, or another type of public transportation to be involved in an accident. If a passenger is hurt while using public transportation, the company that is providing the service could be held legally liable for the passenger’s injuries. Companies that provide public transportation services are called common carriers.
Any company that transports passengers for hire is legally considered to be a common carrier. This includes transportation services that are owned by a city or county, such as light rail trains or buses, as well as transportation companies that are privately owned, like taxis, airlines, tour buses, and private charter buses.
Under Georgia law, common carriers are required to exercise extraordinary care to keep their passengers safe. This is defined as the “extreme care and caution that very careful and thoughtful persons use under the same or similar circumstances.” Common carriers cannot limit their legal liability by giving notice to passengers on their receipts or tickets. This duty toward passengers continues until the passenger has been taken to a place where the passenger is free to move and can look out for his or her own safety.
Therefore, there’s an extremely high duty for common carriers to safely transport passengers, take steps to keep them safe, provide a safe place for passengers to enter and exit the vehicle, and to hire qualified employees. If a common carrier fails to exercise those duties, and a passenger is harmed as a result, the common carrier can be held legally liable.
There are a lot of reasons accidents involving common carriers occur, including tired and overworked employees, improperly trained drivers, or poorly maintained equipment. Common carriers, like taxi companies or limo companies, have a high duty to closely supervise its employees, as well as to properly train them. If a driver drives recklessly, the common carrier must discipline or fire the driver.
The common carrier must maintain the safety of its equipment and vehicles. They must be regularly inspected and maintained. If the equipment is not up to current safety standards, and a passenger is harmed as a result, the common carrier can be held legally liable. The passenger who is injured may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, other out-of-pocket expenses, and more.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a private or public transportation service, such as a bus, charter boat, taxi, airplane, limousine, or train, you have the legal right to compensation. Companies that transport passengers for hire should take extreme precautions to ensure that those passengers arrive safely at their destinations. Call the Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Holston & Huntley. Call us today- consultations are free and you are under no obligation to use our services. We serve Metro Atlanta Georgia as well as Birmingham Alabama including surrounding areas.