Mass and Public Transit Accident Lawsuits
There are various kinds of mass and public transportation systems, making personal injury lawsuits involving vehicular accidents quite complicated. Rules for privately owned helicopters or boats differ from government-owned buses, and even more rules apply when dealing with commercial aircraft. Injuries may also occur when an individual is not a passenger in the vehicle, such as when a bus hits someone else who is not at fault. Filing a lawsuit for this type of accident all depends on who the owner of the vehicle is.
Rules for Suing the Government
“Common carriers” are the entities and companies that provide public transportation for a fee. Common carriers of public trains, buses, taxis and ferries are typically municipal or state governments. Some state laws and the federal law require that individuals give notice to the government before suing for personal injury. The government then has a certain time period for which they can settle with the individual.
If you wish to file a lawsuit, you must wait until after the deadline, but you should not wait too long. The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit against the government is generally shorter than it would be when suing as a private citizen.
When dealing with privately owned transportation companies, they must show that they take “responsible due care” in making sure their passengers and individuals are in a safe environment. This is generally concerned with taking precautions that the average sensible individual would take. According to the personal injury laws, this concept is called the general negligence standard, which can make it much more difficult to prove liability or negligence. Several states have extended this general negligence standard to include a number of common carriers. Some private carriers include tour buses, taxis, boats, helicopters, or small privately owned planes which hire out to travelers or small groups for short drives or day trips.
Commercial Airline Liability
Commercial airlines are required to meet much higher standards to keep passengers and others safe. Commercial airlines typically transport much larger groups of people than private carriers. Therefore, they are responsible for doing more than just taking reasonable due care. Because of this, commercial airlines have taken the initiative to increase liability in personal injury lawsuits. Depending on the state, laws may vary as to whether government owned vehicles, such as transit authorities or state buses, must meet similar levels of care.
Although commercial airlines are responsible for meeting much higher standards of safety, the law does protect them from specific lawsuits. For instance, if you have been injured or harmed in a plane crash, you may not use the data of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as proof in trial, which usually investigates the cause of the plane crash. The damages you can receive in a personal injury lawsuit on an international flight can be limited by international law.
For more information, it is best to contact a miami personal injury lawyer in your area for professional legal advice.