Taxi with a crashed front bumper

Lyft, Taxi Or Uber Car Crash LawyerCommon Carrier Duties

Common Carriers owe a heightened Duty to Protect Passengers

Common Carriers include taxi, Uber, Lyft, bus and limousine drivers.

Passengers Entrust Hired Drivers With Their SafetyCommon Carrier law enforces a duty on for-hire drivers to protect passengers

A common carrier is anyone who engages in public transportation of person’s for hire. This law applies to business serving the public that transport people. This include motor carrier buses, trolleys, street cars, taxis, uber drivers, lyft drivers, limousines, party buses and trains. Common carriers are subject to a heightened duty to protect passengers. This duty has been in existence before motorized vehicles. The courts were concerned that passengers that surrendered control over their safety and well-being to for-hire drivers needed additional protections and assurances.

Certain common carriers like bus companies require their drivers to undergo special training to understand the heightened common carrier duties. Uber and Lyft have connected millions of commercial drivers with customers. An experienced Lyft, taxi or Uber car crash lawyer can explain the additional duties required by these drivers and the available insurance coverage for your injuries. Typically there is enough insurance coverage for those injured in an Uber or Lyft car accident. These companies have insurance coverage for passengers that is well beyond the minimum limits of coverage required by Maryland.

The duty as summarized by the Civil Maryland Pattern Jury Instruction is that “[a] common carrier is required to use the utmost degree of care, skill and diligence in everything that concern’s its passenger’s safety.” This duty is not a guarantee but a prescription for the care that a common carrier must exhibit. The scope of this duty has been explored in cases where one passenger assaults another passenger on a bus. The duty for the bus driver to act is only triggered if the bus driver knew or had reason to know that an attack might be imminent. The driver has no duty to prevent a random and unpredictable assault by a fellow passenger.

Call 301-888-HURT to schedule a free consultation with a Lyft, taxi, bus or Uber car crash lawyer. Patterson law handles common carrier accident claims against bus, Uber, Lyft, limousine and taxi drivers.

Common Carriers Have A Duty To Drop Passengers Off At A Safe LocationInjuries that occur upon exiting a bus or other common carrier may be actionable

A common carrier’ duty to protect passengers arguably continues until the passenger is dropped off at a safe location. This duty may be triggered by a simple premises’ liability analysis. For example, if major road repairs are being performed at a bus stop, the driver of the bus should not drop a customer off at a location with deep holes in the pavement or access routes to sidewalks that are blocked by barriers. This would also apply to dropping a passenger off in the middle of a violent protest or other obvious danger.

Common carriers are professional drivers and often are subject to rules and regulations that are not applicable to the rest of the driving public. The fierce application of the heightened common carrier duty is needed to maintain the confidence in a system where we entrust a stranger with our safety. While some common carriers rigorously adhere to these heightened duties, the proliferation of platforms such as Uber and Lyft have flooded the market with less experienced drivers. Uber and Lyft car accidents occur on a daily basis with over five million drivers on these platforms. If you feel that your Uber or Lyft driver is responsible for a car accident where you sustained injuries please contact Patterson Law.

Safe Driving And Route Selection Are RequiredA Common Carrier should not unreasonably expose passengers to danger

Your family has purchased tickets on a bus to take a trip to New York City. Weather reports indicate that there is a high risk of freezing rain to hit interstate 95 in the next hour. The bus company decides to send the bus on time into the path of the anticipated storm. The heavy bus encounters the freezing ran but does not show any signs of losing traction on the road. A passenger car traveling southbound on interstate 95 loses control on the ice and crosses into northbound lanes. The driver of the bus tried to avoid the car, but the evasive maneuver coupled with the icy roads caused the bus to lose control and slide off the road and fall on its side. The family was badly hurt and traumatized by the crash.

Admittedly the bus driver did not have an opportunity to avoid the car and arguably did the best that he could under the circumstances. The driver and the bus company failed to comply with common carrier law (and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act Regulations) by taking these passengers on a trip that was fraught with danger. A commercial bus company knew or should have known that freezing rain would likely result in other cars losing control and endangering the safety of the bus. The bus company should have delayed or rerouted the bus trip. The driver should have pulled the bus off the roadway to a safe location once he detected that he was in a freezing rainstorm.

When winning your case matters…
George Patterson is a competent, empathetic, and reliable trial advocate. He listened to my concerns and developed a theory and theme for my case that was consistent with my position. He understood my case very well and he devised a strategy that worked. From the beginning, he was prepared to go to trial. If you have been involved in an accident and winning matters, contact George. I’d never consider anyone else in Maryland.


A Licensed Lawyer That Hired Patterson Law After Another Law Firm Declined To Pursue His Case To Trial

The common carrier duty is often over-looked by lawyers and judges. The rules of the road are so well known that applying a different standard to common carrier drivers is resisted. The application of the duty in such cases has resulted in Patterson Law obtaining recoveries for clients that had their cases rejected by other lawyers.

George Patterson

Board-Certified Civil Trial Lawyer

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If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident or suffered a serious personal injury due to someone else’s negligence please contact the best personal injury lawyers at Patterson Law. George Patterson has been featured in an article published in the Best Lawyers in America. The “best” injury lawyers may be reached at their Annapolis or Bowie offices at 301-888-4878.

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