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.