Truck Accidents: Common Carrier Accident FAQ

You may not be familiar with the term "common carrier," but you are certainly familiar with what they do. Almost any transportation provider that gets you from one place to another by selling you a ticket or charging a fare is a common carrier. This includes buses, taxicabs, planes and trains.

If you suffered injuries in a bus, train, plane or taxi crash, you may have grounds to hold the driver and his or her employer responsible for your damages. Contact us in Cincinnati via email or us today at 513-655-5089 for a free consultation.

What Do I Need To Do After A Common Carrier Accident In Ohio?

Your first priority after any car accident should be to get the medical care you need. Even if you do not believe you suffered injuries, it pays to let first responders examine you at the scene of the crash. If they find any indication of injury, you should go immediately to the emergency department.

This is important because waiting to get the medical care you need — or turning down an evaluation at the scene — can make it more difficult to link your injuries to the accident later. This can reduce the amount of money you recover or jeopardize your payout entirely. We recommend seeing a doctor as soon as possible after a crash, even if you do not believe you are injured.

Once you receive emergency treatment and doctors ensure that your condition is stable, it is time to give us a call. Liability in common carrier accidents is often complex, and we need time to investigate the cause of the crash and collect evidence before time runs out to take legal action.

Who Is Liable For Injuries In A Common Carrier Accident?

In most car accidents, the driver who acts negligently is responsible for covering damages suffered by others injured in the crash. Things work a little differently in a common carrier accident.

Imagine you are riding a bus when the driver pulls out his phone and starts texting. This distraction causes him to lose focus on traffic ahead of him, and he runs into the back of another vehicle.

We can show the driver acted negligently, since texting behind the wheel violates laws set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). But, unlike in most car accident cases, it is not the driver's insurance policy that pays out.

Instead, because of the doctrine of vicarious liability, the driver's employer is the liable party. This doctrine holds employers liable for the actions of their employees. While this means we can help you recover more for your injuries, it also means a more difficult claim.

You might also be able to hold the manufacturer or a maintenance team responsible if the accident resulted from a defect or shoddy maintenance.

What Can I Do To Get The Money I Need After A Common Carrier Accident?

When a common carrier or its driver acts negligently and you suffer injuries, we can file a liability claim for compensation on your behalf. This is true if you were a passenger, if the driver hit your car, or if the bus or taxi hit you while you were on foot.

You can recover compensation for any of the following in your claim:

  • Medical bills (current and future)
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity (if you needed to take a lesser-paying job or needed to retire completely)
  • Any modifications you needed to make to accommodate your disability (e.g., widening doorways if you suffered a paralyzing injury)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of emotional and physical support from a spouse

How Do I File An Insurance Claim Against A Negligent Common Carrier?

How your claim proceeds — and how long you have to file it — depends on who owns and operates the bus, train, plane or taxi.

Most planes and taxicabs and some buses are under private ownership. A company runs the service, owns the vehicles and/or employs the drivers. If this is the case for your accident, we can file a claim with the company's liability insurance provider. We will present evidence of your accident-related losses and negotiate a settlement agreement.

If we cannot reach a fair agreement with the insurance company out of court, Ohio law gives us two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against it. This is rarely necessary, but remains an option to recover the compensation you need.

Municipal governments and other government agencies own and operate many train and bus systems throughout Ohio. If a publicly owned common carrier is liable in your accident, filing for the compensation you deserve is more complicated. Luckily, these agencies do not have immunity when their drivers act negligently. The Political Subdivision Tort Liability Act allows us to file a liability claim against a government agency, as long as we follow the specific rules for reporting the accident and requesting compensation.

Do I Need A Lawyer To Help Me Get The Cash I Deserve After An Ohio Common Carrier Crash?

There is no reason to take on a large corporation or government agency on your own. We can fight to get you the cash you need while ensuring that your rights remain protected. Call Levy Law Offices today at 513-655-5089 to get started. We can also be reached via email, and our attorneys are available 24/7 to answer your questions. We offer a free initial consultation. If you are unable to come to us, we will come to you. Se habla español.