Commercial vehicles, including buses and taxicabs, are held to a higher standard than the average driver. Drivers are always held to a reasonable standard of care in terms of the level of care and caution they are expected to exercise when they operate their vehicles, which helps ensure the safety of others. Commercial vehicles, though, can cause much more devastation when involved in an accident. For this reason, these vehicles are subjected to higher safety standards.
Buses and taxis are referred to as common carriers and must follow additional regulations because they are licensed both federally and by the state. Drivers of these types of vehicles are expected to exercise additional care and caution for passengers and those with whom they share the roadways. Common carriers are also expected to keep records, including maintenance records, which can reveal if a commercial vehicle was not properly maintained, such as if the brakes were poorly maintained or if seat belts did not function properly.
The elevated safety standards for commercial vehicle companies and drivers can impact a claim for damages brought by a victim who was injured in a commercial vehicle accident. Victims of commercial vehicle accidents may suffer damages including those that are physical, financial, and emotional in nature. A personal injury claim brought against a negligent common carrier can help victims with their medical bills, their lost wages and lost-earning capacity, and their pain and suffering damages, among some other types of damages that may be recoverable depending on the circumstances.
It is important that victims of commercial vehicle accidents understand the legal protections available to them and what they can do if they have been harmed or injured in a commercial vehicle accident. Legal resources and remedies can help guide them through the recovery process when they have been harmed by a common carrier.