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What is a common carrier?

While most people don't think of them as such, any Tampa resident who has traveled on a bus, in a taxi or taken some other form of public transportation has likely traveled on a common carrier.

Basically, a common carrier is any business, or individual, which offers to take passengers from one place to another for compensation.

Generally speaking, common carriers are subject to detailed federal regulations, including regulations about how much insurance these enterprises must have on hand so as to pay compensation for any injuries that people, including passengers, suffer.

Likewise, common carriers have a duty to protect their passengers from injuries. While this obviously includes avoiding accidents to the fullest extent possible, a common carrier's duty actually extends even more broadly.

For example, a bus or other transportation company may be liable to pay compensation to its passengers if the driver violates a rule or regulation and a passenger gets hurt as a result.

Likewise, common carriers owe what the law calls the highest degree of care and diligence to its passengers. In plain English, this means that the operator of a coach bus or other transportation company has to take every reasonable step to make sure its passengers stay safe. This duty can include warning passengers of certain dangers, such as the danger of standing too close to a door on a bus.

While this hopefully serves as an overview, the law of common carriers is actually quite complex. A Florida victim of a commercial vehicle accident should therefore consider speaking with an experienced attorney in order to evaluate his or her legal options. One option may include the filing of a personal injury lawsuit to pursue compensation for damages, like medical expenses and lost wages.

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