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What is a Common Carrier Accident?

Posted in personal injury on March 17, 2020

A common carrier is a special type of vehicle. It is a vehicle people use for commercial or work purposes, such as carrying paying passengers or transporting cargo for businesses. In Texas, thousands of common carriers fill the roads every day. Common carriers must obey unique rules, regulations and responsibilities that typical motor vehicles do not. If you get into an accident with a common carrier, the claims process will look different. Work with a Dallas personal injury attorney for legal advice about these complex types of claims.

inside a common carrier

Examples of Common Carriers

Common carriers refer to vehicles that transport goods or people for business purposes. Common carrier enterprises include trucking companies, taxi companies, airlines and railroads. It typically costs money to use or employ a common carrier unless the vehicle offers its services to the general public for free. Recognizing common carriers can help you understand whether your recent car accident involves related laws in Texas.

  • Commercial truck
  • Taxicab
  • Limousine
  • School bus
  • Public or private bus
  • Tour bus
  • Airport or hotel shuttle
  • Rideshare vehicle
  • Light rail vehicle
  • Mail delivery vehicle
  • Utility truck
  • Waste removal truck
  • Oil and gas pipeline operators

A common carrier accident refers to a traffic collision with any common carrier or commercial vehicle in Texas. If you discover the other driver in your accident was operating the motor vehicle for occupational purposes, you might have collided with a common carrier. In this case, the claims process will have rules and steps you would not have encountered with a typical auto accident. Contact a lawyer if you need assistance bringing a claim against a common carrier in Dallas.

Who Is Responsible for a Common Carrier Accident?

The duty of care to prevent collisions is higher for common carriers than standard drivers in Texas. Common carriers have a duty to exercise a high degree of care in preventing foreseeable risks and accidents. Carriers must use the level of care a prudent, cautious and reasonable party would under similar circumstances. Failure to do so is negligence. If you get into an accident with a common carrier you suspect is guilty of negligence, that party may owe you financial compensation for your damages.

One of the main differences between a typical car accident case and a common carrier accident is the doctrine of vicarious liability. Vicarious liability holds parties such as employers, companies and parents accountable for the actions of those under their jurisdiction. After a crash with a common carrier, the company could be vicariously liable for the actions or negligence of its drivers or employees. Bringing a claim against a company instead of an individual may take help from an attorney; otherwise, the company’s aggressive legal team might take advantage of you.

How to Handle a Common Carrier Accident in Dallas

Determining liability, collecting evidence, building a claim and negotiating a resolution with an insurance provider after a common carrier accident can become easier after you hire an attorney. A common carrier accident lawyer in Dallas could help you learn and defend your rights. A lawyer can investigate your crash for signs of negligence by the company, such as improperly trained drivers or ignored vehicle maintenance needs. If the common carrier broke a federal or state law or one of its staff members was negligent, the company may owe you compensation for your losses.

  • Vehicle repairs
  • Totaled vehicle replacement
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Legal expenses
  • Pain and suffering

You will generally have two years from the date of your common carrier accident to bring a cause of action, according to Texas’ statute of limitations. Do not wait to speak to an attorney, however, because if the common carrier is a government entity such as a school district, you will only have 180 days from the accident to file a claim. Contact an attorney in Dallas as soon as possible about your rights and legal options as the victim of a collision with a common carrier. You may be eligible for compensation.