Posted by Nick Niesen on October 27th, 2010

Aside from private car accidents there are also a great number of related public transportation accidents. The Federal Government is the one regulating the common carriers that transport passengers and cargo across the entire state. Nevertheless, each separate state has its own regulated public transportation system all within its state?s lines. But in general it?s the Federal Government that controls the interstate transportation while the individual states are to manage the intrastate transportation.

Just what are common carriers? Common carrier is the term given to refer to one who make known to the public that his business involves the transporting of persons or cargo from one point to another within or outside the state in return for compensation and also the services rendered are available to the public. Some of the common carriers available are buses, trains, ferries and airplanes. Nevertheless, there are some exceptions especially when it comes to certain types of airplanes as well as some vessels that are included in the private charter transportation.

The importance of knowing whether a transportation service is a common carrier or not is for the implementation of specific common carrier regulations in various states. The common carrier regulations are usually applied to equipment requirements, licensing, transportation procedures, fare and rates and others that are related to the operation of the common carrier. The set regulations are provided to benefit not only the common carrier industry but more so the general public. Common carriers are required to follow strictly the regulations and standards impose in their respective states.

For accidents relating to common carriers, the Federal Government has created various regulations as to the degree of the liability that common carriers have to its passengers who are injured while making use of the common carrier services. In case of common carrier accidents individual State law applies in determining the extent of personal injuries which a common carrier may be liable. However, a great number of states follow the general rule that common carriers are liable for personal injuries sustained by its passengers. This law is based on the premise that a common carrier must and should employ the highest level of care, diligence as well as vigilance when transporting passengers to their appointed destinations. The common carrier is also expected to maintain necessary equipment coupled with a reasonable degree of skill in order to accomplish the safe transportation of passengers.

And depending on the governing state law, there are some state regulations that do not necessarily obligate a common carrier to be completely responsible for the safety of its passengers but requires that the common carrier should show a high degree of care to its passengers. But still the general rule applies that a common carrier would be held responsible for injuries sustained by its passengers in cases wherein accident would have been avoided if only the carrier had used care and diligence in transporting their passengers.

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Nick Niesen

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Nick Niesen
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