For some people, a daily commute is an escape before the demands of the day. For others, it can be stressful. For those who rely on public transportation to get around on a daily basis, there is a reasonable expectation of safety while they are on board a bus or train. Indeed, no one expects to be injured while on public transit. However, when these injuries occur, those responsible may be held accountable for their actions through a Texas personal injury lawsuit.
For example, in a recent Texas Supreme Court opinion, a plaintiff was injured while riding a bus supplied through a public transit authority. The plaintiff boarded a bus and grabbed onto a hanging strap. The bus was operated and driven by a new employee who was still in training, with his supervisor standing behind him. As the driver pulled away from the stop, another passenger shouted, “Back door!” to notify the driver that a passenger was still trying to exit from the vehicle’s rear door. Although the bus was only traveling less than five miles per hour, the driver made an abrupt stop, causing the plaintiff to fall forward into the partition behind the driver’s seat. The plaintiff suffered injuries to his neck and shoulder. After several months of treatment, the plaintiff underwent surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck.
The plaintiff sued the transit authority, claiming it was negligent and responsible for his injuries. Because the defendant was a common carrier, the plaintiff argued, they owed him a duty to exercise “a high degree of care.” In Texas, common carriers are people or entities that are in the business of carrying passengers or goods and are hire-able by the public. To qualify as a common carrier, the entity must provide transportation services to the general public, as opposed to services for particular individuals or specific groups.
The court concluded that the transit authority was a governmental entity, and thus breached its duty to act as a typically cautious, prudent, and competent person would in similar circumstances. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, upholding the lower court’s determination that the transit authority was liable for the plaintiff’s injuries.
When accidents occur on public transit, figuring out whether you have a claim can often be complicated or challenging. This is why potential plaintiffs are encouraged to connect with an experienced personal injury attorney who understands the law and the legal system and can navigate the complexities of your claim with ease. Following an injury, the road to recovery may be stressful and arduous. Getting the compensation you deserve after an accident can aid in the healing process and help ease some of the financial and emotional burdens that come with recovering from an incident.
Do You Need a Texas Personal Injury Attorney?
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury because of a common carrier or public transit authority, contact the attorneys at Carabin Shaw. Our experienced Texas auto accident lawyers are available to offer guidance for your claim and can assist you in the process of seeking financial compensation for your injuries or losses. The lawyers on our team have represented countless Texans in their personal injury claims and will advocate tirelessly on your behalf. Contact us for a free consultation today at (800) 862-1260.