Public Transportation helps many South Floridians commute for work on a daily basis. Miami-Dade County, Broward County and Palm Beach County make up the South Florida metropolitan area. This area spans 110 miles that encompasses three county-wide bus systems, two major airports, the Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport, two major ports, Port of Miami and Port Everglades, and mass and commuter rail systems, Metrorail and Tri-Rail. Each of these major public transportation systems are responsible for high safety standards to every passenger, however, accidents can and do happen.
Common Carries and Duty of Care
Planes, trains, buses, taxis, ferries, all of these transportation systems, either privately owned or government operated are considered “common carriers” under the law. As such, they are subject to state and federal laws that detail the high safety standards or “duty of care” they owe to their passengers. But accidents can happen and victims of public transit accidents can suffer catastrophic injuries. Personal injury claims against common carriers are subject to increased scrutiny and a shorter time limit in which to bring forth your claim. Waiting too long to submit your claim or have your injury evaluated by a medical professional can lead to your claim being disregarded by the courts. Having an experienced south Florida attorney that knows these legal obstacles and parameters can help make sure you receive just compensation for your public transit accident injuries.
Government-Owned Transportation Authorities
Government-operated and owned transportation systems may have special circumstances when bringing forth a personal injury claim. In a measure to protect against personal injury claims, local and state governments use a legal status called Sovereign Immunity. However, there are exceptions to Sovereign Immunity. A plaintiff will have special rules and procedures to follow when submitting a personal injury claim for a public transportation accident.
Common Carrier Negligence
In personal injury claims for public transit accidents, proving the act of negligence falls on the plaintiff. Proving negligence, or that the common carrier disregarded the duty of care to their passengers, can be difficult. Most common causes of personal injury in public transit accidents include:
- Poorly trained operators, drivers or conductors
- Poorly maintained vehicles
- Vehicles failure to operate functionally
- Lack of security measures to ward of crime at stations on transit systems
- Falls on a mass transit system
If you have been involved in a public transportation accident and sustained injuries from negligent common carriers, contact the attorneys at Zimmerman & Frachtman.