If you are injured as a passenger on a train, bus, or in a taxi, you may not be sure where to turn next. Since you were not driving, you may be unsure what the cause of the injury was and who may be at fault. However, as an innocent passenger you deserve to have the responsible party pay for your medical bills, and make sure you are compensated for your injuries.
Many of us ride in hired transportation on a daily basis. Others may use it only occasionally. However, anyone can potentially be injured while riding on hired transportation. Hired transportation may include taxis, buses, SEPTA, trains, limos, airplanes, cruise ships, or even Lyft and Uber. Every year, thousands of people are injured as passengers. The transportation companies need to be held accountable for these injuries and accidents
Injured on Hired Transportation in Philly
If you are injured while riding in hired transportation in Philadelphia, the first thing you need to do is get medical attention. Common injuries on hired transportation include slip and falls, neck and back injuries, head injuries, spinal injuries. You may not think your injury is very serious, but you may still want to consult a healthcare professional. Many injuries may seem minor, only to become more painful and debilitating days or weeks later.
After you seek treatment, you may be wondering who will pay your medical expenses. Treatment for serious injuries can be extremely expensive. Many people find it difficult to cover the cost of a serious injury. If you are not the one who was responsible for the injury, it is not fair that you have to pay the bills. The person responsible for your injury should be held accountable for their actions.
The Duty of Common Carriers
Common carriers are businesses or companies that are licensed to provide transportation for people or goods. As common carriers, these businesses owe passengers the highest standard of care in operating their vehicles, maintaining equipment and facilities, and transporting passengers. If the common carrier, or employee operating the vehicle breaches this duty of care causing injury to a passenger, the common carrier may be liable for the injuries.
Individuals trust their safety to the transportation company, expecting the company will operate with the highest standard of care. They expect drivers to be properly trained, obey traffic and transportation laws and regulations, and pay attention while operating the transportation. They also expect the companies to make sure their staff are qualified, vehicles are properly maintained and inspected, and any safety issues are immediately remedied.
There may be a number of causes of hired transportation injuries. If a bus driver is speeding or swerving, a passenger could easily lose their balance or fall off their seat, resulting in an injury. On a plane, a flight attendant may not use due care when opening an overhead compartment, dropping a heavy object on a passenger's head. A taxi driver may be texting while driving, causing an accident that results in injury to the passenger. In these cases, the passenger may seek damages from the common carrier.
Vicarious Liability of the Company
When an employee makes a mistake that causes your injury, the company may be held liable for their negligence. Under the theory of respondeat superior, the employer may be held liable for the negligent actions of their employees. An employee may not be able to afford to pay for your damages, so you can seek payment from the company. The company may also be liable for negligently hiring or retaining a dangerous employee.
Personal Injury Damages
After an injury involving hired transportation, the common carrier may not only be responsible for your medical bills, but also all of the harms you have suffered. In most personal injury cases, your damages include monetary damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and future lost earning capacity. However, you may have also have suffered non-economic injuries. This includes pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium for your spouse or partner. In cases where the defendant's actions were especially egregious, they may also be forced to pay punitive damages.
Insurance Company Settlement Offers
Common carriers are required to carry a certain level of liability insurance. The insurance company will almost always be involved in a personal injury claim against a common carrier. However, the insurance company may try and get away with paying you as little as possible. This usually means that if they offer you anything at all, it will likely be less than you deserve.
A quick settlement offer may be enticing; however, it is important to understand the true cost of your injury. You may be suffering from your injury for the rest of your life. You may have limited job prospects as a result. You may have a permanent disability or disfigurement. A small amount of money won't put your life back to what it was. Before you accept any settlement offer, you should speak with your attorney to make sure the settlement is fair.
Some people may not want to get involved with an attorney because they think it will be too expensive, or the claim is not worth enough for a lawyer to take their case. However, the good news is that you may be able to get an experienced personal injury attorney to take your case with no upfront cost to you. Your attorney may take your case on a contingency fee basis. This means that they will pay the upfront costs of litigation, and only get paid a fee if they win your case. Your attorney may also offer a free consultation, to give you an evaluation of your case, and what your recovery might be.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Philadelphia
Dealing with an injury involving hired transportation companies can be complicated. You may have a difficult time identifying who is responsible, and making sure they pay for your injuries. At Gilman & Bedigian, our team of personal injury attorneys has decades of experience aggressively pursuing compensation for injury victims and their families. If you or someone you love has suffered an injury on any form of hired transportation in Philadelphia, please contact our law offices as soon as possible.