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How Mass Transit Accidents Differ from Other Types of Accidents

Every year, millions of people across the country, including New Jersey, rely on public transportation to get them safely to and from work, doctor’s appointments and other events. While statistics show mass transit to be a safer way to travel than private vehicle, there are still many instances where the negligence or wrongful conduct of a bus, light rail, commuter train or taxi operator leads to serious injury. Is this type of claim any different from a personal injury based on a collision with another privately operated motor vehicle? The answer is yes.

In New Jersey, as in other states, if a person or a company transports goods or people along regular routes charging set rates, that person or company qualifies as a “common carrier.” Typically operating pursuant to the authority or license of a governmental entity, common carriers have a much higher duty than ordinary motorists. In fact, a common carrier must exercise the highest degree of care and diligence to promote the safety of all passengers. In comparison, a private motorist must only exercise reasonable care.

Furthermore, if you have been hurt in an accident involving a common carrier, and the common carrier is a governmental entity, your right to recovery may be limited by the concept of governmental tort immunity. Essentially, governmental tort immunity limits or precludes liability by certain governmental bodies for certain wrongs. Even if you can file a lawsuit, you’ll have to initiate the process much sooner than you would in an accident involving a private motorist.

Contact Howard D. Popper, P.C., P.C.

Send us an e-mail or call us at 973-993-8787 to set up a free initial consultation. We have office locations in Morristown and Newton, but will visit you in your home or the hospital, if necessary.

We take all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You will not incur legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.