One term that comes up repeatedly in airline negligence cases is that of the common carrier. Most individuals are unaware that the airlines (and many other transportation companies for that matter) are classified as common carriers and that this classification can have a significant impact on your claim if you suffer an injury while using their services.
Simply put, a common carrier is a type of business entity that transports people who are members of the general public and gets paid to do so. An airline that serves the general public fits precisely into the definition of an organization that is a common carrier, alongside taxi drivers, bus drivers, and so forth.
This determination is significant because a common carrier is supposed to have a heightened duty to protect the public in its care from harm. A common carrier is also supposed to warn the public of the types of dangers that exist through in their operations. An airline can be found liable for negligence and damages for award if an individual utilizing its services suffers injuries or has their property damages while travelling. Employees at the airport and airlines have a duty take extra to ensure that their passengers are safe. While an airline might not have to guarantee the safety of passengers for naturally occurring dangers (like ice for example), they may be responsible if an individual suffers injury due to misplaced luggage in the terminal or airplane, while being assisted by a wheelchair attendant, suffers injury to the negligence maintenance of the terminal and equipment (such as the passenger boarding bridges and the people movers), is struck by an electric cart in the airport, or because of improper janitorial services. Additionally, a common carrier may be liable if an individual’s luggage is either damages or lost while using the common carrier.
What this means is that an airline and other common carriers have a heightened duty of care as compared to the average person, and could potentially face additional liability for their negligence. Nonetheless, an individual must still show that the airline or other common carrier, did something that the law would recognize as a mistake, and that this is caused the injury. Even as a common carrier, an airline cannot be sued for the proverbial Acts of God. If you have been hurt in an airport or airline accident of any type, you may wish to have an experienced airline attorney review the facts of your case. Experienced counsel will be able to tell if your accident is one that will be likely to recover damages in Court.
If you or a loved one have been injured, Call Carabin Shaw at 1.800.862.1260. We Can Help.