The use of mass transit vehicles provides commuters and travelers with convenient travel without having to transport themselves. However, this convenience means that they are placing their safety in the hands of others. Mass transit vehicles must therefore do all that they can to protect their passengers from injury where possible.
A mass transit accident recently occurred involving a New York Waterway ferry. The ferry reportedly collided with the end of a pier that was 300 yards away from the pier at which it was supposed to dock. It was transporting passengers from the World Financial Center to Jersey City and had a New York Waterway captain, although it is owned by Goldman Sachs. There were 27 passengers and crewmembers at the time of the accident, seven of whom were injured. Four of the injured were taken to hospitals, but not admitted for treatment. Toxicology tests administered on the crewmembers revealed that they had not been drinking when the collision occurred. The cause of the accident is still being investigated.
Ferries, like buses, planes and taxis, are considered common carriers. A common carrier is a business that transports people or cargo in exchange for money. If a passenger on a common carrier is injured, they may be able to hold the carrier liable if they can prove that they were negligent in some way. Common carriers are required to apply the highest possible degree of care in their actions to ensure passenger safety where possible. An injured passenger can show that the carrier was negligent if the carrier failed to meet this duty, the breach caused their injuries and they were damaged as a result. A common carrier may be negligent by failing to notify passengers of a possible dangerous condition or failing to meet regulations, among other actions.
Common carriers are entrusted with providing safety for their passengers, which is why they are held to provide the highest possible degree of care in their actions. A failure to meet this level of care through action or inaction may expose them to significant liability. Anyone injured while riding on a common carrier may seek the guidance of a personal injury attorney to assist them in any action they may pursue.