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How Does Common Carrier Liability Apply in a Bus Accident?

How Does Common Carrier Liability Apply in a Bus Accident?

What is common carrier liability? How does it apply to the injuries you suffer in a bus accident in Kansas? Common carriers are those such as municipal buses, tour buses, shuttle services, etc. State and federal agencies regulate these entities and require them to adhere to strict standards. This includes standards of training, vehicle maintenance, driver supervision, etc. When these entities breach their duty to passengers and the general public, the courts can hold them liable for the personal injuries, property damage, and wrongful deaths their negligence causes.

Kansas Statutes Governing Common Carriers

Numerous statutes in Kansas apply when a bus accident occurs. Coupled with rules issued by the Federal Highway Safety Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, and other government entities, these help protect bus passengers from harm.

Kansas Statute § 66-105 that defines common carriers as any entity whose services are used to transport people or property within Kansas. This is similar to Kansas Statute § 72-8301, which governs school bus operations and also labels them as common carriers. These statutes make it difficult for a bus company to argue that they are not common carriers when an accident occurs.

Kansas Statute § 66-123 requires common carriers to file monthly, annual, and other regular reports with the corporation commission. This helps ensure regulatory compliance and provides a layer of oversight that allows officials to monitor the manners in which common carriers address known problems and safety deficiencies.

Kansas Statute § 60-606 allows plaintiffs to bring a lawsuit in any county where the common carrier operates. This makes it easier for injured parties to recover compensation from a bus accident injury without having to travel long distances.

Kansas Administration Regulations § 82-4-1 are also essential to know. These define affiliates, chameleon carriers, authorized agents, and authorized representatives. When a bus accident occurs in Kansas, these regulations and others provide a foundation for determining liability and for establishing how the common carrier's negligence violated specific duties.

Liability in a Bus Accident

Multiple parties can be liable for causing bus accident injuries. In some cases, the driver can be held responsible for reckless driving behaviors such as speeding or drunk driving. The common carrier could be held responsible for failing to perform regular maintenance on a bus or for failing to train drivers on how to operate the bus properly. Similarly, the common carrier can be held liable for negligent hiring, training, and supervision of a bus driver whose actions result in a bus crash that causes injury or death.

Contact Brad Pistotnik Law at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. Our team can help you understand how common carrier liability applies to your bus accident injuries. We represent clients pursuing personal injury claims in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, or Texas. Day or night, holidays or weekends, we are available to give you the answers you need. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can reach Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237.