Normally, when someone gets into a taxi, they expect a safe ride to their destination, and most of the time that is exactly what happens. However, there are times when the taxi driver will get into an accident that ends up injuring their passenger or someone in another vehicle. Even though taxis are generally safe, their drivers are still human after all, and humans sometimes make mistakes. In normal circumstances when a car accident involves two regular private citizens, the liability is relatively clear, but things get a little more complicated when a taxi is involved.
That is why anyone who has been in a taxi accident will require expert legal help in order to know who should be held liable and how to receive the compensation that they need. At Injury Trial Lawyers, we are legal experts with over a decade of experience and we know how to deal with taxi accidents. We can help the victims get the compensation that they need and we know how to identify and take on the party that should be held responsible for the accident. So contact us to get the help you need if you have been in a taxi accident in San Diego.
The Legal Responsibility of Taxi Drivers
Taxis are listed as common carriers in California; a common carrier is responsible for transporting people or goods, and a taxi, of course, transports the former. A company must meet the following criteria in order to be considered a common carrier:
- The company was established for transporting people or goods from one location to another.
- The company is a transportation service open to the public.
- The company charges a fee for its transportation services.
Since common carriers are responsible for transporting people or goods, they are held to a higher standard than other vehicle operators. In fact, California law states that common carriers must “use the utmost care and diligence for their safe carriage, must provide everything necessary for that purpose, and must exercise to that end a reasonable degree of skill.” That means common carriers are beholden to a strict set of rules designed to keep passengers safe. They should avoid driving erratically or recklessly, caution passengers about any potential dangers, and keep them as safe as possible.
The transportation company is also responsible for making sure that their drivers are well trained and that the vehicles are safe and well maintained.
Liability in a Taxi Accident
The nature of public transportation means that there could be several potential parties that could be held responsible for a taxi accident. If the taxi driver owns and operates their vehicle, then they can be held liable for the accident. However, if the driver works for a taxi company, then both the driver and the company can be held liable. Another factor is whether the victim was a passenger in the taxi or if they were in a vehicle that was hit by a taxi. But as long as it was the taxi driver that caused the accident, then the driver or the company they work for can be held liable.
The case is easier for a passenger because they do not have to prove liability because someone is likely to be responsible for the accident. That means the passenger can file a claim against whoever was at fault. If they are not sure who was at fault or the fault is being disputed, then the passenger can file a claim against both parties and have them sort it out. In cases where both parties share the responsibility, they will each pay a settlement claim that corresponds to their percentage of the responsibility. However, the party that has to pay the larger share may be reluctant to do so, which could drag out the case.
There is also an issue if there were multiple injured passengers because the insurance coverage of the taxi company may not be enough to cover the injury claims of all of them. If that happens, then the passengers will have to settle for a claim that is less than what their case is worth.
If someone was in a car that was hit by a taxi, then liability can be more difficult to establish. The reason is that the taxi driver and taxi company will try to claim that the other driver was at fault for the accident. If the taxi driver and/or taxi company puts up a fight, then the case can be tougher to resolve. That is why an experienced personal injury attorney is invaluable in taxi accident cases.
Contact Us If You Were in a Taxi Accident
A taxi accident can become complicated whether you were a passenger in the taxi or you were driving a vehicle that was hit by a taxi. That is why anyone who has been in a taxi accident should get the help of a qualified personal injury attorney to represent them. At Injury Trial Lawyers we will represent anyone in San Diego who was injured in a taxi accident.
We will use all of our acquired knowledge and experience to fight for you and do our best to get you the compensation you deserve. So if you have been in a taxi accident in San Diego and don’t know what to do next, then contact us and we will help sort things out for you.