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As with any traffic accident, if you suffered injuries in a San Diego taxi cab accident, you may have the legal right to seek compensation for your expenses and the impacts your injury left on your life. Taxi accidents, however, come with unique legal challenges—they involve drivers and taxi companies, and on top of that, they require knowledge of the different set of complex laws and regulations that govern taxis and their insurance companies.
To untangle all of the legal issues involved in your case, you will need experienced San Diego personal injury lawyers.
Since our founding in 2005 by John Gomez—a Yale alumnus whom Super Lawyers named the number one attorney in San Diego two years in a row—Gomez Trial Attorneys have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients.
No matter how a San Diego taxi cab crash happens, Gomez Trial Attorneys has the skill, experience, and resources to get crash victims the compensation they deserve for their injuries. We want to see how we can help you. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today and speak to an experienced San Diego taxi accident attorney learn more.
It was closing time at a popular nightclub in the Gaslamp Quarter. Club patrons gathered outside, waiting for rides and visiting with friends for a few more minutes before calling it a night. That was when a taxi cab driver plowed into a group of people standing outside the bar, injuring 35. Some were seriously hurt, including a woman whose leg was badly mangled when it was caught between the cab and the building.
In the moments after the accident, the crowd turned on the taxi driver, pulling him from the car and beating the man. The cab driver—an Egyptian immigrant who was reportedly exhausted and distraught over personal issues in the days leading up to the accident—suffered a broken nose, either as a result of the accident or the beating. Officers investigating the incident found evidence that the driver had fallen asleep just before crashing into the crowd.
The 2011 accident at the Stingaree nightclub was an extreme example of a San Diego-area taxi accident. Most accidents involving local cabs do not cause such widespread damage or garner so much media coverage. Still, accidents involving taxis do happen each year throughout San Diego, and they can cause catastrophic and even fatal injuries.
Taxi cab drivers, like other drivers, make mistakes and succumb to distractions that lead to accidents. If anything, taxi cab drivers face heightened risks of making these mistakes, because they often work long shifts and drive late at night, during times when their bodies’ natural sleep cycle makes them feel excessively fatigued.
Driving while fatigued produces similar effects as driving while alcohol impaired, degrading the driver’s reaction time, awareness of hazards, and ability to maintain control. Drowsy drivers are three times more likely to be involved in an accident than those who are well-rested, which is why fatigued driving results in more than 328,000 accidents and around 5,000 fatalities in the United States each year.
Fatigue is not the only contributor to San Diego taxi cab accidents, however. Other common causes of these crashes include:
Taxi drivers do not necessarily cause all of the accidents that involve their cabs, of course. Any one of the causes above can stem from other drivers’ behavior, too. For example, one accident happened because a drunk driver (not a cab driver) got onto the highway traveling in the wrong direction. The California Highway Patrol received multiple calls from travelers in multiple locations alerting them to the wrong-way driver. However, they couldn’t catch the driver before she slammed into a taxi cab, killing the taxi driver and his two passengers. The wrong-way driver also died in the crash.
It varies from one case to the next, often based on:
San Diego taxi accident lawyers often put considerable effort into evaluating the full scope of harm a client has suffered, to help ensure that any legal action taken on the client’s behalf seeks the maximum damages allowed under the law.
Victims of San Diego taxi accidents often suffer catastrophic (even fatal) injuries. In our legal system, those victims typically have a legal right to receive compensation from the party with liability for causing the crash. Liability is a legal term for fault or responsibility, and it—along with damages—forms the foundation of personal injury cases.
Lawyers for victims of San Diego taxi accidents may try to prove:
San Diego taxi cab crashes could involve a broad range of individuals and corporate entities who may have legal liability to crash victims.
To name just a few of the usual suspects the team at Gomez Trial Attorneys may look at as potential parties with liability:
These are just some of the parties who could have legal liability to victims of San Diego taxi cab accidents. Every crash is different. The important thing to understand is that at Gomez Trial Attorneys, we understand the critical importance of examining the facts and circumstances of a taxi accident to make sure we identify all parties who could owe damages to our clients. Our team always aims to give our clients the best possible chance of recovering maximum compensation for their injuries and losses.
Regulations promulgated by the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) set forth the requirements for driving a cab in America’s Finest City. Taxi drivers and the companies who employ them must apply for a permit from MTS before they begin transporting passengers.
The requirements to apply include:
In addition, prospective taxi drivers must drive:
Evidence that a cab driver or cab company did not follow these regulations may help to prove liability to a San Diego taxi cab accident victim. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we investigate all aspects of a cab crash, in case a regulatory violation played a role in our client’s injuries.
In addition to the regulations listed above, taxi cab passengers should also demand that any taxi they ride in observes the San Diego taxi passenger bill of rights issued by MTS.
Those rights include:
Violation of any of these rights by a cab driver could indicate an unsafe driver. Tell an attorney at Gomez Trial Attorneys if you observed a cab driver failing to follow any of these rules in connection with the crash that injured you or a loved one.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having gotten into a San Diego taxi cab accident, keep the following tips in mind to protect your health, safety, well-being, and legal rights:
Stay at the scene if you are a cab passenger. Some cab passengers involved in a crash may feel tempted to get out of the cab and walk away, figuring the accident is the cab driver’s problem, not their own. We understand that sentiment, but leaving the scene is a big mistake. The police may want to speak with you. More importantly, you may need medical care. Also, if you walk away, then it may become far more difficult to prove the link between the accident and any injuries you turn out to have suffered.
Despite the rapid growth of ride-sharing, taxi cabs still provide an essential form of transportation throughout San Diego. Taxis transport residents and visitors to and from San Diego International Airport. They shuttle businesspeople to meetings in Core-Columbia office towers, and carry folks home from nights out in the Gaslamp Quarter. They make themselves available for hire, day and night, from La Jolla to Encanto and everywhere in between.
Unfortunately, some taxi rides end in taxi accidents. Victims of those accidents, facing injuries and losses they did not cause and should not have to pay for, have questions that need answering about their rights and options. A San Diego taxi accident lawyer can give them answers. They can also find useful answers to frequently asked questions about San Diego taxi accidents below.
If someone else’s wrongful decisions or actions contributed to the cause of the accident, then you may have the right to take legal action against them for compensation. An experienced San Diego taxi accident lawyer can help you explore your options.
As a general rule, people who get hurt in any kind of traffic accident in San Diego may have the right to hold those at fault for the accident financially accountable. That is because California law imposes legal liability whenever one person’s unreasonably dangerous decisions or actions cause another person harm.
The most common way to hold someone accountable for causing a taxi accident that injured you is to hire a skilled taxi accident lawyer who can demand compensation on your behalf by preparing and pursuing a lawsuit, insurance claim, or similar legal action.
That depends on the particular facts of your San Diego taxi accident. A wide array of individuals, businesses, entities, and other parties could have engaged in careless, reckless, or intentional conduct that contributed to the cause of your taxi crash.
These are just a few examples. To find out who may owe you compensation for the injuries you sustained in a San Diego taxi cab accident, contact a skilled taxi accident injury lawyer today.
It depends on the injuries and losses you suffered.
A legal action seeking damages for San Diego taxi accident injuries may secure payment for:
A lawyer cannot guarantee that you will obtain compensation. Choosing a lawyer with an established track record of success in San Diego taxi accident cases, however, can help boost your chances of achieving a favorable financial outcome in your case.
The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), which regulates San Diego taxis, requires all taxi drivers (or, when applicable, their cab company employers) to carry a minimum of $350,000 in liability insurance to cover passengers against injuries and losses sustained in an accident. A San Diego taxi accident attorney can represent you in pursuing compensation from the taxi driver’s insurance carrier.
As we explained above, you may have the right to seek compensation from other parties whose dangerous decisions or actions contributed to the cause of your San Diego taxi accident. It is common for multiple parties to share liability for a taxi accident victim’s injuries. If that is true in your case, then a skilled taxi accident attorney can devise a strategy to pursue all or some of them, to try to secure maximum compensation for you.
In addition, you may have the right to seek compensation over-and-above the limits of the taxi driver’s insurance policy. For example, if the San Diego taxi you were riding in crashed because the taxi company that owned it recklessly refused to keep it in safe working condition, then you may have the right to pursue damages not covered by insurance directly from the company itself, assuming it has other assets from which you may collect payment. An experienced taxi accident attorney can explore the facts and advise you of your options.
They are similar, but not identical.
San Diego taxis are regulated by the MTS, which sets requirements for cab driver licensing, maintenance and inspection of taxi cabs, minimum insurance coverages, and the rates taxis can charge for trips. For now, ride-shares are not subject to the same degree of regulation. California law sets minimum insurance requirements for rideshares, but leaves driver qualifications, vehicle standards, and rates up to ride-share companies themselves.
Those differences in regulation can affect your rights when it comes to seeking compensation from a vehicle driver or company for injuries you suffer in a crash. Lawyers for San Diego taxi or ride-share accident victims typically must prove that a driver or cab company breached a duty of care in causing an accident, such as by failing to abide by rules and regulations governing their conduct. Violation of an official MTS taxi regulation can constitute powerful evidence of that breach in a taxi accident. Fewer opportunities for proving a regulatory violation exist in ride-share cases.
In other ways, however, a victim’s rights in either kind of accident resemble each other. Most significantly, both taxi and ride-share accident victims may have the ability to obtain compensation from mandatory supplemental insurance policies that drivers or either type of vehicle must carry.
Timelines for San Diego taxi accident cases vary. And, of course, there is no guarantee that you will receive compensation, which is why it is important to hire an attorney with experience representing San Diego taxi accident victims.
Several factors can influence the duration of your case, assuming it reaches a favorable financial outcome.
You may not have much ability to control these factors. You do, however, control an important factor for the progress of your case: how soon after your San Diego taxi accident you seek the help of an experienced attorney. The quicker you take that first step, the better the chance that the rest of the process will proceed as quickly as possible.
Yes. A law called the statute of limitations sets a time limit on taking legal action to seek compensation for your injuries. In most San Diego taxi accident cases, you have just two years from the date of the accident to act. Missing that deadline could result in the loss of your rights.
Understand, however, that the statute of limitations is the outside deadline for filing a lawsuit. It is not the recommended time frame for you to act to enforce your rights. In virtually all taxi accident cases in San Diego, victims benefit by retaining an experienced lawyer’s services as soon as possible after the accident. Getting a lawyer involved right away gives the lawyer the best opportunity to collect important evidence relevant to proving your claim, and to assert your rights before medical expenses, lost wages, and other financial losses start weighing on you.
In most cases, it costs you nothing unless the lawyer gets you results.
Established taxi accident lawyers in San Diego often offer free consultations to potential clients. A consultation serves as a risk-free way for taxi accident victims to tell a lawyer about what happened to them, and to get the lawyer’s initial impression of their rights and options for seeking compensation.
Most San Diego taxi accident lawyers virtually always agree to take the victim’s case on contingency. That means that rather than charging the client money upfront or as the case goes along, the lawyer does legal work in exchange for a percentage of any money eventually obtained on the client’s behalf through a settlement, judgment, or jury verdict.
Representing taxi accident clients on contingency makes a lawyer’s services affordable to those who need them.
First and foremost, seek medical attention right away, and follow the treatment plan your doctor prescribes.
In the aftermath of many San Diego taxi accidents, victims know right away that they need to get medical help. But, not always. Sometimes, the adrenaline from or stress of an accident dulls or masks pain victims might otherwise feel, or victims suffer injuries that do not show symptoms right away. For that reason, it is strongly recommended that taxi accident victims always seek medical care after a crash, even if they think they walked away unscathed. A qualified doctor can conduct an exam that screens victims for obvious and hidden injuries, and can set them on the course to healing right away.
In addition to protecting a victim’s health, seeking medical care also helps ensure full documentation of a victim’s injuries and their connection to the taxi accident. Lawyers may use these medical records to help prove the victim’s claim for damages.
Following a doctor’s treatment plan is also critically important, not only to your health, but also to protect your legal rights. To obtain maximum compensation, your lawyer needs to prove that you did everything you reasonably could to heal and move on from your injuries. The most powerful evidence of those efforts consists of records of you taking your medication, doing your physical therapy, and keeping your follow-up medical appointments.
To learn more about your rights after getting hurt in a San Diego taxi accident, contact an experienced attorney at Gomez Trial Attorneys today for a free consultation.
The team at Gomez Trial Attorneys has the resources, experience, and know-how to get results for victims of San Diego-area traffic accidents involving taxi cabs. Contact our award-winning taxi cab accident injury attorneys today online or at (619) 237-3490 for a free, confidential, no-obligation case evaluation.
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