Every day, thousands of Walnut Creek and Bay Area residents use taxi cabs as a way to get to work, appointments, and home safely from restaurants and bars. Taxi cabs are classified as common carriers, which means they owe their passengers a higher duty of care and protection than a non-commercial driver owes its passengers. Yet like non-commercial drivers, taxi cab drivers do not always use the utmost care when transporting passengers, which can lead to auto accidents that can result in severe personal injury or even death.
Walnut Creek Taxi Cab Operating Requirements
Walnut Creek taxi cab drivers and companies must operate pursuant to requirements imposed by the city. Prior to being issued a permit, taxi cab drivers are required to, among other things:
- Submit to fingerprint background checks;
- Complete a background investigation questionnaire that includes information regarding the applicant’s criminal and work history;
- Provide evidence of a negative drug and alcohol test; and
- Maintain minimum insurance requirements.
If you sustain injuries in a Walnut Creek taxi cab accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation from both the taxi cab driver and his employer. The taxi cab driver would be liable for your injuries if he was negligent, either in his driving or in his failure to properly maintain his vehicle, similar to a regular non-commercial driver. Such acts may include:
- Use of a cell phone without a hands-free system while driving;
- Texting while driving;
- Driving under the influence; or
- Drowsy driving.
Employers may be liable under the theory of vicarious responsibility, which holds employers responsible for their employees’ negligent acts or omissions if those actions occur during the course of the employee’s work.
Acts that could cause the taxi cab company to be responsible for your injuries include:
- Use of a cell phone while driving, if taxi cabs are supplied by the employer and do not include a hands-free system;
- Driving under the influence of a controlled substance or alcohol, especially if the employer had knowledge that the driver was using, had recently failed a drug test, or if the employer failed to ensure that all employees received drug testing;
- Failure to obtain state certificate certifying that the cab’s brakes and signaling systems in working order (for new or replacement vehicles);
- Failure to ensure drivers have received proper driving instruction;
- Driving while drowsy if driver shifts exceed maximum shift lengths;
- Failure to maintain the taxi cabs; or
- Failure to adequately investigate the driver’s driving history.
In a vicarious liability suit, it is imperative to obtain and thoroughly review all company documents related to hiring, vehicle maintenance and employee testing to determine if the taxi cab company had any knowledge of, or contributed to, the driver’s negligent behavior. Without knowledge that the driver had failed a drug test, lied about his past work history or any other action, the employer cannot be held responsible for your injuries.
How Walnut Creek Auto Accident Attorneys Can Help
If you or a loved one has been injured in a taxi cab accident, our Walnut Creek auto accident attorneys can help. With a combined 60 years’ experience, the Walnut Creek auto accident lawyers at Appel Law Firm LLP have helped hundreds of victims of car accidents recover damages for their injuries. Call the Appel Law Firm LLP today at 888-527-0674 to schedule your free initial consultation. Let our attorneys use their experience and dedication to get you the financial compensation you may deserve.