Santa Monica Taxi Accident Attorneys

Maximizing profits often leads to negligent driving and accidents.

Taxi drivers get paid per fare. So they often drive aggressively and negligently in an attempt to get in as many fares as possible. This behavior can directly lead to taxi cab accidents. Whether you were a passenger in a taxi that was involved in an accident or were a motorist who was hit by a taxi, you need to protect your rights.

Taxi drivers are held to a higher standard of roadway safety.

Taxi drivers are directly responsible for the safety of the people in their vehicle. Taxicabs, by definition, are considered “common carriers.” A common carrier is one who maintains a regular place of business for the purpose of transporting passengers, advertises such services to the general public and charges a standard fee for such services. (See CACI Jury Instruction 901)

A carrier of passengers can be a common carrier even if it does not have a regular schedule of departures, a fixed route or a transportation license. Civil Code Section 2168 provides: “Everyone who offers to the public to carry persons, property, or messages, excepting only telegraphic messages, is a common carrier of whatever he thus offers to carry.”

Common carriers are held to even more stringent safety standard for the public’s protection. 

The Taxicab Rules and Regulations of the Los Angeles Board of Taxicab Commissioners Rule 713 states that a driver shall at all times drive or park the taxicab:

  •  In a safe, careful and prudent manner
  •  In compliance with city traffic regulations [LAMC 80.00]
  •  In compliance with provisions of the California Vehicle Code

And, while the Board of Taxicab Commissioners dictates that all taxicabs must drive safely at all times, the duties of a taxi driver as a “common carrier” are even more demanding. The slightest breach of due care or reasonable foresight can make a taxi driver liable for a claim. Here are some examples:

The elevated standard of care for common carriers is “based on a recognition that the privilege of serving the public as a common carrier necessarily entails great responsibility, requiring common carriers to exercise a high duty of care towards their customers.” (Squaw Valley Ski Corporation v. Superior Court (1992) 2 Cal.App.4th 1499, 1507.)

“Common carriers must carry passengers safely. Common carriers must use the highest care and the vigilance of a very cautious person. They must do all that human care, vigilance, and foresight reasonably can do under the circumstances to avoid harm to passengers.” (CACI Jury Instruction 902)

“A carrier of persons for reward 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.” (Civil Code section 2100)

“Common carriers bind themselves to carry safely those whom they take into their vehicles, and owe both a duty of utmost care and the vigilance of a very cautious person towards their passengers. Such carriers are responsible for any, even the slightest, negligence and are required to do all that human care, vigilance, and foresight reasonably can do under all the circumstances.” (Acosta v. Southern Cal. Rapid Transit Dist. (1970) 2 Cal.3d 19, 27)

If you’re a victim of a taxi accident, it’s important you consult with an attorney.

Because of their “common carrier” status, taxicabs have their own set of rules that govern their operation. At Schwimer Weinstein, we have the experience and knowledge you need to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.

We can help. Contact Schwimer Weinstein for a free, no-obligation consultation.


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