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New Orleans Personal Injury Law Blog

Who is liable: the taxi driver or the taxi company?

You may often hear jokes about taxi drivers operating their vehicles in a quasi-crazed fashion in order to squeeze as many fares as possible into a single shift. While such stories typically involve a slight degree of exaggeration, taxi drivers in New Orleans may drive aggressively to accommodate the demands of business. While you might appreciate that when waiting for a cab, the same may not be said if you are a passenger. If such aggressive driving results in an accident, you may be wondering who is liable: The driver or the taxi company? 

Your first thought may be that only the driver can be held responsible for his or her actions. Then again, he or she may only be driving at the request of the taxi company. The Louisiana Supreme Court has helped to put an end to this confusion by ruling that there are exceptions to the rule stating that vehicle owners cannot be held liable for damages caused by another operating their vehicles. These exceptions are: 

  • If the driver is on a mission for the owner of the vehicle
  • If the owner was negligent in entrusting the vehicle to an incompetent driver
  • If the driver is an agent or employee of the owner

Other days may be just as deadly as the 100 Deadliest Days

Statistics show that if you travel on Louisiana highways any time from Memorial Day through the 100 days that follow, you may be at great risk for a motor vehicle collision. In fact, your chances of getting in an accident increase if you share roadways with teenage drivers during those times. Fatal collisions involving young and inexperienced drivers are so prevalent in the days and weeks that follow Memorial Day that this particular time of year has come to be known as the "100 Deadliest Days."

That doesn't mean, however, that you're free of risk if you navigate state highways on the other days of the year. As a conscientious driver, you obviously make every effort to stay as safe as possible every time you set out to reach your destination. No matter how alert and cautious you are behind the wheel, you just never know who's driving the cars around you and whether one of the motorists in your vicinity might be a distracted teenage driver.

Can the flu cause a car accident?

On a daily basis, motor vehicle crashes happen for diverse reasons. Sometimes, these accidents are brought on by drunk driving, while others are the result of icy roads or truck driver fatigue. If you are worried about the dangers of motor vehicle collisions, it is important to keep in mind that these crashes have far more causes, some of which go under the radar. For example, a driver who is sick with the flu or another serious illness may be more likely to cause a crash.

When someone has the flu, there are different ways that their illness could affect their ability to drive and increase the likelihood that they will cause a motor vehicle collision. For example, someone who has the flu may have a hard time paying attention to the road because of symptoms they are suffering from. Moreover, if they are taking certain types of medication, the drugs could make them drowsy or affect their driving in other ways. Furthermore, those who are sick may have trouble sleeping at night, which could lead to drowsy and fatigued driving.

How many people are hurt or killed in commercial vehicle wrecks?

Traffic accidents take many forms, whether they involve a motorcycle, a small vehicle, or a bicycle. However, commercial vehicle accidents can be especially dangerous, for different reasons. Sometimes, commercial vehicles are particularly large and their massive size can have more dire consequences or be more difficult for a driver to manage. Also, some commercial vehicle drivers may become tired due to working for long periods of time. In New Orleans, and other parts of Louisiana, it is pivotal for people to realize how dangerous these collisions are and the number of fatalities and injuries they cause.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, police reports show that more than 29,000 lives were lost in commercial vehicle accidents throughout 2011. This figure includes those who passed away in large truck and bus accidents, among other types of commercial vehicles. Furthermore, these crashes left more than 1.5 million people injured. Throughout the same year, the overall cost of commercial vehicle accidents, which includes costs associated with damage to property, injuries, and the loss of life, was estimated to be $87 billion.

Was braking distance a factor in your truck accident?

Louisiana readers know that commercial trucks and semitrailers are larger and heavier than regular passenger vehicles, and they know that this size difference is what makes accidents with these types of vehicles particularly dangerous. There are many reasons why truck accidents happen, and one of these is braking distance.

Understandably, it takes larger and heavier vehicles more time to come to a complete stop. Often, trucks collide with passenger vehicles because the trucker did not allow sufficient time to stop, possibly due to distraction, speeding or lack of experience. If braking distance played a role in the accident that left you injured, you could have grounds to pursue compensation through a civil claim.

TBIs, concussions and other accident-related head injuries

A car accident can affect your health in many ways, and some of these effects are not apparent until days or weeks after the initial injury. Head injuries are a common type of car accident injury, yet victims are often unaware of the symptoms and signs or the injury itself in the immediate aftermath of an accident.

If you suffered a head injury of any kind after an accident in Louisiana, chances are that you were unaware of the full impact of your injury right away. It is important for you to have the care you need, allowing you to pursue a full and fair recovery from a concussion or other type of TBI.

Moving forward after a commercial vehicle wreck

Whether you were hit by a garbage truck, delivery truck, someone who was driving a company car or were involved in some other type of commercial vehicle accident, the consequences can be very tough. Bruno & Bruno understands the multitude of challenges that arise for commercial vehicle accident victims in New Orleans and cities across all of Louisiana. If you are in this position, focusing on recovery should be a top priority.

From physical pain and mental trauma to injuries and lost wages or medical bills, these collisions can virtually ruin victims' lives in many ways. Sadly, some result in the loss of life, which also creates many hardships for the families of victims. Sometimes, commercial vehicle drivers may be under a lot of pressure and could be suffering from fatigue due to working long hours, which might increase the chances of a crash. Regardless, the victims of these wrecks deserve a voice and justice, since many of them have a very long road to recovery.

Inclement weather and reckless driving

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than two million injuries and over 32,000 fatalities take place each year as a result of motor vehicle wrecks. These traffic accidents have many causes, including driving over the speed limit, getting behind the wheel after consuming drugs or alcohol, cell phones, and other distractions. However, weather can also lead to a collision in New Orleans and on roads across Lousiana. Regrettably, some people fail to drive safely during poor weather conditions and threaten the lives of others.

The Federal Highway Administration raises awareness about many of the different weather-related hazards that are present on roads across the U.S. In some locations, snow and ice can wreak havoc during winter months. However, weather can also cause deadly accidents in places which do not have any snowfall. The FHWA reports that rainy conditions and wet roads make up for most of the traffic accidents involving weather hazards.

Going over the financial consequences of auto crashes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than two million people sustain injuries due to motor vehicle crashes per year. Furthermore, auto crashes result in over 32,000 annual fatalities. While many people recognize that these collisions can leave victims with serious injuries or families with emotional pain after they lose a loved one, it is important to realize some of the other ways that these accidents can upend the lives of victims. For example, car wrecks can have serious financial repercussions as well.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, victims of auto accidents may face financial problems for an array of reasons. For example, someone may find themselves unable to keep working due to an injury they sustained in a crash. Furthermore, some auto accident injuries are so serious that they leave victims with permanent disabilities and they can never head back to work. Tragically, some of these wrecks claim lives, which can create financial devastating for entire families. From funeral costs to lost productivity caused by profound emotional pain, families may also struggle financially after losing someone who was close.

Are hands-free driving devices safer?

With the final days of summer, many have been going out, making sure to really enjoy some family time before the school year starts back up. And while planning your outing may take a considerable amount of time -- everything can come crashing to a halt as soon as you get into a car accident. 

As you figure out the exact details of what happened, what the other driver was doing leading up to the crash is important. And while we tend to focus much attention on texting while driving, it's important to note that other drivers cause accidents when they are using a hands-free device.