San Diego International Airport Automobile Accident Attorneys
The San Diego International Airport is one of the busiest in California. In 2019 alone, more than 25 million international and domestic travelers passed through the airport facilities. This makes the parking lots and roadways around the airport extremely busy with automobile and shuttle traffic.
Naturally, that much traffic creates an increased risk of accidents. If you or a loved one were hurt or killed in an automobile accident at the San Diego International Airport, you could be entitled to compensation for the various damages sustained. An accomplished San Diego vehicle accident attorney can help determine how much those damages could be worth and who should be responsible for paying them.
Causes of Airport Accidents
Thanks to the increased traffic around an airport, accidents are a common occurrence there. The nature of an airport creates many opportunities for vehicle crashes. Some of the most common causes of accidents at airports include:
- Distracted driving: Many drivers at the airport are from out of town or in a rental car that might be different from their own vehicle; unfamiliar surroundings create many distractions that can cause an accident.
- Cellphones: Looking at a phone for directions, for example, can take the driver’s eyes off the road long enough to cause a crash. Drivers might be talking on the phone or texting as they drive to their destination after the airport. All these behaviors are dangerous behind the wheel.
- Drunk driving: Airports usually have bars inside for travelers to enjoy while waiting for flights. While nice during a layover, drinking before getting behind the wheel is always dangerous and illegal.
- Speeding: Speed is a common factor in accidents. Travelers who are rushing to make a flight might be more likely to speed.
Airport Shuttle Accidents
Airport shuttles run at San Diego International Airport 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Some strictly transport people to parking lots and terminals within the airport, while others from outside-airport companies go to nearby destinations like hotels. Because they are always running, shuttles are sometimes involved in accidents.
Airport shuttle services often use huge, 15-passenger vans to fit as many people as possible inside. Although efficient, these busses’ weight and size can cause catastrophic injury to riders, pedestrians, and passengers in other vehicles.
Larger commercial vehicles can be harder to maneuver and take more time to stop. They also hit with significantly more force than other, smaller cars. Because of this, people in other vehicles outside the shuttle are statistically more likely to sustain serious injuries, which can cause permanent disability or death.
Ride Share Service Accidents
Another option for getting to or from the airport frequently utilized by travelers is ride-share services like Uber and Lyft. These vehicles, too, can be involved in an accident while driving a client and may also create some complex liability issues.
The passenger in a car driven by a ride-share driver could be covered by the company’s insurance policy. Uber, for example, has a one-million-dollar policy specifically for passengers who were injured while riding. For a vehicle involved in an accident with a ride-share driver, the driver who caused the accident would be at fault.
These incidents can result in multiple parties being found liable for the accident. An accident attorney should be consulted as soon as possible.
Determining Fault in Airport Accidents
Determining who is at fault in an accident involving an airport shuttle depends on who was involved and the circumstances surrounding the accident. For example, if a passenger car pulls out of a parking lot without looking and into a shuttle bus, causing a collision, the car’s driver will not likely be compensated by the shuttle company for damages.
Shuttle companies, ride-share services and other modes of public transportation have a responsibility to keep passengers safe while they ride. Should a passenger sustain injuries during their ride, the company will pay for damages when it is found to have breached this duty of care.
Even small details of the accident matter and a car accident attorney should be consulted regarding any liability questions. They will be able to investigate the accident and find evidence to support a claim.
Common Injuries in Vehicle Accidents
Injuries caused by car accidents can range from minor to fatal. The most often sustained injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Head and brain injuries
- Muscle and ligament strains
- Shoulder sprain
- Soft tissue damage
- Spinal injuries
- Back strain
After an accident occurs, everyone involved should be sure to seek immediate medical attention no matter what the circumstances. Even when pain is minimal, it could be smart to be checked out by a medical professional. Sometimes adrenaline masks the true extent of injuries and pain and damage increase significantly in the hours and days after the accident.
A record of any medical attention sought is important for any potential legal action stemming from the accident.
Recovering from a vehicle accident can take weeks, months, even years. The economic damages suffered in an accident are sometimes as damaging as the painful physical ones. Expenses pile up and working might become difficult if not impossible. Accident victims deserve to be compensated for all their damages, including those with an exact dollar amount and the less obvious ones.
Noneconomic damages include things like emotional distress and pain and suffering. An auto accident attorney can figure out a value for noneconomic damages.
Compensable damages include:
- Lost wages and benefits
- Lost earning potential
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium (for spouses of the injured person)
The amount of potential damages in the case is determined by the severity of injuries and their effect on the injured person’s life and their loved ones.
Contact a San Diego Car Accident Attorney Who Will Fight for Your Rights
Working with an experienced attorney alleviates some of the stress of an exceedingly difficult situation. They will be familiar with personal injury law’s intricacies and follow the required steps in the legal process to get the best results for their client. An attorney can also handle many aspects of communication with the insurance companies involved. They are typically skilled negotiators and know how insurance companies attempt to take advantage of accident victims and their families.
An attorney will do several things to build a strong case against the person responsible for the accident. They will gather information and evidence and investigate using:
- interviews with witnesses
- accident reconstructions
- police incident reports
- security footage
- first person accounts from victims
California law grants accident victims two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Failure to abide by the statute of limitations could result in the case being thrown out and the victim losing the right to be compensated for damages.
Levinson Law Group Can Help
The Levinson Law Group specializes in vehicle accident cases. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident at the San Diego International Airport, you need legal representation that works for you.