Auto Accidents in City Vehicles Cost Corpus Christi TaxpayersJuly 22, 2014
A local television station in Corpus Christi, Texas, investigated the costs of auto accidents involving city vehicles. The report found that the city has paid out more than $1.1 million in settlements to victims of auto accidents that included city vehicles. The city has implemented numerous programs over the years to reduce the amount of settlements that it pays in auto accident cases, but increased distractions from cell phones and portable computers by city workers have reportedly contributed to the high number of auto accidents.
Taxpayers Feel Burden of Auto Accident Settlements
The investigation found that, since the city is “self-insured”, the settlements for any auto accident involving a city vehicle come directly from the city treasury. These settlements include hospitalization for any injured parties, ans well as repairs to both the city and civilian vehicles. Although the city has an ordinance in which it cannot be held liable for more than $500,000 in any auto accident, that money still must come from the city’s taxpayers.
Two Auto Accidents Highlight City Problems
In 2012, two notable auto accidents served as examples of how civilian drivers in Corpus Christi were affected by those in city-owned vehicles. In one auto accident, a city service truck ran a red light and T-boned Pedro Valdez, injuring his arm and totaling his truck. The insurance settlement cost the city’s taxpayers more than $12,000.
A more serious auto accident involved a police vehicle that ran a red light and struck a sedan, injuring a woman driver and her two passengers. The police car did not turn on its audible siren and was not responding to an emergency call. The settlement cost the city more than $322,000.
City Vehicle Auto Accident Rates Drop
In spite of the recent data on auto accidents involving Corpus Christi city vehicles, the city’s office of risk management released a report which showed that such accidents fell by over 70 percent in the last five years. Today, city employees are required to take defensive driving classes every three years. The city has also implemented an educational program on the dangers of distracted driving. The National Safety Council and the Texas Department of Transportation have developed the program to help city drivers increase their awareness of using cell phones while driving.
Know Your Rights in an Auto Accident Lawsuit
To find out how we can help you with an auto accident lawsuit, contact us today at 877-892-2797. Our friendly staff will ask a few questions about your case and connect you to an auto accident lawsuit attorney. You can also fill out the “Free Case Evaluation” form at the top of this page.