Taxicabs are a standard mode of transportation for visitors and residents alike in New York. Whether because of convenience, preference, or necessity, hailing a cab in the city or neighboring areas is a common way to get around on the road. Taxicabs, passenger cars, and commercial vehicles jam the streets throughout the day. It is common to encounter a motor vehicle accident involving a taxicab during a commute.
If you are a passenger of a taxicab and suffer injuries in a collision, you may not be sure what you can expect and what you, in turn, should do to get the help you need to cover your losses and injuries. Taxicab crashes are not like other accidents between passenger vehicles.
You are a passenger, and the driver of the cab or another driver caused the crash. It can be confusing and difficult to determine who is responsible for what. Getting the responsible party to pay for your damages can present enormous challenges that only an experienced taxi accident lawyer can overcome.
You Can Seek Compensation for Your Taxi Accident Injuries and Losses
As a victim of a taxicab accident, the law provides options and opportunities for you to seek compensation for your damages from the party or parties responsible for your injuries. Insurance companies, the taxicab driver, or the taxicab company may brush you off or appease you with a quick and measly settlement. Please do not accept this treatment or their offers without first consulting a taxicab accident attorney.
The injuries you sustain are real and can have unimaginable consequences later on down the line that you may have not yet considered. Do not allow the opposing parties in your case to feel pressured or rushed into taking any settlement offer. You may not yet know the extent of your injuries, how they will continue to affect you, or if they will even fully heal. Take your time to recover and seek the help of a knowledgeable New York car accident attorney as soon as possible that can help you understand your rights and options.
Who Must Pay for Damages When a Taxicab Accident Happens?
The chaos that follows a taxicab accident can confuse anyone. Busy city streets, other drivers, and passengers compounded with your shock and disorientation following the crash can overwhelm you.
You may have some insight into the accident but may not be aware of all the events leading up to the crash or the actions of all parties involved. The police will likely come to the scene and conduct a preliminary investigation of the collision. Still, further information and evidence may influence who might be responsible for the crash and damages during an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Liability for a taxicab accident can fall on one party or multiple parties depending on the facts surrounding the crash. For example, as a passenger victim, you are unlikely to have any significant bearing on the events leading up to the collision. The majority of the fault for the crash and damages will likely go to one of the other parties involved.
Parties you may hold liable for a taxicab accident in New York include:
- The taxicab driver
- The taxicab company
- Another vehicle driver
What Can Cause a Taxicab Collision and Why Does it Matter?
The circumstances leading to your taxicab accident are important in determining liability in your case. Why the accident happened is a crucial question and one that the insurance companies and parties involved will investigate thoroughly.
The reality is that no two taxicab accidents are alike. Each collision and combination of parties creates a unique scenario that requires a close look to reveal the root of the negligence leading up to the accident.
Negligence in a taxi cab crash can take many forms and involve parties not physically present during the impact. Determining the actual cause of a taxicab accident requires a knowledgeable and experienced attorney with the resources to investigate the accident and the parties and connections involved.
Common negligent causes of a taxicab crash can include:
There is no shortage of distractions for a taxicab driver when providing a ride to a passenger. Meters, navigation systems, and personal devices can cause them to take their eyes off the road leading to an accident. Driver distractions are also a common culprit for other drivers that collide with a taxicab while on the road.
Aggressive or reckless driving
City driving is chaotic and can be dangerous. Speeding, tailgating, and abrupt lane changes can all lead to accidents on the street. Taxicab drivers, in particular, have a reputation for their aggressive driving tactics when rushing to pick up or drop off passengers. The more rides they provide, the more money they make, so many drivers have an incentive to keep the pressure on while behind the taxi wheel.
Failure to abide by traffic laws
Running a red light, exceeding the posted speed limit, or ignoring other traffic signs commonly cause vehicle collisions. You may discover that the taxicab driver or the other driver broke the traffic rules moments before a crash. Law enforcement may have cited them, which you can use as evidence of negligence and fault in the crash.
Taxicab drivers spend most of their shifts on the road, driving from one location to another. In New York, most taxicab drivers will take on shifts of 12 hours at a time. The workday can fatigue a driver, affecting their ability to operate the cab safely. However, if a driver works for many days consecutively, the likelihood of fatigue increases each day.
Alcohol or drugs
Alcohol and drug use is a pervasive problem amongst the general population. Taxicab drivers are no exception. Suppose there is any indication that a driver involved in the taxicab accident was under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the collision. In that case, this evidence strengthens the case on your behalf in helping to prove that party’s liability for the damages caused.
Since taxicabs are for-profit and commercial, the operators of these vehicles and the company that owns the car must routinely inspect and maintain the cab to keep the vehicle in safe working order. Any failure of either party to properly maintain the taxi or fail to make repairs when necessary can lead to an accident or exacerbate the damages when a collision occurs.
Will a Lawsuit Be Necessary in Every Case?
Fortunately, filing a lawsuit is not going to be necessary for every victim of a taxicab accident. Lawsuits are the exception and not the norm in the majority of cases. In most instances, your lawyer will work with you to determine your damages and negotiate with the insurance company and parties involved for the best possible settlement that meets your needs financially. Most taxi cab accident cases will reach a successful settlement without the need to go to court or through a trial.
The limited instances where a taxi accident victim must pursue compensation through a lawsuit are when the driver lacks enough insurance to pay the claim or disputes arise about the liability for the accident or the damages in the case. A taxicab accident attorney can help you understand your claim, damages, and the likelihood of settlement during your case consultation.
Who Can You Seek Compensation From For Your Losses?
When an accident involving motor vehicles happens, the victims must typically limit their recovery to the driver at fault and the insurance coverage available. Taxicab accidents, however, are not typical car crashes and can involve additional parties which may be liable for your damages.
As a taxicab passenger during a crash, you may have several options to pursue recovery. You may seek compensation from one or multiple parties to cover all of your damages. In most cases, the driver or company’s insurance coverage will cover your losses. Still, if your losses are extensive or the insurance limits are too low, you can also seek compensation from the liable parties personally.
After a taxicab accident, you may seek compensation from:
- Taxicab driver
- Taxicab owner or company
- Insurers for a taxicab or other drivers
- Another motor vehicle driver
- Other third-party responsible
What Compensation Can You Recover Following a Taxicab Accident in New York?
When you suffer an injury because of a taxicab accident, your main worries likely involve how you will pay for your medical expenses and your healing timeline. We understand this, knowing the cost of emergency injuries, but you may incur other losses you may not think about, and they can also take a financial toll.
Missing work, limited function during and after recovery, and interference in everyday enjoyment of your life are all grounds for recovery of compensation in a taxicab accident. Insurance companies and the parties liable to you will not let you know everything you can receive compensation for. Quite the opposite, they will try to limit your recovery however they can and reduce the money you may be eligible for under the law.
This is one of the many benefits of hiring a taxicab accident attorney on your behalf. Your lawyer will fight for the maximum compensation available in your case. They will leave no stone unturned and will make sure to account for every one of your losses and damages as part of your insurance claim or lawsuit if necessary.
After a New York taxicab accident case, you may recover:
- Costs of medical care
- Loss of your income
- Future impact on your income due to injury
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality and enjoyment of life
What Can Influence the Amount of Compensation You Can Pursue in the Case?
The factor most likely to influence the amount of compensation you are eligible for in a taxi accident claim or case is the severity of your injury and the likelihood of healing or recovery. The more severe the injuries and permanent damage, the higher the losses for a victim. This does not mean you must sustain a severe injury to recover compensation. Any injury, no matter how minor, is grounds to pursue compensation after an accident.
The reality is that an accident does not only affect your physical health but can leave mental and emotional trauma in the aftermath. Additionally, it disrupts your day and future, leaving you with uncertainties you did not expect or prepare to face. A taxicab accident insurance claim or a lawsuit can get justice for you and recover the losses you suffered through no fault of your own.
Is it Necessary for a Lawyer to Represent You in Your Taxicab Accident Case?
Under no circumstance should you try to resolve a taxicab accident case alone. You have enough to worry about with your injuries. Let an experienced personal injury attorney represent you. They will fight for the compensation you deserve and are not afraid to go up against the big taxi cab companies or insurers that will try to bully you out of your rights under the law.
Mr. Finkelstein is the Managing Partner of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP. He has become a noted consumer activist through his representation of injured individuals against corporate wrongdoers and irresponsible parties.
An accomplished litigator, Mr. Finkelstein has represented Plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has successfully handled dozens of multi-million dollar cases.