Hailing a taxicab is a convenient transportation option for those who choose not to drive or prefer the ease of calling for a ride when needed. Driving can be stressful, especially in congested and busy areas, and sometimes people prefer to have others drive for them.
Unfortunately, taxicab passengers can be just as much at risk as others on the road of becoming involved in an unexpected accident.
If you find yourself a victim of a taxicab accident, whether as a passenger, another driver, or an occupant in another vehicle, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your damages against the driver or drivers responsible. Taxicab accident lawyer quickly after a taxi accident who can help you protect any rights to the compensation you may deserve.
First, Call a Taxicab Accident Attorney for a Free Case Consultation
Contacting a lawyer should be one of the first steps you take following the crash. A taxicab accident attorney can help you understand the laws of the state where the accident occurs and your options moving forward.
Taxi drivers are liable for their actions, as are likely their employers and other drivers who may have caused the accident and your injuries to occur. A taxicab accident lawyer can help you sort through the chaos of the crash to get to the bottom of who could be at fault and who should pay for your losses under the law.
What Are Your Rights as a Taxicab Passenger After a Taxi Crash?
Although an accident involving a taxicab is a type of motor vehicle accident, it can involve unique legal issues regarding liability that are not as common when accidents occur between passenger vehicles.
First, if you are a passenger in a taxicab accident, you likely had little to no involvement in the chain of events that ultimately led to the negligent crash. As a taxi passenger victim who suffers an injury, you have a right to compensation for the costs related to your medical care and the additional impact you may suffer because of the injuries to you.
What Injuries Might a Victim in a Taxi Accident Sustain?
The injuries in taxicab accidents can range from minor to life-threatening or fatal. As a passenger, you are at risk of suffering serious injuries that can impair your ability to live your life normally short term or can result in permanent disability. Even similar injuries can have drastically different outcomes depending on the course of treatment you receive and the complications you may encounter.
For example, when a negligent party causes you harm, they are not only liable for the immediate damage that occurs in the accident but the subsequent challenges to your health and life that may stem from those initial injuries.
Common injuries in a taxicab accident may include:
- Neck injuries, including whiplash
- Head injuries such as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Back injuries, including possible Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
- Strains, sprains, or tears to muscles, ligaments, or tendons
- Minor to severe lacerations
- Internal bleeding or damage
- Loss of limb
- Crush injuries
- Other catastrophic injuries
Potential Compensation for a Taxicab Accident Victim
The amount of money you can get as a victim in a taxicab accident will depend on several factors. The severity of your injuries, the type of injury you sustain, your medical expenses, and the impacts on your work and home life can all affect the level of damages available to you under the law.
Insurance companies may want to brush off the widespread impacts of your injuries, but as a victim, you have a right to fight for those losses under the law.
A taxicab accident attorney can help you calculate the maximum value of your damages. Understanding the maximum damages possible for your claim and case can help you take the appropriate steps when going through negotiations and possible settlement offers.
Taxicab compensation possible for taxicab accident victims includes:
- Expenses for medical treatment and care, including future care that may become necessary
- Loss of wages due to missed work after the crash and future losses of income you may incur
- Pain and suffering relating to the physical, emotional, and mental trauma of the taxicab accident
Who Is Most Commonly Liable for Taxicab Accidents?
It is not always clear who is at fault for a taxicab accident. However, if you were a passenger in the taxicab when the accident occurred, your actions likely were not part of the negligence leading to the crash.
A taxicab accident might involve only the cab or another vehicle or can be part of a multi-vehicle and multiple casualties scenario on the road. Fortunately, an experienced taxicab accident attorney can help you investigate the accident, the actions of each party, and who may be responsible for your damages.
The Taxi Driver
Unlike rideshare services, where the vehicle’s driver is always the car’s owner, taxicab setups can differ. In some cases, the taxi cab driver may be the owner, and in others, they may simply be driving on behalf of a company. Suppose the taxicab driver’s actions leading up to the accident and your injuries amount to negligence. In that case, they can be personally liable for your injuries or through any applicable vehicle liability insurance policy at the time of the accident.
The Taxicab Company
If a taxicab company oversees and directs the actions of a driver involved in a taxicab accident. The law may find that they may be vicariously liable for their negligence in some circumstances when the taxi driver causes the crash and your injuries.
Additionally, it may be the taxicab company that is the policyholder of the insurance policy at the time of the crash when the taxi is company owned. If a policy is insufficient to cover your losses, the taxicab company may be liable for additional damages.
An investigation into the accident may reveal that it is not the taxicab driver at fault or not entirely to be blamed for the crash but for another driver. If you are the passenger in the taxi and you sustain an impact due to the negligent driver of another vehicle, the other driver may be liable to you for your losses. The at-fault driver’s insurance may cover your losses from the crash depending on the percentage of fault apportioned to each party.
An Insurance Claim for Damages
In most taxicab accidents, the best and most direct approach to seek compensation for damages as a taxicab accident victim is to file an insurance claim for your losses. Even when filing an insurance claim, you should hire an attorney to assist you with the process.
Any mistakes or errors when filing a claim can jeopardize the outcome of the claim, including possible fault or damage determinations. With the help of a lawyer, the claim will reach a successful settlement agreement without going to court.
Filing of a Lawsuit for Compensation
Unfortunately, not every case will settle. A lawyer will likely be unable to predict which cases will settle quickly and which will require going to court through a lawsuit. Only once the claim is underway, and negotiations begin, can a lawyer identify if there is a need to file suit against the insurer or parties at fault for the taxi crash.
A typical scenario in which a lawyer in a taxicab accident lawsuit may recommend filing legal action is when there is a dispute amongst the parties at fault as to who is at fault and who must pay the losses. Another situation that may require a trial is when there is a disagreement between the involved parties regarding the damages to you.
Does the Statute of Limitations Apply to Taxicab Accident Cases?
Yes, a taxicab crash falls under the umbrella of a personal injury accident. As such, it is the burden of a plaintiff to bring forward any claim for damages within the statute of limitations applicable to the jurisdiction where the accident happens.
If you are in a taxicab accident while visiting another state, it is important to remain aware of the statute of limitations for that jurisdiction. There can be a vast difference in a statute of limitations from one state to another.
The statute may be generous in one location, allowing a victim multiple years to bring forward a claim for their losses. In another, you could be up against a tight timeline of just one year from the date of the taxicab accident. When you speak to a lawyer about your case, you can ask them what the statute of limitations is for taxicab accidents in your state.
What Should You Do if You Are a Victim of a Taxicab Collision?
If you suffer any injury as a passenger in a taxicab during a crash, you must act quickly to prevent further harm and to protect any rights the law may grant you as a victim. The following steps can help you prepare for a possible claim or lawsuit and take the appropriate actions in the aftermath of a taxi crash.
Contact a Taxicab Accident Attorney as Soon as Possible
Once you are stable and able to do so, you should call a taxicab accident attorney to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. A free case evaluation allows you to discuss the facts of your case, your injuries, and your potential damages. During this meeting, a lawyer can discuss what they believe you can expect in your case and whether they can accept your case to represent your interests.
Do not try to deal with a taxicab accident claim on your own. You can risk your right to compensation under the law and cause delays or a denial of your claim. Instead, call a lawyer to guide you and advise the best course of action for your benefit.
Get Medical Treatment
When you suffer an injury in a taxi accident, you may get emergency medical care at the scene or immediately following during a trip to the nearest emergency room. However, this is often not enough for the recovery of moderate to severe injuries. Your main focus as the victim of a taxi accident should be on your recovery and healing.
Stay in contact with your providers, keep up to date on your treatments, prescriptions, and follow-up appointments and inform your doctors of any noticeable changes or complications in your condition.
Collect Any Evidence to Support Your Claim
If you suffer an injury, you may not spend much time at the crash scene following a taxicab accident. You will likely get emergency medical support and transportation to care for your injuries, particularly in severe or life-threatening conditions.
As soon as you can, put together any evidence of the accident you may have access to or in your direct possession. Photographs at the scene of your injuries and your recollection of the events and aftermath are all vital pieces of information that may help your claim as it moves through the process.
Do Not Agree to Anything Until You Receive Legal Advice
You may feel pressure from the parties involved and insurance representatives to speak with them about the accident and your injuries as soon as possible. Even when you are the victim, doing so can hurt your case if you have not consulted a taxicab accident attorney.
In fact, let your taxicab accident lawyer communicate with the other parties regarding the details of the accident, your injuries, or your claim.