Long before rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, many people relied on taxis to get around major cities when they did not want to drive themselves for any reason.
Taxi drivers also have to have a for-hire endorsement on their licenses in many states. However, that does not mean that taxi drivers cannot end up causing or contributing to an accident. Furthermore, taxi drivers, who spend long hours on the road each day, may have a higher risk of suffering from road haze or distraction.
If you have suffered injuries in a taxi accident, as an innocent victim, you know that you did not contribute to the accident. Seeking legal assistance from a car accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and navigate the insurance companies’ liability details. With a knowledgeable attorney on your side, you can ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and other damages.
Investigating a Taxi Accident
Following a taxicab accident, both insurance companies will generally want to investigate the conditions that led to the accident thoroughly.
As a passenger in a taxi at the time of an accident, you may need to give a statement about everything you observed leading up to the accident, including any conditions that may have led to the accident. The insurance company may want to know several things about your ride.
For example, the insurance company may ask questions like:
- Did you see what caused the accident? Did you notice any additional factors that may have contributed to the accident?
- Did the driver appear distracted while driving?
- Did you notice any signs of tiredness or drunkenness in the driver when you got in the vehicle?
- Did the driver engage in any dangerous behaviors on the road?
A lawyer can help you determine what you may want to say to the insurance company when they ask questions about the event. Remember that you should not make up answers or provide answers you do not have, even if someone else has provided you with information about the accident.
Memory distortion occurs fairly frequently after traumatic events, so you may not remember the events of the accident or even the events leading up to the accident. Do not worry if, for any reason, you cannot provide an accurate look at what led to the accident. You should also answer honestly about your activities in the vehicle, including focusing on your phone instead of watching the road or the events around you. The insurance company wants an honest look at what contributed to the accident, not your best guess.
Other Witnesses’ Statements
In many cases, other witnesses can help provide vital insight into what led to a taxi accident. Witnesses may often have a better view of what took place than anyone in either vehicle involved in the accident. For example, a pedestrian may have noticed that one driver pulled through a red light or that a driver had passed too quickly for safety on a tightly-packed city street. The insurance company will need time to collect witness statements and pursue more information.
Some taxi drivers may use dashcams to help provide evidence in the event of an accident. A dash cam can offer a close look at exactly what contributed to an accident, including clear insight into which driver may have chosen to speed at the time of the accident. Traffic camera footage or footage from nearby security cameras can also help pinpoint potential accident causes and make it easier to nail down the details of the accident.
Photos of the Accident Scene
Often, photos of the accident scene can provide vital insights into what caused the accident and what damage the accident caused. As the victim of a taxi accident, you may want to take photos of the scene to make it easier to piece together what led to the accident. Photos cannot replicate the accident itself, but they can give more information about what likely led to it, including more information about the damage to both vehicles.
In many cases, the insurance companies will bring in expert witnesses to look at the reports of the damage to both vehicles involved in the accident or even to examine the vehicles themselves. Experts can use that information to put together the angle at which the accident likely occurred and key details about what may have contributed to the accident. In addition, the insurance companies may want to have each vehicle evaluated to ensure that mechanical failure did not contribute to the incident.
Seeking Compensation for a Taxi Accident
Taxi companies, or taxi drivers who work for themselves, often carry substantial insurance policies designed to protect them and anyone injured in a vehicle due to their negligence. After a taxi accident, you may have the right to seek damages for the injuries you sustained. However, several factors can influence the compensation you can claim.
Who Caused the Accident?
When you seek compensation after a taxi accident, you will need to seek compensation through the insurance policy carried by the driver that caused the accident. If your taxi driver caused the accident, you would generally have the right to pursue compensation through the taxi driver’s insurance policy. On the other hand, if the driver of the other vehicle caused the accident, you may need to start by pursuing compensation through that driver’s insurance policy. A lawyer can help you determine which company to file a claim through after your accident.
What Injuries Did You Sustain in the Accident?
A devastating taxi accident can lead to substantial injuries. With those injuries, you may often experience considerable medical bills. For some patients, those increasing medical costs can spell financial devastation. A lawyer can help you walk through all the medical expenses you may have faced because of your taxi accident and how you can use them to calculate the value of the compensation you deserve.
Your lawyer will generally start with the cost of emergency services you may have needed at the time of the accident and urge you to consider all the costs you may have faced after that point.
The costs can include surgery or other medical care treatments, the cost of physical and occupational therapy, or durable medical equipment, including any equipment you may need to use long-term. An attorney can also help ensure you have included all medical costs since you may receive numerous medical bills as you deal with the treatment you need after your taxi accident.
Did You Lose Income Because of the Taxi Accident?
Car accidents can, in many cases, cause such severe injuries that they keep patients out of work for a considerable period after the accident. How much time you miss at work can depend on your unique circumstances.
For example, if you work at a desk job, a brain injury may interfere with your focus and concentration enough to make it very difficult for you to take care of work tasks, but it might not interfere as much with the cognitive processing needed to deal with basic customer service tasks. Breaking a bone might not make it difficult for a desk worker to take care of job duties after the early recovery and treatment period. Still, it could make things much more difficult for a patient who needs to head out to a construction site or other very active job.
Talk to your lawyer about the challenges your injuries have caused with your job and the income you have lost because of your injuries. Your lawyer can then help you determine how to include those losses in a comprehensive taxi accident claim.
What Suffering Did Your Taxi Accident Cause?
The injuries from any type of car accident, including a taxi accident, can have far-reaching consequences and complications. In many cases, patients who experience a taxi accident will suffer considerable physical pain. The taxi accident may also cause emotional anguish, including struggles with a loss of independence or PTSD related to the accident.
Talk to a lawyer about all the suffering caused by your taxi accident so you can include it as part of your claim.
Who Bears Liability for a Taxi Accident Claim?
As the injured party in a taxi accident, with no involvement in or liability for the accident itself, you may wonder who has to pay for your taxi accident claim. In most cases, the driver that caused the accident will bear liability, and you will file a claim through that driver’s insurance company to pursue compensation for the damages you sustained. If the taxi driver caused or contributed to the accident, that may mean filing a claim through the taxi driver’s insurance.
In some cases, you may also have the right to directly file a claim against the taxi company.
- The taxi company engaged in negligent hiring practices, including failing to conduct a proper background check on the driver.
- The taxi company has negligent policies or practices that encourage drivers to take dangerous chances out on the road.
- The taxi company does not provide adequate insurance for its drivers.
If you have questions about who bears liability for your taxi accident, working with a lawyer can make it easier for you to determine how to direct your claim.
When Do You Need a Lawyer After a Taxi Accident?
As an innocent victim in a taxi accident, you may assume that the insurance companies will sort things out and that, ultimately, you will get the compensation you deserve. However, in many cases, the victim of a taxi accident may need a lawyer to help guide them through the process. You may need a lawyer for a number of reasons.
Your Lawyer Can Help Lay out the Damages You Deserve
Neither insurance company involved in the evaluation of the accident will put your injuries at the top of their priority list. Rather, the insurance companies want to limit the compensation they have to pay out as much as possible. On the other hand, your lawyer wants to help you maximize the compensation you recover as much as possible. Your lawyer will ensure you understand the compensation you deserve and what damages you can include as part of your claim.
Your Lawyer Can Help Streamline the Process
Sometimes, after a taxi accident, the insurance companies will delay the process, slowing down payment and making it difficult for you to get everything you deserve. On the other hand, your lawyer can help streamline that process and get payment in your hands faster and more effectively.
Your Lawyer Can Help You Avoid Common Insurance Traps
The insurance company may use several strategies to convince you to accept a lower payout than you deserve for the damages from your taxi accident. For example, the insurance agent might pressure you to accept a fast settlement offer in the early days after the accident when you do not yet know what your medical costs will look like or what long-term medical treatments you may need for your injuries.
The insurance company may even insist that you cannot get further compensation or that you will lose out on the offer if you do not accept it. In other cases, the insurance agent may use statements you made about your health against you.
For example, if you noted “feeling fine” or “recovering well,” the insurance agent might use that to prove that you do not deserve full compensation for your injuries. Conversely, an attorney can avoid those potential traps and fight for your rights.
If you suffered injuries in a taxi accident, contact a taxi accident attorney as soon after your accident as possible to get the legal help you need.