Are Taxi Drivers Liable for Injuries to their Passengers?

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NYC taxi driver

If you’ve lived in New York City for any length of time, you’ve likely ridden in a taxi, or at least know how commonplace they are, particularly in Manhattan. Due to the sheer volume of taxis on New York City streets, it isn’t uncommon for a taxi cab to be involved in a traffic-related accident.

Taxi drivers, like all motorists, must exercise adequate care and caution to prevent injury to their passengers, other motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, and anyone else they share the road with. Unfortunately, when a taxi driver is distracted, careless, aggressive, intoxicated, or otherwise negligent, they could cause a severe or fatal injury accident. If you were severely injured in a taxi accident, you could be entitled to recover compensation for damages you suffered due to the accident.

Contact the New York taxi accident lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C. today to discuss your case. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help you pursue the settlement you deserve. We offer a free consultation to help you understand your legal rights and options.

Who is Liable for a Taxi Cab Accident?

Determining liability in a taxi cab accident can be challenging, especially if multiple drivers are involved in the accident. You might need the help of an experienced legal professional to identify all possible sources of compensation.

Taxi drivers usually work for taxi companies. If a taxi driver caused an accident, the taxi operator that employs the driver might be liable for damages related to the accident. However, if another driver causes the taxi cab accident, they might be responsible. If both parties caused the accident, then both parties could share responsibility for the accident.

In New York City, taxi operators must carry:

  • $100,000 in liability insurance per person
  • $300,000 for all people involved in an accident

Some taxi operators (usually unlicensed ones) might carry less coverage, sometimes as low as $25,000 per person and $50,000 for all people involved in the accident.

If you were injured as a passenger in a taxi cab accident, you could first turn to your own no-fault insurance (if you have it) or the taxi operator’s no-fault insurance policy for coverage. New York is a no-fault state, which means that car accident victims typically turn to their no-fault coverage (also known as PIP, or personal injury protection) when a crash occurs. Passengers are covered under New York PIP policies. These policies typically pay for medical expenses and lost wages up to the policy limits.

However, if you sustained a severe injury in the crash, the taxi operator’s no-fault policy might not be enough to cover your damages. In that case, you could seek further compensation through the taxi operator’s liability insurance policy, the other driver’s liability policy, or both.

Pursuing a claim with a taxi service’s insurer isn’t an easy process. For instance, the insurance company might try to avoid liability by arguing that you weren’t wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident since many taxi cab passengers neglect to use them. Whatever reason they come up with, their goal will be to reduce or even deny your claim.

That’s why it is crucial to contact a taxi accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. An attorney will be intimately familiar with how insurance companies try to get out of compensating injury victims and will know how to combat those tactics. Taxicab accidents are often more complex than your average car accident, so it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer who isn’t afraid to go toe-to-toe with a taxi operator or their insurance company.

What Should I Do After a Taxi Cab Accident?

If you were a passenger in a taxi accident, you would deal with the accident similarly to how you would deal with any other motor vehicle accident. There are two notable distinctions, however:

  • You will need to notify both your own auto insurance company (if you have coverage) and the taxi cab company that you were injured in the accident.
  • If you don’t have your own auto insurance plan, you will turn to the driver’s no-fault insurance policy (and, if necessary, their liability policy) for coverage.

After the accident, there are several steps you should take immediately to safeguard your rights:

  • Call 911 – If the driver or another person hasn’t reported the crash, call 911. Police officers will attend the scene and create an accident report. Crucial details regarding the crash will be recorded in this report, which you can use as evidence in your claim.
  • Collect evidence – If possible, you should record details about the crash by photographing your injuries, the damage to each vehicle involved in the accident, and the accident scene as a whole from a variety of angles. You should also speak to any nearby bystanders who witnessed the accident and request their contact information. They might be able to provide a statement on your behalf, which could significantly strengthen your case.
  • Seek medical treatment – You should seek prompt medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. The longer you wait, the more likely the insurance company will try to refute your claim. Most insurance companies require you to be evaluated within 72 hours. Even if you don’t think you are seriously injured, a physician may be able to detect injuries that aren’t yet apparent.
  • Gather documents – Maintain a file with your medical records, hospital bills, accident reports, and any other documentation related to the accident.
  • Report the accident – You should report the accident to your own auto insurance provider (if you have one) as well as the taxi company the driver works for.

You should also consult with a seasoned taxi accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident.

Contact Finz & Finz, P.C. Today

If you were injured in a taxi cab accident, contact the New York taxi cab accident attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. today to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable member of our team. Our attorneys have the necessary skills and resources to investigate the accident, gather evidence to support your claim, document damages you suffered, and aggressively pursue the compensation you need to get your life back on track.

Reach out to us by phone at 855-TOP-FIRM or online to schedule a free consultation.

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Finz & Finz, P.C. is a New York and Long Island personal injury law firm based out of Mineola, NY. It was founded in 1984 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.