Taxi accidents, like other car accidents, can be traumatic, leaving the victim with injuries and several other damages. The situation can become more complex when it’s unclear who is liable for the accident. That’s because it can be hard to file a compensation claim when you don’t know who to sue.
Luckily, New York personal injury attorneys can evaluate the case’s specifics and help you determine who is at fault. Knowing who is responsible for car accidents makes it easy to pursue compensation for injuries and property damage. That’s why engaging a personal injury attorney is important as soon as possible after a taxi accident.
What Causes Most Taxi Accidents in New York?
The frequency of taxi accidents in New York is higher than most people realize. That’s even though taxis and rideshare services are considered the safest mode of transportation around the City. Statistics from the Taxi and Limousine Commission show that taxis in New York were involved in approximately 819 accidents monthly in 2021.
Taxi accidents often leave drivers and passengers with severe injuries, with various internal and external factors contributing to the accidents. A group of researchers found the most common reasons for taxi accidents in New York to be:
- Manufacture defects
- Inclement weather
- Vehicle overloading
- Uneven road expansions
- Rough and bumpy road edges
What are the Obligations of Taxi Drivers and Taxi Companies?
Taxi drivers are in charge of their passengers and are obliged to take care of them by driving smoothly while ensuring their safety. They must undergo training and be highly experienced to minimize the incidents of taxi collisions. While not all taxi accident lawsuits are seamless, those caused by the driver’s negligence have a high likelihood of compensation.
Taxi companies must perform background checks on their drivers. It’s paramount to ensure they possess clean driving records and are responsible enough to comply with traffic rules and requirements.
Taxis, black cars, and ride-share vehicles must be insured under New York law. The owner must buy insurance. Vehicles regulated by the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission must carry insurance with a minimum of $200,000 for no fault coverage (medical and lost income) for the injured victim and $100,000/$300,000 coverage in a liability lawsuit.
Who Is Liable for Taxi Cab Injuries in New York?
People who sustain injuries in accidents involving taxis can pursue compensation from more than one liable party. The responsible parties, in most cases, are the taxi drivers and the taxi companies. It’s crucial to understand that various factors affect the case’s outcome.
New York law makes the vehicle owner vicariously liable for the negligent operation of the vehicle by the driver. As a practical matter, the taxi or vehicle owner carries the insurance covering both the owner and the operator, and this insurance will be the injured person’s source of recovery.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, other vehicle owners and operators may be involved in the accident. E.g., a multi-vehicle accident. These other vehicle owners may also be a source of recovery.
When You’re a Passenger in a Taxi
If you sustain injuries in a taxi accident as a passenger, insist upon the police being called so that an accident report can be made with you listed as an injured party. Also insist that EMS be called.
The value of a police report is great in that it will prove an incident and the parties involved.
After leaving the scene of the accident or the hospital, you can file a No Fault application with the cab’s insurance company. This will allow your medical and lost income and other expenses to be covered by the taxi’s insurance.
You can file a third-party insurance claim against one of the drivers involved in the accident. The burden of proving liability lies with the insurance providers of both drivers. Once they establish liability, your compensation will be due. However, it helps to have New York taxicab accident lawyers pursue the claim on your behalf.
When You’re in Another Car and a Taxi Hits You
When you’re in another car and a taxi causes your car to crash or crashes into your vehicle, that’s a conventional two-car accident. In this case, it would be your responsibility to prove the at-fault driver. If you want to pursue a claim against the taxi driver, you must show that they were negligent and caused the accident and consequential injuries or damages.
Taxicab accident lawyers in New York can help you gather evidence to prove the taxi driver’s negligence. Various types of evidence that would help your case include:
- The police report
- Eyewitness statements
- Photos or videos of the accident scene
- Medical records for the injuries you sustained
- Black box data from the vehicle, if possible.
When a Third Party is Liable
It’s not rare for responsibility for a taxi car accident to fall on a third party rather than the drivers involved in the accident. For example, the manufacturer might be liable when an accident is due to a faulty part like the brakes or poor vehicle design.
New York taxicab accident lawyers could help you prove liability against a government agency if poor road conditions caused the crash. These include improper road signage, potholes, or a missing guardrail.
What Types of Compensation Are Available in a Taxicab Accident Case?
When you file a taxi accident compensation claim, you can pursue economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to the financial costs you incur following the accident and include:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy costs
- Lost income and earning capacity
- Property damage
Non-economic costs may include:
- Loss of consortium
- Mental distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
These are difficult to quantify and assign a monetary figure, but they can significantly boost the compensation amount.
Legal Guidance When Proving Liability in a Taxi Accident
Proving liability in a taxi accident can be challenging, given that multiple parties can be responsible for the accident. Parties that may be liable include the taxi driver, the other driver, the taxi company, manufacturers, or government agencies. Taxicab accident attorneys in New York can investigate the crash and help you prove liability.
Our personal injury attorneys in New York are passionate about helping our clients get compensation for their injuries in an accident. We can also provide legal counsel and help you establish if you can file a claim. Contact us to schedule a consultation on your legal options.