What Happens if I’m Injured in a Taxi Accident?

Taxi Accident
Posted: June 25, 2024

Imagine you’re hailing a taxi on a busy New York street, eager to reach your destination. You climb into the cab, fasten your seatbelt, and settle in for the ride. Suddenly, the unexpected happens—your taxi is involved in a collision, and you find yourself injured and confused after the accident.

While unsettling, taxi accidents can happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time. As a passenger, you trust that the taxi driver will safely navigate the city streets and deliver you to your destination unharmed. However, when accidents occur, it’s crucial to understand your rights and the steps you should take to protect yourself and seek the compensation you deserve.

In the busy cities of New York State, taxis are ubiquitous, weaving through traffic and transporting countless passengers daily. While most taxi rides end without a crash, accidents can and do happen. The consequences of a taxi accident can leave passengers with physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial burdens.

After a taxi accident, you likely have numerous questions swirling in your mind: What should I do first? Who is responsible for my injuries? How will I pay for my medical bills and lost wages? How can I navigate the complex legal system to seek the compensation I deserve?

By understanding your options and taking the necessary actions, you can protect yourself and increase your chances of securing the compensation you need to move forward after a taxi accident. However, you don’t have to navigate this challenging time alone. With the right knowledge and support, you can take control of your situation and begin the journey to recovery.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a taxi accident, reach out to a skilled taxi accident lawyer for legal assistance.

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What to Do After a Taxi Accident

If a taxi accident injures you, a lawyer can explain the steps you should take and how to navigate the complex process of seeking compensation for your injuries.

Seek Medical Attention

Your health and well-being should always be the top priority. If you’ve been injured in a taxi accident, seek medical attention immediately.

Even if your injuries seem minor, get a proper medical evaluation. Some injuries, such as whiplash or internal bleeding, may not appear right away. Promptly seeking medical care ensures your safety and creates a record of your injuries, which can be valuable evidence in a potential legal case.

Report the Accident

Report the AccidentAfter addressing your medical needs, report the accident to the proper authorities. Call 911 to notify the police and request an ambulance if needed. When the police arrive, provide them with a clear and honest account of what happened. Be sure to obtain a copy of the police report, which can document evidence in your case.

Gather Evidence

Collect as much evidence as possible at the accident scene as you can. Take photos of the damage to the taxi, any visible injuries you sustained, and the surrounding area. If there are any witnesses, ask for their contact information, as their testimony may be valuable in supporting your case. Keep all medical bills, receipts, and any other documents related to the accident and your injuries.

Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney

Navigating the legal complexities of a taxi accident case can overwhelm you, especially while dealing with injuries and medical treatment. Consulting an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights and options for seeking compensation.

An attorney can investigate the accident, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. They can also help you determine the best course of action, whether filing an insurance claim or pursuing a personal injury lawsuit.

Determine Liability

Determining liability in taxi accident cases requires an experienced lawyer. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you might hold several parties responsible. This is why it’s best to hire a car accident lawyer to handle your claim.

They will do the legwork to determine all liable parties, which may include:

  • The taxi driver: If the driver’s negligence or reckless behavior caused the accident, they may be liable for your injuries.
  • The taxi company: Taxi companies have a duty to ensure their vehicles are properly maintained and their drivers are qualified and trained. You can hold the company liable if it fails to meet these obligations.
  • Other drivers: If another vehicle was involved in the accident, the driver of that vehicle may be responsible for your injuries.
  • Government entities: In some cases, poorly maintained roads or malfunctioning traffic signals may contribute to an accident. In such instances, government entities responsible for maintaining these infrastructures may be held accountable.

Understanding Insurance Coverage

In New York State, taxi companies must carry substantial insurance coverage to protect passengers in the event of an accident.

The minimum Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage includes:

  • $100,000 per person for bodily injury
  • $300,000 per accident for bodily injury

PIP coverage is a no-fault insurance that covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs, regardless of who caused the accident. However, if your injuries are severe or your damages exceed the PIP coverage limit, you may need to pursue additional compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit, your attorney will help you navigate the legal process. They will file a complaint on your behalf, detailing the accident, your injuries, and the damages you seek. The defendant (the party or parties responsible for your injuries) can respond to the complaint.

The discovery phase follows, during which both sides exchange information and evidence related to the case. This may include depositions, where parties and witnesses provide sworn testimony, and the sharing of medical records and other relevant documents.

Many personal injury cases are settled out of court through negotiations between the involved parties. Your attorney will work to secure a fair settlement that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will determine the outcome.

Statute of Limitations

New York State gives you a limited timeframe to file a personal injury lawsuit. For most personal injury cases, including taxi accidents, the statute of limitations gives you three years from the accident date to file suit. If you fail to file your lawsuit within this timeframe, you may lose your right to seek compensation.

What to Do If an Uninsured Taxi Driver Injures You?

While New York State has strict regulations for taxi companies and drivers, unlicensed taxis still operate illegally in some areas. These unlicensed taxis pose significant risks to passengers, as they may not have proper insurance coverage or adhere to safety standards. If you are injured in an unlicensed or uninsured taxi accident, seeking compensation can be more complicated.

Risks of Unlicensed Taxis

Unlicensed taxis often lack the required insurance coverage, putting passengers at financial risk in the event of an accident. Additionally, these vehicles may not undergo regular safety inspections, and their drivers may not have proper training or background checks. Operating outside the law, unlicensed taxis create a hazardous environment for passengers and other road users.

Challenges in Seeking Compensation

If you are injured in an accident involving an unlicensed or uninsured taxi, you may face challenges in obtaining compensation for your injuries and damages. Without the required insurance coverage, the taxi driver or company may not have the financial means to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

In such cases, you may need to rely on your own insurance coverage, such as:

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): If you have PIP coverage under your own auto insurance policy, you may be able to use this coverage to pay for your medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage: If you have uninsured motorist coverage, this may compensate for your injuries and damages if the unlicensed taxi driver is at fault and does not have insurance.
  • Health Insurance: Your personal health insurance may cover your medical expenses related to the accident, although you may be responsible for copays and deductibles.

Pursuing Legal Action

If your damages exceed the coverage provided by your own insurance policies, you may need to pursue legal action against the unlicensed taxi driver or company. However, these entities may not have substantial assets, or you may have trouble locating them.

An experienced personal injury attorney can navigate this complex situation. They can investigate the accident, identify potential sources of compensation, and advise you on the best course of action. In some cases, your attorney may negotiate with your insurance company to secure a fair settlement or pursue legal action against the responsible parties.

Protecting Yourself

Always opt for licensed and reputable taxi companies to minimize the risk of being involved in an accident with an unlicensed or uninsured taxi.

Before entering a cab, check for proper identification, such as a taxi license and medallion number. If you suspect a cab is unlicensed, do not enter the vehicle and report it to the proper authorities.

If you are involved in an accident with an unlicensed or uninsured taxi, follow the same steps as you would in any other accident: seek medical attention, report the accident to the police, gather evidence, and consult a personal injury attorney.

Should I Accept the First Offer from the Insurance Company?

Initial Offer from the Insurance CompanyAfter a taxi accident, the taxi company’s insurance provider may contact you, offering compensation for your injuries and damages. While it may be tempting to accept this initial offer and move on, it’s crucial to exercise caution and consider the long-term implications of your decision.

Insurance companies are businesses whose primary goal is to minimize payouts and protect their bottom line. While the initial settlement offer may seem attractive, it’s often a lowball figure that does not fully account for the extent of your injuries, ongoing medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Before accepting any settlement offer, consult an experienced personal injury attorney. Your attorney can evaluate the offer, assess the full scope of your damages, and advise you on whether the proposed compensation is fair and adequate.

Accepting a settlement offer usually requires you to sign a release, waiving your right to pursue further legal action against the taxi company or driver. If you accept an offer without fully understanding the long-term costs of your injuries, you may find yourself unable to seek additional compensation if your condition worsens or if you require ongoing medical treatment.

Your personal injury attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, presenting evidence of your damages and fighting for a settlement that truly reflects your needs. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your attorney may advise you to file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue the compensation you deserve.

Remember, the decision to accept a settlement offer is yours alone. However, by consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, you can make an informed decision that protects your rights and ensures you receive the full compensation you need to move forward after a taxi accident.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer from William Mattar Law Offices Today

Being injured in a taxi accident can be a traumatic and life-altering experience. By understanding your rights and the steps you should take following an accident, you can protect yourself and increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.

Remember to prioritize your health, gather evidence, and consult an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you through the legal process and fight for your rights.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a taxi accident in New York State, contact William Mattar Law Offices today at (716) 444-4444 or through our online form.

Our dedicated team of car accident attorneys has the knowledge and experience to help you navigate this challenging time and secure the compensation you need to move forward with your life.

Don’t hesitate to reach out for a free consultation, and let us help you get back on the road to recovery.

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