In some parts of the country, auto accidents, especially from negligence, are at almost epidemic levels. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are approximately 33,000 motor vehicle deaths a year from car wrecks. But what many people don’t think about are auto accidents involving taxi cabs. If you use this form of transportation, you are ultimately putting your life in the hands of the cab driver. So whether you are hit by a cab or injured while riding in one, it is important to know how to handle yourself in such a situation and what your rights are if you are involved in a cab accident.
Types of Accidents Involving Taxi Cabs
If you are part of an accident involving a taxi cab, then chances are your situation falls into one of two categories. First, you are a passenger in the cab that is involved in an accident. Second, you are driving your own car or are a passenger in a car that is hit by a cab. The first type of case is usually easier to win; as a passenger, you have no real control over the situation and cannot yourself be held liable for the accident. If you are hit by a cab, however, it is possible that the accident is at least partially your fault. If this is the situation, then you must prove that you are not liable yourself.
What You Should Do
Immediately following a car accident, you are liable to be disoriented and a little shaken up. However, this is the opportunity to gather evidence that may be of great value in the event you have to go to court. The following is a list of what you should do if you are involved in a wreck.
- Call the police and an ambulance—The police will be required to fill out an accident report and to help determine who is at fault in the accident. Call them immediately. If you or someone else in the accident is injured, call for an ambulance as well. Now is not the time to try to be brave and shake off an injury. You need to be treated for your injuries, but you also need to begin a medical paper trail to show the extent of your injuries. This will be used as evidence in your case should it go to trial.
- Get information—You also need to get all of the pertinent information from the other person involved in the accident. Make sure you get the full name and address of the other driver as well as insurance information. If you are hit by a taxi driver, you should also get all of the contact information for the cab company as well as the cabbie’s license information. You should also talk to witnesses of the wreck and get their contact information as well. Don’t leave this to the police to do. Many officers are not going to put in much time interviewing witnesses for a simple car accident. You may have to do your own footwork here.
- Document the scene—Take pictures of the road (especially if there are tire tracks or marks) as well as the location of the cars in relation to each other and the extent of damage done to both vehicles. This can also be used as evidence should your case go to trial
- Call an attorney—As soon as you can, contact an attorney. You want an experienced firm that is able to apprise you of your rights in such a case who can begin the legal paperwork for your case.
Taxi Cab Insurance
As a form of transportation, the taxi industry is regulated by government agencies. As such, the cab agencies are required to carry insurance on their drivers. The level of insurance varies depending on the company as well as the location, but generally this coverage is between $250,000 and $500,000. In the event of an accident involving multiple cars, the insurance companies may dispute who has to pay according to who was at fault and if there is shared responsibility for the accident. However, if there is straight proof that the cab driver was at fault and his or her negligence led to your injury, there is a high probability that the insurance company may settle the claim rather than risk going before a jury at trial.
If you are injured by a cab driver’s negligence, it is imperative that you retain an experienced law firm that can help inform you of your rights and what you need to do to win your case. The attorneys at Wolf & Pravato are experienced in such negligence and personal injury cases and can offer you a free consultation to help evaluate your particular case.