Taxis are an ideal mode of transportation for those who do not want to bother with the hassle and expense of owning a car, particularly in cities.
Taxis provide safe and reliable transportation whether to work, to the airport, or for a night out on the town.
Nevertheless, taxi cabs continue to get into their fair share of accidents. Taxi drivers can carelessly strike another vehicle, injuring other motorists as well as their own passengers.
If you have been injured in a taxi cab accident, you might be able to receive compensation for your injuries.
The exact process for protecting your right to compensation will depend on a variety of factors summarized below.
Who is Responsible for the Accident?
California is a “fault” state that operates under the tort system. In a no-fault state, it does not matter who is responsible for an accident; you make a claim with your own insurance company regardless of who caused the collision. In a fault state, by contrast, the person or entity responsible for the accident must pay compensation for the people injured in the collision.
After a crash, your first step is to identify who is to blame. If you were a passenger in a taxi cab, then any of the following could have caused the crash and your injuries:
- Your cab driver
- Another motorist on the road
- A pedestrian
Collect important information after a collision that will help establish fault, such as:
- Pictures of damage to the vehicles involved
- Eyewitness information, including their name and either phone number or email
- Your own memories about what happened
- Any statements made by any of the drivers involved
You should also make sure that a police officer comes out to the scene of the accident if no one has yet called for one. The police report is an excellent piece of evidence to have. Also, the officer can undertake the task of assigning liability, which frees you up to focus on treating your injuries.
Did Your Taxi Driver Exercise Sufficient Care?
All drivers owe other motorists a duty to operate their vehicles carefully so as not to cause accidents. When a driver uses insufficient care, they have been negligent and can be held responsible for any damage that they cause. There are many common examples of negligence, including:
- Distracted driving
- Texting or talking on a cell phone while driving
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driving while fatigued
- Illegal passing
Taxicab drivers also owe their passengers a heightened standard of care to their passengers. Under California law, taxi cabs qualify as common carriers because they transport people from one location to another. A taxi cab owes its passengers a duty to use the care of a “very cautious person.”
Although common carriers do not guarantee safety, they must exercise the utmost care and vigilance to protect their passengers. This means that taxi cab drivers can be responsible in situations where an ordinary driver would not.
Were You Injured in an Uber or Lyft?
Unlike taxicabs, rideshare companies are not common carriers, so they do not have a heightened duty of care to their passengers under California law. Nevertheless, Uber and Lyft drivers owe other motorists and their passengers a duty to operate their vehicle with ordinary care.
Furthermore, ridesharing drivers must carry insurance that covers them in the event of a crash. The amount of coverage available will depend on whether the driver was logged into their system when they struck you:
- If not logged in, then the driver’s ordinary insurance applies.
- If logged into the system but had not yet accepted a fare, then $50,000 in liability insurance per person is available, $100,000 per accident, along with $30,000 in property coverage. Another $200,000 in excess coverage is available.
- If en route after accepting a trip, then $1 million in liability coverage is available. Another $1 million in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is available.
- During the duration of the ride, then $1 million in liability coverage is available. Another $1 million in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is available.
Have You Suffered Injuries?
Car accidents can leave victims in considerable pain as they try to recover from serious physical injuries, such as:
- Deep cuts and lacerations
- Traumatic brain injuries, including concussion
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Head injuries
- Back injuries
- Sprains, strains, and bruises
After a crash, you might rack up thousands of dollars in medical bills and be unable to continue working as you recover. Even a relatively minor accident can end up costing you thousands of dollars in bills and lost wages—all through no fault of your own.
In particularly bad accidents, some motorists even die, leaving behind grieving family members who must try to put their lives back together.
Fortunately, injured victims can receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
How Much Time Do You Have?
California law gives victims a short window of time to file a lawsuit to demand compensation from the party at fault for their injuries. This window of time is called the “statute of limitations,” and if you miss the deadline, then a judge will toss your case out of court.
Generally, you have only 2 years from the date of your taxi accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver or taxi cab company. In a few situations, this deadline can be extended, such as when a child is injured or the victim is incapacitated. However, it is best not to delay talking to an attorney.
Reach out to an Experienced Taxi Accident Attorney Today
If you were injured in a crash involving a taxi cab, you need experienced legal representation immediately. There is very little time to waste as taxicab companies and their insurers will work around the clock to pin blame for the accident on someone else.
At GJEL, we know how to obtain compensation for clients injured in taxi cab collisions. Whether you were injured as a passenger in the cab or were another motorist struck by the taxi, we can help. Our Northern California taxi cab accident lawyers have gone up against some of the state’s largest companies and insurers, and we will aggressively fight for fair compensation for your injuries.
To schedule your free consultation please contact us today.