Accidents involving a taxi aren’t exactly uncommon in New York City. Taxi cabs comprise a large portion of the busy traffic in the city, providing service to the five boroughs. Some taxis are independently owned, while some drivers are employed by a taxi company. Thus, it can be difficult to know against which party to file a claim if injured in an accident.
Injured drivers should establish ownership of the cab and the driver’s employer. But first, it’s important to consider how no-fault insurance in the state of New York affects these cases.
Impact of No-Fault Insurance When Injured in an Accident with a Taxi
Because New York is a no-fault accident state, regardless of who was at fault for the collision, an injured person must file a claim with her own insurance company. Motorists in New York must carry a minimum of $50,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) per person.
PIP provides coverage of:
- medical and rehabilitation expenses;
- 80 percent of lost earnings; and
- coverage of other accident-related expenses of up to $25 per day.
If the injured person’s coverage is enough to pay for accident-related costs, it’s usually necessary to seek other options. But in some cases – especially in cases of serious accidents and severe injuries – PIP may not provide sufficient coverage.
But if damages exceed these amounts, or if the driver suffers serious injury and wishes to pursue pain and suffering damages, the victim may file a claim against the at-fault driver, e.g., the taxi driver or taxi company.
Figuring Out Liability for Injuries Sustained in an Accident with a Taxi Cab
Taxi cabs are required to carry $100,000 minimum liability insurance and not less than $300,000 maximum liability coverage for bodily injury or death. Victims of car accidents that involve taxi cabs may file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the liable party’s insurance coverage under the circumstances mentioned above.
If filing a claim, the first thing to determine is whether the taxi is privately owned or corporately owned. This will help determine against which party’s insurance company to file a claim.
Claims Filed against a Taxi Company vs. Against a Private Cab Driver
An employer may be liable for actions of its employees through vicarious liability. So even if an employer itself was not negligent, it may be legally liable for accidents that its employees cause.
When someone has been injured in a car accident with a cab that a taxi company owns, insurance information about the vehicle can be requested through the Taxi & Limousine Commission. The injured person will need the license plate number in order to obtain the name and other relevant information about the insurer.
If the accident involved a privately owned taxi, the victims may pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit against the taxi driver who owns the cab.
Consulting an Attorney after a Car Accident
In order to fully understand your rights if you’ve been in a taxi accident in NYC, it’s best to seek legal advice. Serious injuries can impact an individual financially, physically and emotionally. So it’s important to address all aspects of the car accident’s effects when seeking compensation.
An attorney can determine:
- address any complications that may arise; and
- explain the best course of action to take to recover fair damages.
Contact Gacovino, Lake & Associates if you’ve suffered serious injuries in a car accident with a taxi. Call us at 800-550-0000 or contact us via our online form to set up a consultation with a lawyer to discuss your case.