Despite the emergence of Uber and Lyft on the ride-share scene, taxis are still a popular method of transportation. There is nothing new about taxi cab accidents because they have been around for years and the claims process and law is well established. But, because taxis aren’t used as frequently anymore, the volume of accidents involving taxis has decreased.
At St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas, we specialize in auto accidents involving taxis. We have handled countless taxi accident claims over the years and are aware of the complexities involved, especially with the different layers of insurance coverage. If you have been in an accident with a taxi or were a passenger in a taxi and injured, this article has been written to provide clarity to your situation. Should you have any questions or wish to speak to us, please contact us immediately for a free consultation.
What Happens When a Taxi Hits You?
If a taxi hits a vehicle that you are either a driver of or a passenger in, you will have two ways to recover money. Your primary claim is against the driver of the taxi and the taxi company. This is a claim through the Bodily Injury (BI) policy. Taxis are required by Florida law to carry a minimum of 125/250k BI coverage. That means there is a maximum of 250k per person or a total of 500k per accident if there are multiple claimants.
The second avenue of recovery is to make a claim against your own insurance policy Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage. This obviously would only kick in if the taxi driver/company did not have enough insurance to cover your losses.
What Happens When You Are Hit While a Passenger in a Taxi?
If you are a passenger in a taxi and are injured by the fault of another vehicle, then your claim for damages is first against the at-fault driver. This is a claim against that driver’s Bodily Injury (BI) policy. If the at-fault driver did not carry BI or did not carry enough BI to compensate you for your losses, then you will look for Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. Unfortunately, taxis are not required to carry UM coverage and most companies do not have it. Therefore, you will need to look to your own UM coverage for relief.
What to Do After a Taxi Cab Accident?
There are several steps that you should take every every accident with a taxi.
Step One – Contact the police
Do not let the taxi driver try and take control of the situation because many of them try. Do not be intimidated. Simply contact the police to investigate the accident. When the police arrive, make sure that you assert yourself.
Step Two – Take pictures
While you are still at the accident scene, take pictures of the damage to the vehicles. I also recommend trying to take pictures of the drivers and witnesses.
Step Three – Gather contact information
It may be part of the police officer’s job to collect the contact information for everyone, do not rely on them. Get the names and numbers of all of the witnesses to the accident whether you think the officer has already obtained it or not. The rationale behind this is because officer’s notoriously lose the contact information or write it down wrong. If that happens, it could be lost forever.
Step Four – Seek Medical Treatment
One of the most important parts of any injury claim is the history of treatment. If you wait to be seen by a doctor or have gaps in your medical treatment, it will greatly reduce the value of your claim. After every accident you should get checked out immediately and then follow-up with a doctor who specializes in auto accident injuries.
Step Five – Set up the claim with the insurance company
You are required to notify your own insurance company within a reasonable time after the accident. There is no harm in calling to set up that claim with your company and the company for the at-fault vehicle. But, if the insurance company for the at-fault vehicle, whether it is the taxi or not, wants to take a statement, seek legal advice. While there is often no problem with providing this statement, you should ask your lawyer for permission to do so first.
Who Pays for My Medical Bills After a Taxi Accident?
If you were in another vehicle and struck by a taxi, your own no fault or PIP coverage will kick in to pay for the first $10,000 of your medical bills. This coverage applies regardless of who was at fault for causing the crash. If you were a passenger in a taxi at the time of the crash, you will not be able to get those PIP benefits through the taxi. Taxis do not carry PIP in Florida. Therefore, in order to qualify for PIP, you would have to look for coverage through your own vehicle insurance or through the insurance for a relative that you live with.
Contact a Local Taxi Accident Attorney
At St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas, we recommend that you consult with a taxi accident attorney immediately after an accident. Taxi claims can be difficult because of the multiple insurance companies involved. Many people struggle simply to get the insurance company to return calls or answer questions. Insurance companies will take advantage of you if you give them the chance.
Once we are retained to handle an injury claim, we direct all communication to take place through our office. We determine which insurance policies are available and set up the claims. Perhaps most importantly, we assist you with arranging appropriate medical treatment for your injuries. Helping you get better and then recovering maximum compensation are our goals in every case. We hope that you are not involved in a taxi accident, but if you or a loved one has questions, we encourage you to contact us.