Taxi accidents can be devastating and leave victims with serious injuries. Especially if you were hit by a taxi while walking or riding a bike, you could be left with substantial injuries that require expensive medical treatment. Getting your damages covered might mean filing a lawsuit in some cases.
Lawsuits are not allowed in every taxi accident case because of New York’s no-fault laws. However, any time that “serious” injuries are present, you should be entitled to sue the at-fault driver. Keep in mind that in some cases, the at-fault driver might not be the taxi driver – but their insurance might still cover the accident anyway.
For help getting compensation after a taxi accident in New York, call The Martello Law Firm’s Westchester car accident attorneys today at (914) 685-6950.
Can You Sue a Taxi for a Car Accident in New York?
New York uses a no-fault insurance system, which generally limits victims so they can only file lawsuits for “serious” injuries. These rules are sometimes confusing, but they are intended to help people get damages for injuries faster and more efficiently. Our New York taxi accident lawyers explain these limitations and exceptions.
Each driver in New York – including any taxi driver – is required to carry auto insurance in New York that will cover them, their passengers, and pedestrians in the event of a crash. This no-fault coverage does not take fault into account and uses money from the policy’s “personal injury protection” (PIP) coverage to pay for the victims’ injuries and the at-fault driver’s injuries. PIP also pays for lost wages and other economic damages related to the injuries.
If you are hurt in an accident, you are entitled to this PIP insurance coverage without the need to prove fault. However, if you only receive this compensation, you might face limitations. For instance, PIP coverage does not pay for non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
If your injuries qualify as “severe” under I.S.C. § 5102(d), then you are allowed to reach past the PIP coverage and sue the at-fault driver for your injuries. This can help you get damages paid by their liability insurance or out of pocket. This will let you claim compensation for pain and suffering and other damages that PIP might not normally cover.
To reach this “serious injury” threshold, you usually have to have injuries that are considered “permanent” or some kind of “significant disfigurement.” Usually, loss of a body part or loss of function will qualify, as will broken bones or any injury severe enough to impair you for at least 90 of the next 180 days. Talk to our New Rochelle car accident lawyers about whether your injuries qualify for a lawsuit.
Can Pedestrians Sue Taxi Drivers for Injuries in New York?
Taxi drivers could be liable for accidents they cause with other cars on the road, but they can also be held responsible for hitting pedestrians or bikers. Generally, these victims have the same rules and restrictions on their right to sue as anyone else: lawsuits are only allowed for “serious injuries.”
I.S.C. § 5014 blocks lawsuits for non-economic damages for any “covered person.” That includes pedestrians since they are paid through PIP in the event of a crash just like any passengers or drivers would be. This might seem unfair because, even if you don’t have insurance and just walk or take public transit everywhere, you are still held back by New York’s auto insurance laws. However, this does not block you from compensation.
PIP coverage will still be available to you if you are hit by a taxi while on foot or riding a bike. Additionally, taxi drivers are required to have higher PIP insurance than other everyday drivers. Most drivers are required to carry only $50,000 of PIP coverage, but medallion-owning taxi drivers must carry at least $200,000. Ultimately, many taxi drivers carry even higher coverage to prevent lawsuits from being necessary for anyone injured because of their activities.
Additionally, keep in mind that lawsuits can always be filed for severe injuries. As discussed above, a lawsuit can be filed for any permanent injury, long-term injury, serious scarring injury, or broken bone injury to pedestrians.
Filing an Insurance Claim Against a Taxi in New York
As mentioned, taxis often have strong auto insurance. Other drivers are often required to carry only $50,000 of PIP, but taxis carry higher insurance in most cases, with a state minimum requirement of $200,000 for PIP. Additionally, when serious injuries are involved, you can file a claim against their liability insurance, which covers an additional $100,000 per person.
Many taxi companies will have higher coverage than this. This allows them to continue to operate when their drivers cause crashes by quickly paying the claims through insurance rather than tying themselves up with lawsuits. Ultimately, most taxi accident cases settle rather than going to trial, but always have a White Plains car accident lawyer review your claim before accepting any settlement money to make sure that all damages are accounted for.
Do You Sue the Taxi Company or the Driver for an Accident in New York?
Often, companies can be sued for their workers’ on-the-job negligence. In the case of a taxi accident, this typically means that you can sue the taxi company if their driver caused a crash while on duty and working as an employee of the taxi company. This rule typically does not apply to Uber and Lyft accident cases since their drivers are not technically classified as “employees.”
If you were riding in a taxi when you were hit by another driver, the taxi driver and the taxi company might not be at fault at all, and you would sue the other driver for the accident. Talk to our Yonkers car accident attorneys for more info about your specific case.
For a Free Case Review, Call Our NY Taxi Accident Lawyers Today
For a free case evaluation, call the Westchester personal injury attorneys at The Martello Law Firm. Our number is (914) 685-6950.