Even though taxicab operators drive for a living, they may be just as likely to get involved in an automobile accident. This can result in injuries to their passengers as well as other drivers. Unfortunately, taxi cab companies can be notoriously difficult to deal with after an accident. Drivers may change their story, and the taxi company will likely blame the other driver for the accident. You may have to turn to an attorney to deal with the cab company so that they will take your claim seriously.
Taxi Injuries as a Passenger
There are over 6,000 taxi cabs that serve the Washington D.C. area. Every day cabs drive tens of thousands of residents, visitors, and tourists around the city, covering millions of miles every year. Inevitably, with so many miles driven, these cabs are likely to get involved in accidents. These accidents can involve a minor fender bender resulting in no injuries. Accidents can also be serious or even fatal. When a passenger is injured in an accident, they may find themselves facing an uphill battle to get compensation for their injuries.
Taxis, limousines, and cabs are generally treated as common carriers. Common carriers are in the business of transporting persons for hire, similar to buses, trains, and even airlines. Common carriers owe passengers a duty of care that goes beyond that of a regular driver. Common carriers, including taxicab drivers, owe their passengers a high duty of care and may be responsible for the passenger's injuries. However, when it comes to paying out injury claims, the taxi company or their insurer may claim they are not responsible.
Passengers in a taxi often do not wear a seatbelt. Taxis are one of the few places where people who would otherwise use a seatbelt simply do not think of using one. Without rear airbags, the seat belt may be the only safety feature available to taxi passengers. Failure to wear a seat restraint makes passengers much more likely to be injured in a car accident while riding in a taxi. Even a minor accident could lead to serious injuries as a passenger is thrown about inside the cab. When seeking compensation, the taxi cab may deny a passenger's injury claim because they say the passenger was responsible for their injuries because they were not wearing a seat belt.
Hit by a Taxi Driver
Taxis do not always appear to operate by the same traffic rules that the rest of us do. They may speed through residential neighborhoods, swerve in and out of traffic without signaling, cut off other drivers, and even roll through stop signs. When you are a passenger, you may appreciate the driver's emphasis on speed. However, as a passenger, their dangerous driving may result in a serious accident.
If you are hit by a taxi driver, make sure you get their plate number and any other identifying information from the vehicle. A taxi driver may try and claim the damage is not that serious or just tell you to call their taxi number later because they are in a hurry. Do not let a taxi driver leave the scene of an accident without getting all of their information, including their name, license number, and insurance policy. If a taxi driver, or any driver tries to leave the scene of an accident you should contact the police.
Cars involved in an accident with a taxi may meet increased resistance when filing an insurance claim. Taxi companies are a business, and it is generally in their best interest not to pay out money they do not have to. Phone calls to the cab company may have the taxi company yelling at the injured driver trying to blame them for the accident. Messages may go unanswered, and claims filed with their insurance company may be denied without any explanation.
Rather than fighting with the cab company or their insurance company, your attorney will deal with the insurance company. Your attorney will make sure your claim is taken seriously, seeking compensation for your property damage, lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
Taxi Cab Accident Injury Attorneys in D.C.
If you were involved in an accident with a taxi, you may not know where to go for help. It may be overwhelming to deal with your injuries and vehicle damage while fighting with the taxi company that refuses to take responsibility. The taxi company may ignore your calls and refuse to pay for your damage. Their insurance company may be just as unresponsive. With an attorney on your side, you will have an advocate to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. If you or someone you love has been injured in a taxi accident in DC, please contact the team at Gilman & Bedigian. We offer a free consultation and will fight for you to get compensation for your injuries.