Every day, residents in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex hail a taxi to get to work, go out with family and friends, or take care of their day-to-day business. In addition, many business and leisure travelers use taxis to get around North Central Texas, thus avoiding the stress of driving in a strange area. Cowboy Cab Company, Checker Cab Company, King Cab Company, and Yellow Cab are a few of the dozens of taxicab companies to choose from.
Taking a taxi to get where you need to go is very convenient, but it can turn into a nightmare if your taxi driver causes a wreck and you are seriously injured. This can be even more traumatic if you are here on a family vacation or all alone in a big city where you know no one. When you’re hurt and need help, the Hart Law Firm is here for you.
Common Causes of Taxi Collisions
A taxicab is a commercial vehicle for hire—the driver transports small groups of passengers from one place to another for a fee. Taxi drivers have an obligation to exercise the highest degree of care for their passengers and to get them safely to their destinations. When cab drivers do not take this duty seriously enough, innocent people can be critically injured. Common ways taxi drivers cause collisons include:
- Engaging in aggressive driving behaviors including tailgating or cutting other drivers off
- Violating traffic laws
- Texting or talking on a cellphone while driving
- Fiddling with the radio or other vehicle control equipment
- Driving when fatigued
- Driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs
In addition to driver negligence or carelessness, the taxi company could also contribute to a life-threatening taxi collisions by failing to:
- Properly train the driver
- Repair and maintain the taxi
- Perform required drug and alcohol testing on the driver
- Prohibit an unqualified driver from operating the taxi
Taxi Collision Cases Are Often More Complicated than Typical Car Crashes
Taxi collisions can be complex, involving other taxis, commercial trucks, or personal vehicles. Because of this complexity, multiple parties may be liable for your injuries. After a taxicab crash, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the following:
- The taxi driver
- The taxi company
- Other drivers in the crash, if they contributed to the wreck
- The manufacturer of the taxi, if a manufacturer’s defect contributed to or caused the crash
The specific details of your taxicab collision will determine who should be held responsible for your injuries. To determine liability in a complex case like this, your attorney may need to hire an collision reconstruction expert, inspect the taxi’s maintenance records, review driving records, and obtain other taxi company documents.
Compensation You Could Receive in a Taxi Collision Case
Taxi crashes can result in serious injuries including traumatic brain damage, spinal injuries, hip or pelvic fractures, internal organ damage—even death. Injuries can be even more severe if the taxi is not properly equipped with seatbelts or a taxicab occupant crashes into the hard plastic divider that separates the passengers from the taxi driver. After a serious wreck in a cab, you could be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and future earning (if the victim is unable to return to work)
- Funeral expenses if a family member died
- Property damages
- Pain and emotional suffering
- Other expenses associated with the collision
In Texas, taxi companies are required to carry much higher insurance coverage for their cabs than individual drivers carry for their personal automobiles. Still, the amount you could receive after a taxi collision will depend on many factors, including the severity of your injuries, how your injuries will affect your day-to-day life, whether a family member died, and the cause of the collision.
If you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision, you may be worried that it will prevent you from receiving any recovery. While the amount of compensation you are entitled to may be reduced because you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, you still could recover a substantial sum; don’t let that stop you from seeking the compensation you need and deserve.
What to Expect After a Taxi Crash
You may be surprised at how soon after your collision the taxi company’s insurance adjuster contacts you. This person may seem concerned about your health and may appear to have your best interests at heart. However, you must remember that an insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, so you should be very careful of what you say when talking to him.
The adjuster will most likely ask you to provide a recorded statement and to sign a blanket medical authorization. Do not agree to either of these as he could try to use this information to deny your claim or reduce the amount of your settlement. In fact, you should not give any statements, sign any authorizations, or agree to a settlement without first consulting with an experienced taxi collision attorney. Once you settle your case, you cannot later change your mind and try to recover more compensation.
Why You Need a Taxicab Collision Lawyer
If you were seriously hurt or a family member was killed in a taxi collision, you may find it difficult to think about taking legal action to obtain the recovery you could be entitled to. However, you should contact an experienced taxi collision attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will be able to:
- Investigate the cause of your taxicab collision case
- Gather important evidence, including taxi company documents, before it is destroyed
- Ensure that you meet important deadlines for filing your claim
- Obtain expert witnesses including collision reconstructionists, engineers, and doctors to help prove the cause of the collision and the extent of your injuries
- Counter arguments by taxi company and insurance company defense attorneys that you, at least in part, caused your own injuries
- Advocate for you and negotiate on your behalf
- Prove that the taxi driver and taxi company were negligent in causing the collision and that you suffered injuries as a result
Keep in mind that the taxi company and its insurance company will hire a team of defense attorneys to try to minimize the compensation they pay on your claim. Hiring a knowledgeable personal injury attorney with experience in taxi collision claims will level the playing field and help you obtain the best possible outcome for your claim.
We Protect the Rights of Taxi Collision Victims Throughout the Dalls Fort Worth Region
Have you been seriously hurt in an collision in a cab in Dallas, Fort Worth, or the surrounding areas? Many law firms avoid taxi collision cases because of the additional complexity and effort involved. However, David Hart, a State and Nationally Board Certified Attorney, has built his practice on helping clients in need. He is committed to getting taxi collision victims like you the compensation you deserve, and he is not afraid to take on cab companies and big insurance to do it. Contact our Colleyville office today at (817) 380-4888 for a free, no-obligation consultation.