It is no secret that Americans, especially residents and visitors to large metropolitan areas, take advantage of taxi cabs as a convenient form of public transportation.
But with that high level of use comes a high rate of taxi accidents. And because passengers in taxi cabs are often more lax when it comes to wearing seat belts and using child car seats, there is a greater risk of personal injury in a taxi accident. Of course, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists are also at risk of an accident involving a taxi cab.
Injuries from taxi accidents can range from minor bumps and bruises to permanent, life-changing head and spinal injuries and even death.
Causes of Taxi Cab Accidents
Accidents involving taxi cabs can happen for the same reasons that typical passenger vehicle accidents occur. High speeds, reckless driving and failure to follow traffic rules are among the most common factors resulting in taxi accidents.
Additional factors that can result in a taxi accident include:
• Poor overall maintenance of the taxi cab. This could include bad brakes, worn tires, power steering fluid leaks, lack of engine coolant, and broken or missing seat belts, among other things.
• Failure to act on vehicle repair needs or recall notices
• Use of faulty parts in repair work
• Taxi driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs
• Poor hiring policies for taxi drivers at the parent company
All of the above factors are preventable. If they are present in a taxi accident that causes serious injury, there may be a case for a personal injury lawsuit against the driver, the parent taxi cab company and other parties at fault in the crash.
What to Do After a Taxi Accident
1. Document the cab driver’s name, cab registration number and the name, address and telephone number of the taxi cab company involved. (In fact, it is a good policy to write down this information any time you get into a taxi cab, just in case you are not able to after an accident occurs.)
2. Get the names and contact information of other drivers involved.
3. Seek medical attention right away.
4. If you are able, document the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
5. If possible, use your camera/cell phone to take pictures of the accident scene.
6. Note any relevant factors about the taxi cab, such as missing seat belts, a cracked windshield, etc., that might indicate the taxi did not meet reasonable standards of ongoing vehicle maintenance.
7. Talk with an experienced auto accident attorney who can advise you of your legal rights to potential compensation.