WASHINGTON, DC TAXI ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
Despite the proliferation of Uber and Lyft and other rideshare platforms, taxis are still a viable option to get around town, all across Washington, DC and beyond. Additionally, there is a great deal of regulation and oversight in the taxi cab industry, which generally makes it a safe way to get where you're going.
Despite all this, car crashes still happen. Sometimes people who are passengers in taxis are injured when the taxi driver himself acts negligently. Other times, the passenger is hurt because some other driver failed to follow the rules of the road, and crashed into the cab. In any situation, it is important that you contact an experienced DC taxi cab accident lawyer who can help fight for the compensation that you deserve.
Taxi Cab Accidents in Washington DC
Taxi cabs in Washington DC are regulated by the DC For Hire Vehicle Department, or DFHV. The department has inspectors that are constantly out and about, through the city, performing inspections on taxi cabs, and the taxi drivers themselves. This randomized inspection is designed to make sure that the cabs that citizens are getting into are safe and fair for everyone.
Car accidents that happen involving taxis are usually divided into two types: those where the taxi driver is negligent, and those when some other driver is at-fault.
When the taxi driver is negligent:
While most taxi cab drivers are hard-working, dedicated individuals, some can still act negligently, carelessly and recklessly. When this happens, passengers can suffer, as can people in other vehicles. Negligence means a driver is failing to obey the rules of the road - put another way, the driver is failing to exercise due regard for the safety of his passenger(s), and other motorists.
Some of the most common causes of Taxi accidents in Washington, DC that result from taxi driver negligence involve:
Unrealistic dispatching/company requirements
Vehicle equipment failures
If the driver of a taxi cab has been negligent, and failed to follow the rules of the road, then your claim is against that taxi driver, and against the taxi cab company.
When another motorist is negligent:
Just because you are a passenger in a taxi cab, and the cab is involved in a motor vehicle crash, does not automatically mean that your claim is against the taxi cab company. Your claim is always against the person who's negligence caused the accident. Many times, this is the result of another driver's negligence, who crashes into your vehicle.
In this instance, your claim is against the motorist who caused the crash, or if that person is in the course of their employment, such as a delivery driver or bus driver, then your claim may also be against the company.
Your claim is only against the taxi driver and taxi cab company if there is a theory that their negligence contributed to the crash.
NOTE - it is possible to have a a claim against another motorist AND the taxi-cab company, if there was negligence on both sides. For example, if both the taxi and the other driver disregarded stop signs and collided.
Sources of Insurance Coverage For DC Taxi Cab Accidents
Taxi cab accidents are often extremely complicated, because of varying insurance coverage involved. Taxi cabs in Washington, DC, due to DC Law, only are required to have minimum vehicle liability insurance policies of $25,000 / $50,000. This means that the most a policy will pay is $25,000 to one person, and an aggregate of $50,000 to everyone involved, regardless of the number of claimants. This coverage is for circumstances when the cab is at fault.
However, if a person is a passenger in a taxi cab, and the crash is caused by someone else, the taxi cab insurance policy limits may be irrelevant. The available insurance coverage will come from that at-fault drivers applicable insurance policies.
Unfortunately, many drivers in Washington DC are still driving without the liability insurance coverage that is required under the law. This means that your injury case will be handled as an uninsured motorist claim, sometimes called a UM claim. Taxi cabs do carry uninsured motorist coverage, however it is also the minimum coverage required by law ($25,000/$50,000). So, if you are a taxi cab passenger, and hit by an uninsured motorist, the applicable insurance that one person can recover from is only $25,000.
There may be additional insurance policies however, that may apply. In certain circumstances, a passenger may be eligible for coverage under the insurance policies for other vehicles that they own, and even policies written to relatives with whom they live. This is known as "resident relative" coverage.
Exploring these sources of recovery do not make your loved ones insurance rates increase! It is important to explore this coverage right away - always talk to an attorney right away after a crash.
What You Can Claim After a DC Taxi Accident
If you have been hurt in an accident that was not your fault, then you have the ability to file a claim for your damages. Damages is a broad term used in the legal industry, and is designed to represent all of the ways that a crash has affected you. This includes the financial impact, emotional trauma, and general inconvenience caused by the collision.
Some of the most common elements of an injured-person's damages include:
Pain and suffering
Vehicle rental necessity
Diminished property value
Time lost from work
Future medical expenses
Future time lost from work
Loss of earning capacity
Get Help From a DC Taxi Cab Accident Lawyer Today!
Car crashes happen with incredible frequency throughout the District of Columbia. But you can get in any taxi cab, or any rideshare vehicle, and know that if a crash happens, you will be able to call an experienced attorney who can fight for you anywhere in the DMV. Our team of attorneys, paralegals and investigators is ready to help fight for you, against insurance companies are only interested in giving you as little money as possible!
Get Justice with Joe Blaszkow, and call us now for a free consultation - 703-879-5910. Practicing in Virginia, DC, and Maryland!
Have you been hurt in a Taxi Crash?
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