There are plenty of advantages to living in a place that has a plethora of public transportation options such as cabs. For one, you can typically get any place you need to go without owning a car, which can save you some major money not only on a car itself but on insurance, gas, maintenance, and more. Unfortunately, just because you aren’t behind the wheel doesn’t mean you can write off the possibility of a car accident. So, what happens if you’re riding along in a cab and suddenly find yourself in a car accident?
If you find yourself in a cab car accident, regardless of who is at fault, there is some good news for you (the passenger). According to David Goguen, a legal editor at Nolo, “In general, a passenger who gets hurt in a car accident usually has an easier case than a driver because the passenger does not have to worry about proving liability. One of the drivers is almost always going to be liable,” (n.d.). This means that yourmedical and other accident related expenses should be taken care of by either the taxi driver or the other driver(s) involved depending on who is at fault. In this case, as the passenger, you’re the “innocent bystander”.
However, it is worth noting that since a cab driver is dependent upon his or her ability to drive in order to earn living he or she may fight liability more intensely than another driver would (Goguen, n.d.). This doesn’t
mean that your claim won’t be handled appropriately. It just means that you may have a longer wait, have to get a lawyer involved, or will need to settle out of court.
If you are a passenger in a cab that has a car accident, you will want to do many of the things you would do in a “normal” car accident. These tasks include:
- Getting contact information for all of the drivers involved.
- Getting contact information for any witnesses.
- Getting statements from witnesses while their memory of the accident isstill fresh.
- Taking pictures of the damage.
- Getting the police involved so that you have an official report of the incident – this is especially important if you are injured.
After an accident, if you have injuries or other expenses, you will want to file a claim with an insurance company as soon as possible. As the passenger in the cab, you will file claims with the insurance companies for all of the drivers involved unless one driver is clearly the one at fault (Goguen, n.d.). Filing (and settling) your claim will be much easier if you completed the tasks listed above.
Unfortunately, there are two common problems that arise in taxi car accident claims. One, as mentioned above, the driver may fiercely dispute liability, which can cause long delays. This will be worse if the accident is the
fault of both drivers. Two, multiple passenger injury claims may be filed which exhaust the insurance funds available (Goguen, n.d.). When either of these situations arises, the passenger (you) may be faced with having
to take less money than the claim is worth. In this case, it is important to consult with an attorney to find out what your options might be.