For anyone who’s ever lived in New York City, life without yellow cabs seems impossible. Whether it’s deserved or not, NYC cabbies have a reputation for fast and oftentimes reckless driving. So, while you’re not about to stop taking cabs, you probably can’t shake the vague feeling that you may be risking your life by getting in one.
The good news is that studies show you’re statistically far less likely to be involved in a taxi accident than an accident involving a regular passenger vehicle. The bad news, though, is that if you do have the misfortune of being in a cab accident, you’re much more likely to suffer injuries. This is largely because passengers in taxis often fail to buckle up, and those plastic safety partitions that are designed to protect you can cause some serious head and face injuries in an accident.
Passengers aren’t the only people injured in taxi accidents. Pedestrians, bikers, and drivers of other vehicles are all potential victims of cab driver negligence. According to the city’s most recent statistics, there are over 13,000 licensed yellow cabs in New York City, as well as over 35,000 livery cabs, “gypsy” cabs, or black cars. With that many taxis on the road, the risk of taxi accidents is high.
Being involved in a taxi accident can be overwhelming. Whether you’re a pedestrian or biker hit by a cab, the driver or passenger of another vehicle, or a taxi passenger injured in a crash, understanding the insurance rules and collecting compensation for your injuries is a complicated process. The experienced taxi accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Justin D. Brandel are here to help.
The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) requires all yellow cabs and licensed car services to carry liability insurance. The minimum coverage required by the TLC (and what most cabs carry) is $100,000 per person or $300,000 per incident. This means that if you’re the only one injured, you are entitled to a maximum of $100,000 in liability coverage from your driver. If you are one of several injured passengers, or if the accident involves passengers in other vehicles, the $300,000 limit kicks in. It’s important to note, though, that the $300,000 must be shared by everyone who was injured.
Given the serious nature of the injuries that can result from a taxi crash, it’s easy to see that these amounts may not be enough to cover your damages. This is especially true for accidents involving unlicensed “gypsy” cabs, which are only required to carry coverage in the amount of $25,000 per individual and $50,000 per incident.
To make matters more complicated, New York’s “no-fault” insurance system covers only basic economic loss, such as medical bills and expenses, and there are caps on the amounts you can recover. The taxi’s no-fault insurance company will have their own doctors examine you, and their primary objective will be to minimize the amount of money the insurance company has to pay, not to treat your injuries.
If this all sounds confusing and unfair, you’re not alone. The good news is, you don’t have to go it alone.