Taxi cabs are deeply ingrained into New York City culture and a convenient way to get around without having to deal with traffic and parking. However, taxis are certainly not immune to roadway accidents, which often catch both passengers and pedestrians off-guard.
Here is some information about taxi accidents in New York City and what you should do after you’ve been involved in a taxi accident, either as a pedestrian or a passenger.
When and Where Are Taxi Accidents Most Common?
Due to the high number of cabs in the city, it has been estimated that about one in every five automobile accidents in NYC involves a taxi. On average, taxis are involved in between 8,000 and 10,000 accidents per year in New York City, and many of them result in devastating injuries or even deaths.
New York City taxi accidents most commonly occur at night, when visibility is lower, and pedestrians are less able to be seen by drivers. According to the New York State Department of Health statistics, the highest number of people injured in car accidents comes from Queens; however, Brooklyn takes the top spot for the highest number of accident-related deaths.
Deaths and Serious Injuries Due to Traffic Accidents
At the start of 2019, the New York Times reported that overall traffic deaths dropped to a record low of 200 last year down from 222 in 2017 and 299 in 2013. But the news wasn’t entirely positive. While overall deaths have declined, an increasing number of pedestrians are being killed due to traffic. The number of pedestrian deaths from traffic in NYC went up from 107 in 2017 to 114 in 2018.
An earlier report from the New York City Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene, Parks and Recreation, and the New York City Police Department pointed out the risks for bicyclists as well after finding that smaller vehicle, including taxis, are involved in about 68 percent of fatal bicycle crashes and that 93 percent of serious cyclist injuries are from crashes with taxis, cars, and SUVs.
Passengers in Taxi Accidents
No passenger expects to get into an accident while riding in a cab, but these incidents happen more often than you may think. It’s a smart idea to jot down the driver’s cab number and name each time you get into a cab just in case something unexpected happens.
After an accident, request that your driver stops at the scene of the accident if he or she hasn’t already. Then call 911 to have a police report filed and to summon medical professionals to tend to injuries. Document what you can about the accident scene, check on other potentially injured parties and cooperate with responding police officers. Then make sure to go to the hospital to care for your injuries and call a local personal injury lawyer to pursue the compensation you deserve for this unfortunate circumstance.
Pedestrians in Taxi Accidents
If you’ve been hit by a taxi as a pedestrian, try your best to stay calm and move out of harm’s way onto a sidewalk. Even if you feel fine initially, ask the taxi driver to stay on the scene until the police arrive. Oftentimes, seemingly minor injuries turn out to be much worse once the initial shock wears off.
While waiting for the police to arrive, get the taxi driver’s information and take photos of the scene. Make sure to see a doctor right away to assess your injuries and consult an experienced auto accident attorney to discuss the next steps. Your attorney will advise you how to correspond with the relevant insurance company and how to describe the situation in detail and ask for damages. Insurance companies respond differently to lawyers than they do to victims, and this is a situation when you want only the best legal representation on your side.
Who Is Commonly Found Liable for Taxi Accidents?
Taxis are more commonly involved in traffic accidents than regular passenger vehicles, perhaps due to drivers and passengers not wearing their seatbelts, erratic driving practices, or pressure to drive very quickly. Remember that registered NYC cabs are required to carry liability auto insurance that you can pursue damages.
Passengers injured in a cab and pedestrians often don’t have a difficult time proving liability because one of the two or more drivers involved will usually be found negligent. Victims can file third-party car insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits against the cab driver, other driver involved, or both. However, the amount of insurance coverage may not be enough to cover all the injuries caused by these types of accidents, and there may be a dispute over which involved driver was truly responsible for the accident. Taxi accident liability may fall on the taxi driver, the cab company, another driver, or an auto manufacturer.
Get Help with your Taxi Accident Case
If you have been involved in a taxi accident as either a passenger or a pedestrian, call the Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum today at 718-237-5586. New York imposes a deadline on the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, so don’t wait another day to get the justice you deserve.