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The Law Office of Reuven Epstein

Taxicab Accidents in the Bronx, NY

  • Published: October 9, 2019

Taxicab Accidents in the Bronx, NYThe taxi has become the iconic method of transportation for New York, so much so that an aerial view of New York appears to be a sea of yellow due to the thousands of taxis on the streets. With so many taxis, accidents are not an uncommon occurrence. Most accidents are minor, but some result in serious injuries and fatalities.

The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) keeps track of crashes involving their licensed drivers that result in critical and fatal injuries each year. According to data from the TLC and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were about 30 critical or fatal injury crashes per 100,000 TLC-licensed cabs, compared to just 10 crashes per 100,000 registered passenger cars across the country. This means that you are statistically more likely to be in a serious wreck when you step into the back of a cab than a non-commercial vehicle.

If you have been involved in an accident with a taxi in the Bronx, you should be aware of your rights and legal protections. Talk with an experience taxi cab accident attorney to evaluate your case as soon as possible.

Taxi Cab Regulations

The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission regulates the operation of taxis. They require that drivers are trained to drive safely and be courteous at all times. They also provide safety measures for riders, including seat belts for all occupants, and ban driver cellphone use while driving unless a hands-free system is being used.

Unfortunately, the TLC does not revoke taxi licenses for drivers who have caused fatal accidents, in spite of all their regulations to keep New Yorkers and tourists alike safe while hiring a ride. As long as drivers have not been charged with a crime related to the accident, they can return to driving other passengers immediately.

Causes of Taxi Accidents/Injuries

Some of the most common reasons for taxi accidents are:

  • Fatigue: Taxi drivers work very long hours. Consequently, their judgment may be impaired, and their reflexes may be slower when responding to sudden events. Numerous studies have found that spending eight or more hours on the road (what might be considered a typical work day) leads to slower response times.
  • Violating traffic laws: Taxi drivers who are in a rush and feeling stressed may make aggressive lane changes, tailgate, or speed to transport passengers to their destination.
  • Distracted driving: Any activity that takes the driver’s attention away from the safe operation of the taxi is potentially dangerous.
  • Weather conditions: Inclement weather creates hazardous conditions for drivers to navigate. Snow, ice, freezing rain, etc., combined with heavy traffic, can be deadly.
  • Visibility: Studies have shown that due to its bright color, yellow taxis have less accidents than taxis painted duller colors.
  • Driving under the influence: If you are driving with anyone who appears intoxicated, the safest course of action is to find another taxi.
  • Equipment malfunctions: Although the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission is responsible for inspecting, repairing, and maintaining all taxis, vehicle malfunctions such as tire blow-outs, broken seat belts, and brakes that suddenly fail may occur.
  • Potholes: New York streets are infamous for their potholes. Driving carelessly over a pothole can cause passengers to become injured.
  • Construction: Construction zones are very common and if they are not appropriately marked or contained, taxi drivers may have a difficult time navigating their vehicle safely in those areas.
  • Partitions: Some researchers speculate that the presence of partitions between the front and back seat might lead to more injuries, especially when passengers are not wearing their seat belts.
  • Driver inexperience: New or part-time cab drivers were over five times more likely to commit traffic violations than experienced, full-time drivers, according to the TLC.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious taxi cab accident, speaking with a knowledgeable auto accidents attorney who is familiar with personal injury cases and NY laws can help you determine whether you should pursue damages to cover your medical expenses and any wages you lost if you had to miss work because of your injuries.

The Law Office of Reuven Epstein – Here to protect and promote the rights of those injured in taxi cab accidents

If you have been injured in a taxi accident, you need the help of a knowledgeable and experienced taxi accident attorneys in the Bronx, NY, who will determine the responsible party and help you get the full compensation you deserve. Attorney Reuven Epstein has been handling taxi cab and other auto accidents claims in the Bronx and the greater NYC area for over 36 years; he works tirelessly to secure his clients the resources they need to recover from the physical, financial, and mental burden they’ve suffered.

At the Law Office of Reuven Epstein, we handle each and every case with compassion and understanding for what victims of taxi cab accidents have gone through due to their driver’s negligence. We feel strongly about advocating for the rights of injured people and have built a reputation for mounting unyielding opposition to the taxi cab driver and their company that wronged them.

Call (845) 208-2444 for a free consultation with the Law Office of Reuven Epstein.

Can you Collect Damages in a Rideshare Accident in New York?

Ridesharing apps like Lyft, Uber, and Via are impossible to miss in NYC. Within the last five years, they have become an integral part of everyday life in the city. Taking an Uber, Lyft, or Via wherever you have to go, whenever you have to go there has become as much a part of NYC as riding the subway or paying too much money for rent.

However, like all other drivers, rideshare drivers are not immune from accidents. Inevitably, some of these accidents will happen while there are passengers in the car.

What happens if I’m a passenger in a rideshare car that gets in an accident, and I am injured?

The answer depends on a few factors. Except for very few cases where a passenger contributes to the accident (like when a passenger is distracting or physically impeding the driver from being able to drive), the passenger in these situations is always innocent of fault in the accident. New York legal framework has something called “comparative negligence” when it comes to accidents. What this means for a passenger in a rideshare accident is that you can potentially recover damages or compensation from anyone and everyone who contributed to your accident/injury.

Under these comparative negligence laws, a passenger may be able to recover damages from one or multiple parties, if you can prove that they had a hand in causing the accident or your injury. These include, but are not limited to:

  • The driver of your rideshare car
  • The driver of another involved vehicle, including a car, cab, rideshare, or motorcycle
  • A bicyclist/pedestrian (if they were involved and found partially negligent in the accident)
  • A bus driver, and potentially the city (if a city bus or other official city vehicle was involved)
  • A transit company (if one of their vehicles was involved in the accident)
  • A company that manufactured or sold a defective part of the car you were in, such as a seatbelt that did not do its job (if this was a contributing factor to the accident or injuries you incurred)

Can I seek damages from individual rideshare drivers?

Seeking damages from individual rideshare drivers can be potentially complicated. In New York, these drivers are classified as independent contractors. This means that the rideshare company cannot be held personally responsible for accidents their drivers were involved in. Rideshare drivers, like all New York drivers, are required to have at least some insurance coverage of their own, and you may be able to pursue damages that way. However, if the driver is under-insured (as is statistically likely), you aren’t going to be able to collect very much in damages from them at all.

However, most rideshare companies do have insurance policies that protect their drivers and some injured passengers, in limited circumstances. If you were injured in a rideshare accident, you may pursue damages under the terms of those policies.

What do rideshare insurance policies cover?

Different rideshare companies have different insurance policies, but let’s take Lyft as an example here. Whether or not you can seek damages under Lyft’s insurance policies depends on two factors: the extent of your injuries, and how the Lyft driver was using the app at the time of the accident.

Lyft’s policies are as follows:

  • If the driver was logged out of the app (or “off duty”) at the time of the accident, Lyft does not offer coverage.
  • If the driver was logged into their app and waiting for a ride request, they will cover up to $50,000 for bodily injury or death, per person, with a $100,000 max cap per accident, and up to $25,000 in property damage per accident.
  • If the driver was logged into the app and accepted a ride request, they and any passengers they pick up are covered by a $1 million policy. This coverage extends from the moment the driver accepts the ride in the app through to pickup of the passenger, driving them to their location, and dropping them off. Coverage ends as soon as the ride ends in the app.

Lyft’s insurance is also still considered “secondary coverage”, meaning you are also required to look into the driver and their insurance provider before filing a claim with Lyft.

If you were injured in a Lyft or any other rideshare, your injuries are just as debilitating as they would have been in any other type of car crash. Your medical bills are just as high, your pain and suffering are just as extensive, and your loss of wages is just as severe as if you were injured by no fault of your own in any other sort of car accident. As such, you should be entitled to the same sorts of damages that any other car crash survivor would be entitled to.

At the Law Office of Reuven Epstein, we can help you claim your rightful damages. Attorney Epstein is a dedicated, knowledgeable, and experienced advocate for crash survivors seeking damages they are rightfully entitled to. He will fight on your behalf with tenacity and skill to get you’re the best results possible. Are you in Nanuet, New York? Are you ready to claim your damages and start moving on with your life? Reuven Epstein is ready to help. Call (845) 208-2444 for a free initial consultation today.

Reuven Epstein, Esq.

Mr. Epstein’s motto is “compassion and knowledge”. He will
listen to you carefully and thoughtfully, and advise you
accordingly in the most compassionate way possible.

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