Why Taxi Accidents Happen
For taxi drivers, their workplace is their vehicle. As in any profession, some workers are proficient at their job while others are negligent. The type of driver you get will significantly impact how safe your ride is.
Consider these human factors that could contribute to preventable accidents.
Fatigue is a massive problem for cab drivers. Many factors inherent in their job make fatigue an ever-present risk, for example:
- Extended hours: In 2016, the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) voted to limit drivers to no more than 12 hours of driving per day, maxing out at 72 hours per week. Though it seems difficult to believe, some drivers would work longer shifts without these restrictions. More recently, TLC reduced the limit to 10 hours per day. Yet, most would agree that getting tired with such a schedule would be easy. According to the TLC, “driving while fatigued can be as dangerous as driving after heavy drinking.” And the longer one drives, the more likely he or she will get in an accident.
- Late night and early morning hours: Many accidents occur between midnight and early morning. According to the Sleep Foundation, your energy naturally dips during these hours due to an internal timekeeping system called circadian rhythm. Even if a driver does not fall asleep, just “nodding off” for a few moments allows time for a crash.
- Shift work: Shift workers perform work in rotations, usually to accommodate jobs that operate 24 hours a day. For instance, one group of workers might perform tasks during the day while a second group does the same work at night. After a certain period of time, the groups might exchange schedules, so the night workers become day laborers and vice versa. Studies reveal that working at least 50 percent of one’s schedule in shift work harms workers’ physical and mental health. In particular, shift work has a “significant effect on…fatigue.”
Fatigued driving endangers drivers and anyone who crosses their path. Lack of sleep for one day or over a longer period of time increases the likelihood of car-accident injuries and fatalities either way. A tired cabbie is an unsafe cabbie.
Distracted driving occurs when drivers engage in secondary tasks or take their eyes away from the road. Though cell phone use is a common distraction, anything that causes driver inattention can lead to a crash.
New York traffic statistics are sobering:
- A 2-second glance from the roadway doubles the risk of a crash or near-crash
- Actions like the following can double or triple the chance of an accident: Talking, listening to or manipulating handheld devices, reading, grooming, eating, or using audio equipment or accessories
Our lawyers can determine whether distracted driving played a role in your accident. Request your free accident review by clicking the chat bubble at the bottom of your screen.
Drugs and alcohol can negatively impact driving abilities. Even small amounts of alcohol can dull senses, decrease reaction time, and reduce decision-making abilities, vision, and alertness. Drugs can cause drowsiness, impulsiveness, or other undesirable side effects.
In New York and New Jersey, a person with a blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of 0.08 percent is legally intoxicated. However, in New York, any driver with a BAC between 0.05 and 0.07 percent is legally impaired and can face punishments, including license suspension and jail time.
Law enforcement authorities might administer chemical or field sobriety tests to determine whether someone is intoxicated. Yet, even without these, the testimony of passengers, onlookers, and others can prove a taxi driver was drunk or impaired by drugs.
Why not contact Judd Shaw Injury Law today to share what you observed? In your message, you can describe your cab driver’s appearance, behavior, and driving practices.
Reckless driving generally involves at least one of the factors listed below:
- Willful disregard for the safety of people or property
- Excessive speed
- Ignored traffic laws, signals, and signs
- Road rage or aggressive driving
A reckless cab driver has no place behind the wheel of a vehicle. Personal injury lawsuits hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions.
A poorly maintained vehicle can endanger passengers even if the driver does everything right. Cabbies and the companies they work for must regularly inspect and maintain their fleets, fixing mechanical issues promptly.
Demanding Justice at a Higher Level
New York and New Jersey are no-fault insurance states. In this personal injury protection (PIP) system, registered vehicles cover certain accident damages, regardless of fault.
Common medical expenses include hospital in-patient stays, outpatient treatment, surgeries, prescriptions, and adaptive devices. PIP insurance will pay up to the policy limit:
- New York: $50,000 per person for bodily injury for minimum coverage, higher limits available at additional cost
- New Jersey: Between $15,000 and $250,000 per person, depending on the standard policy obtained
In many cases, PIP insurance covers accident-related medical expenses for relatives residing in your household, passengers, and pedestrians injured in or by your vehicle.
If you are unable to work due to a taxi accident, your insurance claim could include lost wages, missed benefits, and reduced earning potential.
PIP can provide the following, according to region:
- In New York: Up to 80 percent of lost earnings ($2,000 maximum per month for up to 3 years after the accident)
- In New Jersey: Coverage varies; contact us to check your eligibility
You will likely need to provide proof of the accident, your injuries, and how much income you lost. Obtaining records can be a pain, but our legal team can help you get everything you need to document your claim.
Other reasonable and necessary expenses
Besides changing your quality of life, did your taxi accident result in unexpected expenses? Suppose you took care of your home without help before your crash. Yet, now you find yourself dependent on household services like cleaning, lawn care, and childcare.
In addition to the services mentioned above, experienced lawyers can pursue reimbursement for transportation to and from medical treatment. An insurer is not likely to remind you about these extra benefits. Click the chat icon below to schedule a free review of your eligibility.
Close relatives (or the estate) might receive insurance compensation for a deceased person’s medical expenses. They can also claim death benefits of up to $2,000 in New York for basic PIP policies. In New Jersey, the next of kin could receive $1,000 for funeral expenses and lost income compensation.
Do you have optional benefits, private health insurance, Medicaid, or a second automobile insurance policy? You could be in line to receive significant compensation. We can help you capitalize on all your assets to be in the best possible position after your accident.
Steps You Can Take Today
According to personal injury law, if a taxi company or its driver was at fault for your accident, you might assume that it will be simple to get fair compensation. However, many people discover that justice does not come easily.
Some insurers take advantage of distracted, stressed accident victims. They might pressure you to sign a settlement so you can get your compensation quickly. Yet, their real motive is to pay you as little as possible in order to protect their financial profits.
How sad it would be to survive a car accident just to become a victim of greedy insurance companies! Taking these decisive steps today can protect your financial future:
- Contact us now. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can schedule a free consultation by phone, message, or live chat by clicking on the appropriate option at the bottom of the page.
- Write down as many details about the crash as you remember. The weather, location, time, and what happened immediately before the collision can provide vital information to support your claim.
- Journal your pain and suffering. Every day, make a record of how your physical and emotional injuries affect your daily routine.
- Seek medical attention. Only a professional can evaluate the severity of your injuries. Be candid about how you feel, and do not be too shy to ask questions. Make sure you keep your medical appointments.
Taxi accidents can cause turmoil, but you don’t have to face the challenges alone. The attorneys of Judd Shaw Injury Law are ready to inform you of your rights and help you pursue the results you need to rebuild your life. Call (866) 909-6894 today to learn how to secure a brighter future.