Few cities in the world have as many taxi drivers as New York City. Given the traffic issues and abundance of tourists, taxis are a preferred mode of transportation, especially if you don’t like the idea of slogging down NYC’s congested streets. Unfortunately, this also means there are thousands of accidents each year involving NYC taxi drivers—including more than a few pedestrian accidents. The question is if you’re hit by a taxi and injured while walking the streets of New York—who gets sued? Who is legally responsible for your injuries? The answer is more complex than it might seem, so let’s dive in.
Determining Liability in NYC Taxi Accidents
If you’re hit by a cab in New York City, the responsibility to pay damages effectively depends on whose negligence caused the accident—which is usually determined by a forensic investigation. It usually boils down to one of three entities (and sometimes a combination of these):
- The driver. Suppose the taxi driver hit you out of carelessness or negligence. In that case, they may be legally liable for damages—especially if the driver is a medallion holder (i.e., the owner/operator of the cab).
- The taxi owner/company. Some taxi drivers operate cabs owned by another entity—either an individual or a business. If the accident occurred because the owner failed to screen their drivers properly or failed to perform needed maintenance on the vehicle, the company could be held liable.
- The manufacturer. In rare cases, a manufacturing flaw in the taxi might have caused the driver to lose control—in which case, the maker of the automobile might bear some legal responsibility.
What About Ridesharing Services (i.e., Uber, Lyft)?
In recent years, ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft have become quite competitive with official taxi services. With these companies, every driver is considered a self-employed contractor and must carry a minimum amount of liability insurance to drive for them. So if an Uber or Lyft driver hits you, the driver is usually responsible for damages.
Challenges in Proving Liability
Not only can it be challenging to determine who is liable for injuries in an NYC taxi accident, but it can also be difficult to get the insurance companies to pay. With pedestrian accidents, insurance companies like to try and pin at least some of the blame on the pedestrian (e.g., crossing against the light, not being visible, etc.) to reduce or eliminate the amount of money they are liable for. Even if the cause of the accident seems obvious enough, it typically requires the legal and negotiation skills of an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure the right people or companies are held to account for your injuries.
Our team of skilled personal injury attorneys has plenty of combined experience in getting compensation for victims of NYC taxi accidents. Give us a call today, and let’s discuss your case.