There are more than 13,000 medallion taxicabs New York City and there are more than 10 taxi accidents every day. Sometimes they are one car accidents, but often they involve other vehicles, pedestrians, motorcycles or cyclists. If you, or somebody you care about, has been injured due to a taxi accidents, here’s what you should know. For more information call Wittenstein & Wittenstein, a Queens Taxi Accident Attorney that’s have been serving the Community for more than 60 years.
WITTENSTEIN & WITTENSTEIN
QUEENS TAXI ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
SAFETY RULES FOR TAXIS IN NEW YORK CITY
Section 4-11 of the New York City Department of Transportation’s Traffic Rules, is intended to protect taxi passengers by creating safety rules specifically for taxis
When picking up or dropping off passengers, taxis must be parallel to the curb and within 12 inches of it. Taxis may not pick up or discharge passengers in crosswalks, intersections, bike lanes or opposite street excavations. Passengers must exit from taxis at the curbside. The purpose of these special rules is to assist taxi passengers with having a safe experience in a taxi. Taxi drivers are held to a very high standard for following the rules of the road. They must yield when required, drive within the speed limits, avoid texting or talking on handheld phones and obey all traffic controls.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR TAXI ACCIDENTS?
Some taxi drivers have their own medallions and taxis, but other drive for large fleets. When you are injured in a taxi that is owned by a taxicab company, you can also sue the company for injuries you have sustained. Of course, the accident may not be the taxi driver’s fault! You can also sue other drivers that cause an accident with the taxi you are riding in.
WHO PAYS THE MEDICAL BILLS?
If you are injured in a New York City taxi, your medical bills and other “first party” expenses should be covered by no-fault insurance. See our blog post: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About No-Fault.
If the taxi accident results in death, the surviving family members of the person killed could take legal action to collect wrongful death damages.
WHAT ABOUT UBERS AND LYFTS?
New York is famous for its yellow taxicabs, but they are losing ground to ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. Unlike taxis, which are commercially owned and operated, these vehicles are owned and maintained by the drivers. Uber takes no responsibility for the condition of vehicles or the quality of the driver other than a cursory screening. They say that they are “only a platform” to connect drivers and riders.
For this reason, many people are worried about what might happen if they were injured in an accident in New York City while riding in an Uber. For years Uber tried to distance itself completely from it’s drivers, claiming that they were merely a technology company with an app to connect riders and drivers. After public outcry from a fatal crash in 2014, Ubers and Lyfts are now covered with a $1,000,000 Umbrella policy for liability on the part of their drivers. This means that the owner/driver’s insurance will be primary, but if it is not sufficient to cover the injuries you sustain, Uber’s Umbrella policy will kick in.