Taxicab Accident Attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Every day, Fort Lauderdale residents trust cabs to get them safely to their destinations. Unfortunately, these cab rides sometime end in accidents, due to the negligent actions of the cab driver or another driver. When this happens, it is important to determine whom you can hold accountable for injuries and damages you sustained in the accident. For help determining liability and filing a claim, call a Fort Lauderdale taxicab accident and injury lawyer today.

The attorneys at Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. have decades of experience helping injury victims recover the compensation they deserve. Give them a call today: (954) 524-2820.

Taxicab Insurance is Different than Most Vehicles

Per Fla. Stat. § 627.736, all motorists must carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which provides up to $10,000 in medical bills and/or lost wages regardless of fault. However, the rules are different for taxicab drivers.

In Florida, taxicab drivers are exempt from PIP coverage. Instead, under Fla. Stat. § 324.031, they must have a bodily injury liability policy with minimum of $125,000 in coverage per person and $250,000 in coverage per accident.

Therefore, if you suffer injury in an accident caused by the negligence of your taxi driver, the driver is likely only carrying the minimum coverage. If there are multiple passengers, there may not be enough money to cover each injury claim.

If your injuries exceed the policy limits, you may want to consider filing a lawsuit against the driver. Call a Fort Lauderdale attorney for help.

Whom can you file a claim against in a taxicab accident?

If you have been involved in an accident with a taxicab, multiple parties may be liable for the crash.

If you were a passenger in a taxi, you might be able to file a claim with:

The Other Driver

If another vehicle hit the cab you were riding in, you would file a claim with the other driver’s insurer. Even if your driver was partially at-fault, you can still file a claim with the other driver.

The Cab Driver

If your driver was behaving negligently (e.g., speeding, weaving in and out of traffic) and he hit another car, you would file with his bodily liability insurance policy.  

If you were driving your own car, you could file with:

Your PIP Coverage

While you are determining liability, you can use your own PIP coverage to pay for your injuries. PIP will cover your medical bills and part of your lost wages up to your policy limit.

The Cab Driver

If the cab driver was even partially at-fault, you would be able to file an injury claim with the cab driver’s bodily injury liability policy. If there are passengers in your car or in the cab, your settlement may be much lower due to the $250,000 maximum amount per accident (if the driver has the minimum policy amount).

In either situation, you may be able to hold the cab company liable through the concept of vicarious liability.

What is vicarious liability?

Vicarious liability makes employers liable for their employees’ actions as long as the employee was acting in the scope of his employment.

In order to hold an employer vicariously liable for the actions of his employee, you will have to prove:

  • That the injury occurred while the employee was working;
  • That the injury was caused by something the employer hired the employee to do; and
  • That the employer benefited from the actions of the employee

Vicarious liability in taxicab accidents might be difficult to prove. In many cases, the taxi company will argue that it is not liable for the accident because the driver was an independent contractor. Owning the taxicab may not be enough to prove that the taxi company is liable for damages.

However, proving the cab company owned the vehicle will imply that the company could exercise control over the driver. This may help establish the cab driver as an employee rather than an independent contractor.

A Fort Lauderdale taxicab accident attorney from our firm can help you determine whether you will be able to file against the taxi company.

Proving Liability in a Taxi Accident

As stated above, if you are a passenger in a taxi accident, you may file a claim with the liability insurance coverage of the car you were in and/or with the coverage of the other driver.

To hold either party liable, you will need to prove the following elements to be eligible to recover compensation from the cab driver or cab company:

Duty of Care

Drivers have a duty to exercise caution and act responsibly behind the wheel. They owe this duty to all road users, including pedestrians and bicyclists.

Breach of Duty

You will have to prove that the cab driver breached that duty. You can do so by providing evidence of negligent behaviors such as the following:

  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Failure to obey traffic signs
  • Reckless driving
  • Driving under the influence

You can prove this negligence with:

  • Police reports
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Photos

Causation

You will then have to show that the driver’s negligence was the cause of your harm. You need to show that your injuries would not have happened but for the actions of the negligent driver. For example, you must prove that you would not have sustained a head injury had the cab driver not run the red light and crashed into your car.

Damages

Finally, you will have to show that you suffered harm or injury in the accident. You can prove damages with medical reports, W-2s, paystubs, testimony from medical experts, and pain journals.

How do I begin my case?

Taxi accidents can result in serious physical injuries including brain and spinal cord injuries, neck and back pain, and broken bones. Treating these injuries can be expensive, especially if you are unable to work after your accident. Filing a claim or lawsuit can help you recover damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs.

It can be difficult to build a case against a cab company, but there is help available. Call (954) 524-2820 to schedule a free consultation with the attorneys at Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. today.