Philadelphia Taxi Accident Attorney
Philadelphia Taxicab Accident Overview
Taxicabs are an integral part of public transportation for both residents of and visitors to Philadelphia. While many people in Philadelphia may hail taxicabs on a regular basis, they may not consciously realize that they are putting their safety in the hands of a complete stranger. While you would expect that a taxicab driver had the proper license and training necessary to get you to your destination safely, taxicabs have just as much of a chance of being involved in a serious traffic collision as any other type of vehicle. No matter how skilled the taxi driver may be, he or she is still only human and therefore capable of making negligent errors that may lead to accidents and injuries.
Taxicab operators are often highly—sometimes overly—confident drivers since they spend such a large amount of time on the roads, and they therefore feel comfortable making complicated maneuvers on the road. Additionally, passengers are often in a hurry and may order a driver to take shortcuts or to drive fast. All of these factors combined with regular traffic conditions can lead to taxicab accidents and serious injuries. If you have suffered injury in a taxicab accident, you have legal rights to hold any negligent parties responsible for your losses. Contact an experienced Philadelphia taxicab accident attorney at the Levin Firm to discuss a potential legal claim for free today.
Common Persons Injured In Taxicab Accidents
When you think of a taxicab accident, you likely immediately think of injuries suffered by passengers in the taxi. While it is true that passengers can suffer serious injuries in the case of a taxicab collision, they are not the only parties that may be affected by a taxicab accident. Negligent taxicab drivers can cause accidents that may injure the following parties:
Injuries sustained in taxicab accidents can be severe and can cause victims to suffer many different types of losses, including costly medical bills, lost income from time away from work, loss of professional opportunities due to permanent injuries or disabilities, emotional trauma, physical pain and suffering, and more.
Taxicab Accidents And Common Carrier Law
Because a taxicab carries persons for money and offers its services to the public at large, it is considered to be a special class of vehicle called a “common carrier.” This common carrier distinction has legal implications because common carriers are held to the highest standard of care when it comes to the safety of their passengers. While most drivers on the roads are simply expected to drive in a reasonably safe manner, common carriers are expected to use the utmost care to avoid injury to passengers and common carriers may be held liable for even the slightest act of negligence.
It is important to note that this especially high standard of care is only in regard to passengers of the taxicab, which may include individuals entering or exiting the vehicle, as well as riding in the cab. To all other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists on the road, the taxi driver only owes the same care as any other driver. Unfortunately, taxicab drivers do not always abide by this high standard of care or even the regular standard of care, and this breach of their duty to drive safely may result in serious accidents.
Some examples of negligence on the part of taxi drivers that may result in accidents and injuries include:
- Failing to yield to oncoming traffic when making turns
- Weaving in and out of traffic lanes
- Taking unlawful shortcuts
- Making dangerous U-turns
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Driving while fatigued due to long working hours
These are only some examples of negligence that may result in taxicab accidents and liability on the part of the taxi driver.
Contact An Experienced Philadelphia Taxicab Accident Lawyer For A Free Consultation
As you can see, personal injury cases involving taxicab accidents can have many complex and unique legal issues. Determining who is at fault in the accident is only the first step, as you then have to back up your claim with sufficient evidence of negligence. Additionally, many taxicab companies and drivers are prepared to fight against liability, so you always need an attorney with experience in this type of case.
The sooner you call to discuss your taxicab accident, the sooner an experienced Philadelphia taxicab attorney can begin investigating and preparing your case. Commencing investigation in a timely manner is often important to avoid destruction of evidence at the scene of the accident or involving the taxicab itself. If you have suffered injury in an accident involving taxicab, please do not delay in calling the Levin Firm at 877-825-8542 for a free, no-obligation consultation today.
Philadelphia Taxi Accident FAQ
Taking a taxi usually offers a safe and convenient way to get around Philadelphia. A taxi accident, however, can leave you struggling with devastating injuries and severe financial strain. Below, we answer some of the most common questions we hear from clients about taxi accident injuries.
1. I got hurt in a Philadelphia taxi accident. Can I sue?
Possibly. Talk to an experienced Philadelphia taxi accident lawyer to find out.
In many ways, Philadelphia taxi accidents do not differ from any other kind of motor vehicle accident. The majority of them happen because someone – usually, but not always, the driver of one of the vehicles involved in the crash – did something careless or reckless. In those instances, the person at fault often has a legal liability to anyone who got hurt, subject to the limitations imposed by Pennsylvania’s (somewhat complicated) no fault auto insurance rules.
In some ways, however, taxi accidents in the City of Brotherly Love differ from your ordinary car or truck accident. For one thing, people who get hurt as passengers in a taxi may have the benefit of insurance coverage that Pennsylvania law requires all taxi drivers to carry. For another, people injured in a Philly taxi crash may encounter difficulty unraveling just who has a legal liability to them, particularly if the taxi driver caused the crash, because of how some cab companies structure themselves.
Bottom line: you may have the right to sue for injuries you suffered in a Philadelphia taxi accident, but it helps to speak with an experienced attorney to be sure.
2. If I can sue, how much money can I get?
That depends. First, there is never a guarantee that you will recover compensation for your injuries, and the amount of a claim varies widely from accident-to-accident. Generally speaking, however, you can get a rough sense of the potential size of your claim by asking:
- How much did your medical bills cost? Many types of taxi accident injuries, such as traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury, can leave you with substantial medical bills that you might struggle to pay. A legal claim for damages stemming from a Philadelphia taxi accident will typically seek compensation for all of your medical expenses.
- How long did you have to miss work due to your injuries? Crash victims frequently miss work while they recuperate, and some sustain injuries so severe that they cannot return to work in their former capacities, or at all. Lost income associated with missing work temporarily or permanently typically makes up another substantial portion of damages you may recover in a legal action stemming from a Philly taxi crash.
- How severely did the injuries affect your life? As a general proposition, the more severe an injury, the more physically and emotionally painful it is to recover from, and the more profound the impacts on your day-to-day life. A legal action typically includes some claim for compensation for these so-called non-economic damages resulting from a Philadelphia taxi cab accident.
Hiring an experienced Philadelphia taxi accident injury attorney is the most reliable way to calculate the full amount of damages you deserve for your injuries and losses.
3. Who can I sue?
Again, it depends on the facts and circumstances of the taxi accident that injured you. Under Pennsylvania law (after taking account of no-fault insurance), any individual or entity responsible for dangerous decisions or actions that led to a taxi crash will generally have legal liability for damages to the crash victims.
In a typical Philly cab accident, those parties might include:
- The cab driver or driver of another vehicle. A driver who made a mistake behind the wheel that caused a crash commonly must pay damages to accident victims. Usually, but not always, the driver’s auto insurance pays these damages.
- A cab company. Philadelphia taxi cabs sometimes operate as part of a fleet of vehicles owned by a company. That company may have liability for a crash if it failed to maintain cabs in safe working order or otherwise contributed to the cause of a crash.
- Employers. Drivers who cause accidents while working can leave their employers on the hook for paying damages to crash victims, because employers generally must answer for the actions of their employees.
- City government. Some Philadelphia cab accidents result from dangerous road conditions or other hazards that the City government should have fixed or warned the public about. In those cases, the City may owe damages to accident victims.
- Auto manufacturers. A taxi crash in Philadelphia can also result from a defective feature of one of the vehicles involved. Manufacturers of cars and car parts have a special duty under Pennsylvania law not to sell unreasonably dangerous products, and they face strict legal liability if they violate that duty and their products cause a crash.
Talk to an experienced Philadelphia taxi accident lawyer today to learn who may have liability to you for your cab crash injuries.
4. How long will it take to get paid damages?
First, remember that there are guarantees that you will recover compensation for your injuries. Hiring an experienced Philadelphia taxi accident attorney is the most reliable way to give yourself the best possible chance of recovering the compensation you need and deserve.
As for the timeline of a successful taxi cab crash claim, it can vary widely. We have represented clients in matters that lasted just a few months. We have also had cases that went to trial after more than a year.
Factors that influence the timeline for a Philadelphia taxi accident injury claim include:
- The amount of money at stake. Often, defense lawyers and insurance companies will fight harder over large claims than over small ones. More fighting leads to longer timelines, usually.
- The need for research and investigation. In some cases involving taxi crashes in Philadelphia, it can take a diligent, time-consuming investigation to figure out how an accident happened and who should have legal liability for it.
- The number of parties involved. It can take longer to get to a settlement or the end of a trial when more than two parties face off over a Philadelphia taxi accident claim.
- Your needs and challenges. The timeline for a claim can also depend on the pace of your recovery from your injuries, the certainty of your future financial needs, any life difficulties you confront while recovering, and the priorities you set for your attorney in terms of how willing you are to hold out for the best possible result.
As taxi accident lawyers, we understand that our clients would like to get paid as much money as possible as soon as possible. That is our goal, too. Still, oftentimes the duration of a case lies beyond any individual lawyer’s ability to control. So, be sure to talk to your Philadelphia taxi accident attorney as early as possible about your needs and priorities, so that your attorney can plot a legal strategy that serves your interests.
5. How long can I wait before filing a lawsuit?
Pennsylvania law sets a time limit for filing a lawsuit – known as a statute of limitations – of two years from the date of your accident, in most cases. However, that window of time can shrink or widen depending on a wide variety of complicated factors. That is why we encourage all Philadelphia taxi accident victims to seek legal help as soon as possible after they get hurt. Acting quickly to hire a lawyer reduces the risk of missing important deadlines, and maximizes a victim’s chances of securing and using important evidence that could prove a claim for damages.
6. The taxi driver’s insurance company offered me money out of the blue. Should I take it?
No! Do not take any money from anyone as compensation for your Philadelphia taxi accident injuries without first speaking with an experienced attorney. Taking that money could cost you tens of thousands of dollars (or more) in the long run by sacrificing your legal rights. Here is why.
Insurance companies that know they have financial exposure to a Philly taxi accident will often try to get out in front of large potential claims by contacting victims directly and offering them what seems like quick and easy money to settle accident claims. Unfortunately, the offers those companies dangle in front of cash-strapped accident victims rarely amount to anything close to the sum victims will need and that they have a legal right to demand.
In other words, the offer of quick and easy money really just amounts to the insurance company hoping a Philly cab crash victim will take the money without thinking things through.
Specifically, insurers hope that victims do not realize (at least, not until it is too late) that a settlement is a one-shot deal. The victim gets money for accident damages, and in return the victim releases the insurance company’s client from legal liability for the crash. What that means is that there are no take-backs in settlements. Victims cannot return to the at-fault party’s insurance company demanding more money if they later discover they settled for too little.
How do you make sure that the amount of any settlement represents the full breadth of the money you deserve for your injuries and losses stemming from a Philadelphia taxi accident? Hire a skilled, seasoned Philadelphia cab accident lawyer to handle settlement negotiations.
7. How much will a lawyer cost?
Philadelphia taxi accident victims sometimes avoid contacting an attorney because they worry they can’t afford legal advice. Many of them face huge medical bills and have lost income from missing work. We understand why they might feel anxious about the cost of a lawyer.
Here’s the good news, however: they do not need to worry. Skilled Philadelphia taxi accident lawyers like us offer free case consultations and we work on contingency. That means it costs nothing to meet with us for the first time to talk about the taxi crash that injured you, and if you agree to hire us, we work for a percentage of any funds we recover for you. You pay us nothing upfront, and we only get a fee if we succeed in getting you paid.
We represent clients on contingency because it gives them access to top-shelf legal talent, and it lines up our interests with our clients. The more money they receive as a result of our efforts, the more we earn, too.
8. The taxi accident just happened. What should I do first?
Seek medical attention immediately, even if you think you escaped serious injury. Often, a medical evaluation will reveal injuries that stress and adrenaline may have concealed right after the crash. Do not leave the scene of the accident, even if you were the taxi passenger. Your legal rights to compensation may depend significantly on you staying put and getting care.
Next, gather evidence about the crash if you can do so safely. At the accident scene, snap pictures or take video with your phone of the vehicles, your injuries, and the road and surroundings where the accident happened. If you can, get the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the crash. In the days and weeks to follow, hang on to any documents or physical evidence that has anything at all to do with the crash. Be over-inclusive. Keep everything. Leave it to your lawyer to decide what’s important and what isn’t.
Finally, contact the experienced Philadelphia taxi accident attorneys at The Levin Firm as soon as possible for a free consultation to learn about your potential rights to compensation. Do not wait a day longer than absolutely necessary to get a lawyer started working for you. The sooner you sit down with an attorney who knows the ins-and-outs of Philadelphia taxi accident injury law, the better your chances of recovering every last dollar you deserve from every party who may have a legal liability to you.
For more answers to specific questions about injuries you suffered in a taxi accident in Philadelphia, contact our experienced Philadelphia taxi accident lawyers today.