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New York Taxi Accident Lawyer

New York Taxi sign on yellow cabYou often hear that driving a car is “one of the most dangerous things you’ll ever do.” But anyone who has lived or traveled in New York City knows that riding with one of the city’s 49,000 taxi cabs is even more dangerous.

The New York car accident lawyers of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye specialize in helping victims of serious taxi cab accidents.

NYC taxi accident statistics

On April 15th, 2014, the Taxi and Limousine Commission issued a request for the implementation of “black box” technology that would sound alarms when drivers speed or drive recklessly due to fatigue. This is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s attempt to eliminate traffic deaths, according to the New York Times.

A 2006 report by Transportation Department’s Bruce Schaller found that crash rates were one-third lower for taxicab and livery vehicles than that of other types of vehicles. However, he also found that 21% of those injured in a taxicab accident sustained serious damage or died (compared to 9% of those injured in other types of vehicles).

According to the Schaller Consulting report:

  • Taxi passengers are more likely to be gravely injured because they often do not wear seatbelts.
  • 68% of injured taxi passengers sustained head or face injuries.
  • Manhattan taxi accidents are the highest among the five boroughs, accounting for 27% of crashes.

Taxi accidents in NYC make the headlines

Stories of fatal and serious taxi accidents in New York and Long Island are never easy to hear, but they are becoming increasingly more common. Consider a few of the recent accidents reported in local papers:

  • In March 2014, a school bus and taxicab collided in Bed-Stuy, causing the bus to flip on its side and injuring nine people – including six special needs students. Police told ABC News that the 55-year-old cab driver was not drunk, but they are trying to determine if he ran a red light.
  • In April 2014, a 22-year-old woman was struck by two yellow cabs on the York Avenue, south of E. 85th Street, and killed. Witnesses say she was thrown into the other lane – her shoe on one side of the road, her purse on the other, and blood streaming from her nose. The accident is still under investigation, but locals say a “hilly road” may have been to blame.
  • In January 2014, a 9-year-old boy was mowed down by a taxi driver, while holding his father’s hand crossing West End Ave. Despite the fatality, the driver was merely issued a $300 summons for “failing to yield.”
  • In 2012, Cabbie Usman Gul killed a 5-year-old deaf boy who he says “jumped out of nowhere,” but the boy’s parents say the driver was speeding.
  • In August 2013, taxi driver Faysal Himon careened into a British tourist in Rockefeller Center. Himon had been arguing with a cyclist, which caused him to lose control of the vehicle and jump the curb. The young woman decided to file a taxi accident lawsuit after her injuries required amputation of the leg below the knee.

Sometimes in these crashes, it seems as though there is no justice. The NY Post reported that only two of the 16 drivers involved in fatal NY taxi accidents over the past five years have had their licenses revoked. While honest accidents do occur, driver fatigue or an argument with someone are not legitimate reasons to ruin or take a life.

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye NYC taxi accident attorneys will uncover the facts surrounding the incident to make sure those responsible are held accountable. We have seen settlements and jury awards ranging from $600,000 to over $3 million.

Were you involved in a taxi accident?

If a taxi cab hits your vehicle, it is treated as a standard two-car accident. The only real difference is that the cabbie depends upon driving for his livelihood, so he may be more willing to fight in order to win the case. You may feel helpless in a standoff when it’s your word against his, which is why it’s prudent to seek legal counsel from skilled attorneys.

If you or a loved one were passengers in a taxi that crashed, then proving liability will be significantly easier. However, most cases proceed as traffic infractions — unless a police officer witnesses the crash or you file a taxi accident lawsuit. In some cases, taxi drivers who were drunk, speeding, fatigued, or otherwise reckless may be charged in criminal proceedings – particularly if the crash was fatal.

Here are a few basic steps to take after a NY taxi accident:

  • Get the names and contact information of the driver and all witnesses to the accident.
  • Take pictures of the accident scene from multiple angles. Take pictures of any injuries you sustained.
  • Call the police from the scene of the accident to file an official record. Request a copy of the report.
  • Seek medical attention immediately and file a personal injury protection or no-fault insurance claim.
  • Contact a taxi accident lawyer to find out if you are entitled to legal compensation.

Determining liability in a NYC taxi accident

New York is a “no-fault” state, meaning that the driver’s insurance pays for all injuries within that car, regardless of who was at fault. So if you are a passenger in a taxi cab that crashed, the driver’s insurance pays your medical bills and lost earnings. Most taxi cabs carry the minimum no-fault coverage of $50,000. If there were multiple passengers in the cab, the $50,000 must be spread out evenly over all individual involved.

No-fault insurance may cover the following:

  • Medical bills – You must file all claims within 45 days of service.
  • Lost income – You must file within 90 days of the accident. Maximum recovery is $2,000 per month (or 80% of your earnings, whichever is less) for no more than 3 years.
  • Necessary expenses – You may be entitled to receive up to $25 per day for one year to cover housekeeping expenses, nurse aids, or other “reasonable” expenses.
  • Death benefits – Up to $2,000 can be recovered by family members to cover funeral expenses.   

The cab driver’s insurance does not cover the pain, suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment or wrongful death claims people sometimes make. These less tangible benefits must be pursued in a NY car accident lawsuit.

New York taxi accident lawyers

The Law Firm of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye has offices across Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens County. In the event of serious injuries, we can also make house calls for your convenience. Our compassionate and caring car accident lawyers have been representing New York plaintiffs since 1952.

Let us put our experience and connections to work for you! To arrange your free case evaluation, please call 1-800-469-7429.

  1. NY Times – City Explores Ways  To Curb Taxi Speeds http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/16/nyregion/city-explores-ways-to-curb-taxi-speeds.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0
  2. NY Daily News – Woman Dies After Being Struck By Two Yellow Cabs On Upper East Side http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/uptown/woman-dies-struck-yellow-cabs-upper-east-side-article-1.1753139
  3. Gawker – Runaway Taxi Severs Tourist’s Leg In Rockefeller Center http://gawker.com/runaway-taxi-severs-tourists-leg-in-rockefeller-center-1173195429
  4. NY Daily News - Pedestrian deaths from vehicle strikes are quickly rising in New York City http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/pedestrian-deaths-auto-strikes-rise-nyc-article-1.1577396#ixzz2z9UFiQWm