Who Is Liable for Taxi Cab Accidents?
Any auto accident case can be confusing and difficult to navigate as an injured victim. A crash involving a taxi cab, however, comes with unique elements that can make it even harder for victims to recover. If you were recently injured in a taxi cab accident in Los Angeles, find out who may be liable for your medical bills, property repairs and other losses.
California Is a Fault-Based State
Being involved in a taxi cab accident does not affect your ability to file a car accident injury claim. Under California’s fault-based insurance law, you will have the right to file an injury claim with the insurance company of the at-fault party. This law states that the party to blame for causing the motor vehicle accident will be financially responsible for losses. All drivers in California must carry minimum amounts of insurance to pay for victims’ injuries and losses after collisions.
In a no-fault insurance state, on the other hand, all drivers must seek coverage from their own insurance companies using personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, regardless of fault. If you get injured in a taxi cab accident in Los Angeles, you retain the right to file an insurance claim against the at-fault party. It is up to you or your Los Angeles auto accident lawyer, however, to determine and prove fault before you can recover a monetary award.
The Driver of the Taxi Cab
Most taxi accidents do not happen without the negligence of one or more drivers. A taxi cab driver could be guilty of causing a car accident in Los Angeles if he or she commits a careless or reckless act, such as distracted driving, drunk driving, drowsy driving, speeding or red-light running.
If a negligent taxi driver caused your car accident while you were a passenger or the driver of another vehicle, you can bring an action against the driver’s individual insurance policy. If the driver does not carry enough insurance to fully pay for your losses, the taxi company may offer additional coverage.
The Taxi Company
In California, the law requires all taxi companies with one or more employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This type of insurance will pay for a taxi driver’s injuries and losses in an on-the-job accident. Taxi companies must also carry taxi insurance in addition to traditional property damage liability car insurance.
Taxi insurance provides collision and comprehensive coverage against theft, vandalism and damage caused by accidents where the taxi driver is at fault. Finally, most taxi companies carry at least $1 million in bodily injury liability insurance, as well as uninsured motorist insurance.
A taxi company’s insurance provider can be either vicariously or directly liable for a collision. Vicarious liability means the taxi company is responsible for the actions of its drivers and employees. Direct liability means the company itself did something that contributed to the accident, such as failing to conduct background checks on its drivers or properly maintain fleet vehicles. Either way, the company will have to pay damages.
The Driver of the Other Vehicle
If you were a passenger in a taxi cab when another driver crashed into your taxi, you can file an insurance claim against the driver of the other vehicle. You may qualify for secondary insurance coverage from the taxi cab company, as well, if the driver does not have enough insurance to pay the full amount of your bills and losses.
A Third Party
Finally, you may be able to hold a third party liable for your taxi cab accident in LA. For example, if an auto part defect caused your collision, you can bring a claim against the part manufacturer. If a road defect such as a pothole caused the crash, the government may be liable. Discuss your taxi cab accident in more detail with an attorney to determine liability. You may be eligible for financial compensation from one or more parties.