When it comes to getting around, whether you’re in a big Texas city or a small Texas town, there is one constant that’s almost always there: the taxicab. Whether you’re a resident who has chosen to go carless, just need a ride once in a while, or you’re a visitor that has come for business or pleasure, taxicabs are everywhere in our state. They are both convenient and often reasonably priced when compared to the long-term costs of car ownership.
But climbing in a cab with someone else behind the wheel is putting a lot of trust in the driver to deliver you safely to your destination. What do you do if the taxi you’re in causes or is involved in an accident, or you’re in a car that is hit by a taxi—and you get hurt as a result? Here’s what you should know about taxi accidents and how you can get help after a crash.
How Taxi Accidents Happen
Driving a car in any big city can be stressful, especially in places like Austin, San Antonio, or Corpus Christi. There is constant pressure to deliver passengers quickly and get to the next job site as soon as possible, which can result in risky behavior behind the wheel. There are many behaviors by cab drivers that can lead to an accident, including:
- Speeding. Taxis do not have any special traffic privileges and must observe all posted speed limits, just like any other vehicle.
- Aggressive driving. Tailgating, cutting off other drivers, and other behaviors that rushed cab drivers may engage in can cause bad accidents fast.
- Distracted driving. Many cab drivers use cell phones to receive instructions on their next fares, but that doesn’t excuse texting and driving. Talking on the phone or using a radio while driving can also result in taking eyes or attention off the road, leading to a crash.
- Fatigued driving. Many drivers are tempted to work long hours to make more money, but exhaustion can cause poor judgement and delayed reflexes while driving, which can quickly lead to an accident.
Taxi drivers are expected to behave like any other driver on the road and obey any traffic laws or signs. Failure to do so can result in an accident, and injured passengers or people in vehicles that the taxi hit are entitled to seek compensation.
Liability After a Taxi Accident
Determining who is legally liable after a taxi cab accident can be a difficult task. In some cases, cab drivers are employees of the cab company. In many cases, the company will claim that drivers are independent contractors and that the company is not responsible for their behavior; in such cases, the driver needs to have commercial insurance to cover accidents. This typically holds true for ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft, as well.
Taxi companies aren’t always without fault for taxi accidents for other reasons, as well. Companies may still be responsible for the actions of employees or independent contractors in certain situations. A company that fails to properly screen the driving history of new employees, perform any mandatory drug and alcohol testing as required by law, or otherwise fails to prevent an unqualified driver from getting behind the wheel could be found to be legally liable for any accidents that result.
Get Legal Help
The rules and regulations around taxicabs are complex, and the legal situation can depend on the hiring practices of the cab company, the driver’s insurance, and many other factors. A personal injury attorney with experience handling taxicab accidents and commercial vehicle crashes can start an investigation and help you determine what parties may owe you compensation for your injuries, including the costs of medical bills and follow-up care, repair or replacement of your vehicle or personal property damaged in the crash, your pain and suffering, and more.
The attorneys at Wayne Wright LLP have spent decades standing up for the rights of those who have been injured in auto accidents, and we are here to help you and your family start the recovery process today. For a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced legal professional, call us by phone today, use our online contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.