Taxi cab accidents happen in two ways. First, a taxi cab could strike the car you are driving or riding in as a passenger. Second, the cab in which you are riding as a passenger could get into an accident that is either the driver's fault or the fault of another driver.
When a taxi cab strikes the car you are inside or a motorcycle you are riding, you will need to prove both liability and damages. You may need to defend yourself against the taxi cab company's claim that you were negligent. If you are a passenger in a taxi cab who gets hurt in an accident, the primary issue in a lawsuit will most likely be the amount of damages. Taxi cab accidents very rarely happen without any fault by either driver. You would sue either the taxi cab company or the driver of the other vehicle, or another culpable party.
It is sometimes easier to receive compensation as an injured passenger, rather than a driver, since a passenger often may file a third-party claim against both drivers and wait for them to determine liability.
After a taxi cab accident, you should obtain the contact information of witnesses, including their names, phone numbers, and if possible, their addresses. Witness testimony can be critical after a taxi cab accident. Often, passengers in taxi cabs are busy on their smart phones or with another activity, and they don't see the events leading up to the accident, so it is important to find an unbiased observer who can describe what happened. You should also contact the police to make sure there is an official report associated with the accident.
If your injuries aren't too severe and you are able to move, you should also take photographs of the accident scene and the damage to the vehicles from multiple angles. What if you are unable to move? You can ask a witness to take pictures and email them to you. Photographs of the accident scene can be essential for an accident reconstruction expert to figure out what happened.
After an accident in which you were riding in another car, you can file a claim with the taxi company's insurer. In a no-fault car insurance state, you can file a no-fault claim to get compensation for your medical bills. This claim can be filed against the insurer for the cab you were riding inside.
Multi-Vehicle or Multi-Passenger Injuries
Most states require taxi cab drivers to carry a minimum amount of injury coverage of between $250,000 and $500,000 per accident. Taxi cabs rarely carry more than the minimum required by state law, or in some cases, city ordinance. The minimum coverage required per accident may not be enough to cover multiple catastrophic injuries.
Some taxi drivers are judgment-proof, so recovery may depend on insurance coverage alone.
When there are multiple people involved in a taxi cab accident that is clearly the taxi cab driver's fault, particularly when there are multiple injured passengers, the total medical bills may exceed the policy limits. Each injured person will have to try to settle with the insurer for less than what the case is worth. Depending on your insurance policy terms, you may be able to draw from your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for medical expenses. If you do not have uninsured coverage, or it does not apply to the taxi cab accident, you may sue the driver individually. However, many taxi cab drivers will not have significant assets, and so they may be judgment-proof.