Taxicabs are a popular and convenient way to get around Chicago, but while they should be a safe way to get to your destinations, accidents can happen. Unfortunately, some taxi drivers choose to focus on making as much in profits as possible, sometimes jeopardizing the safety of passengers and other drivers by speeding or driving recklessly in order to maximize the number of trips done in a single day. Our taxicab accident attorneys explain what you should do if you ever find yourself injured after a taxi accident in Chicago, and who may be financially responsible for it.
What Steps Should I Take After a Taxicab Accident in Chicago?
The first thing you should do is to check yourself and others for injuries. If your injuries are serious or require medical attention, seek emergency medical help right away. If your injuries are not serious, it is still strongly recommended you get examined by a doctor shortly after the accident, because injuries such as whiplash may not manifest themselves right away, only to begin showing symptoms weeks later. By getting examined, you will have an easier time proving that your delayed symptoms are a direct consequence of your taxi accident and injury.
Another step you should take is to get as much information as possible about the accident and the taxi driver. Important items such as name, company name, badge number, and insurance information will be needed when it is time to file a claim later on. You will also need to report the accident to law enforcement. If possible, take photos or videos to document the scene and write down the contact information of any witnesses.
Who Is Financially Responsible for My Taxi Accident?
Identifying which party is financially responsible for your taxi accident is not always an easy task. If the taxi driver was hit by another vehicle, the driver of the other vehicle may be to blame and thus will likely be the responsible party for the accident. If the taxi driver was at fault for the accident (due to speeding, distracted or reckless driving, for example), then both the driver and the taxi company may be held responsible.
Sometimes, taxi owners hire someone to drive the vehicle for them but may act in a neglectful manner when it comes to properly maintaining the vehicle and keeping it operationally safe. If your accident is determined to have been caused by a poorly maintained vehicle, the taxi owner may be held liable. Unfortunately, taxi companies are well-known for trying to push their responsibility around in an effort to minimize or evade the obligation of compensating accident victims. A seasoned taxicab accident attorney will be instrumental in determining which party or parties hold financial liability in your case and making sure that you receive compensation.
How Can I Recover Compensation for Damages After a Taxi Accident?
Chicago city ordinances governing taxicab operations require all taxi licensees to carry automotive liability insurance of at least $350,000.00 combined single limit coverage per occurrence. If a taxicab medallion holder fails to provide adequate insurance, he or she may have to deal with several penalties varying from fines to license revocation.
Your first avenue for seeking compensation is through the taxicab insurance policy. In some cases, you may also be able to file an additional claim through the taxi driver’s personal automotive insurance if it is determined that he or she is at fault. However, in some cases, compensation obtained from an insurance claim may be inadequate or insufficient to cover all your losses such as medical expenses and lost wages. In those cases, you may also consider filing a civil lawsuit if you can prove the taxi company and/or driver acted negligently and did not uphold their duty of care towards their passenger (you).
How Much Money May I Be Entitled to Receive?
If you are injured and unable to work, you may be concerned about how much your taxicab accident claim may be worth, especially as your medical bills begin to pile up. Every case is different and it is difficult to estimate the exact value of a claim without analyzing exactly what happened and getting an idea of the severity of your injuries and the monetary and non-economic losses resulting from it.
At the Phillips Law Offices, we help taxicab accident victims to recover fair compensation for their injuries. We understand the strategies taxi companies and insurers may use to try to reduce the settlement amount they owe you or to deny your claim altogether, pushing their responsibility onto someone else. Besides helping you identify the responsible parties for your accident and filing the appropriate insurance claims, we can also assist you if it becomes clear that a civil lawsuit against the taxicab company is an adequate route to recover compensation for your injury, including any financial damages such as medical bills and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages not usually covered by insurance settlements. Those may include payment for pain, suffering, and emotional distress resulting from the accident. If you are unsure about whether you have a claim or would like a better estimate of how much money you may be entitled to receive, contact the taxicab accident attorneys at the Phillips Law Offices for a free case analysis as soon as possible.