Texas Taxi Crash Lawyer
Taxi services are an essential part of urban transportation, not just in large cities such as Houston, Austin and Dallas, but also throughout quickly growing cities like Beaumont, Galveston and throughout Texas. However, the convenience of hiring a professional driver to take you where you want to go does not mean the trip is risk-free. Taxi crashes do occur, and they can be just as catastrophic as any other traffic collision.
According to the National Safety Council, motorized passenger transportation incidents account for about one of every seven preventable injury-related deaths in the U.S. each year. Of all modes of passenger transportation, travel by personal light-duty vehicles, including taxis, is the most dangerous. While taxi crashes happen less frequently than some other vehicle collisions, they result in higher rates of injury to passengers, primarily due to the likelihood of a passenger striking the partition, which can yield a traumatic brain injury, facial lacerations, back and neck injuries, and cause other serious harm.
At Gilbert Adams Law Offices, we have decades of experience in helping crash victims navigate the complex landscape of Texas personal injury law and motor vehicle collisions, including crashes involving taxicabs. If you’ve been hurt in a taxi crash in Texas as a passenger or other vehicle driver, contact the Gilbert Adams Law Offices for a free consultation with a skilled and dedicated Beaumont personal injury lawyer.
Common Causes of Taxi Crashes in Texas
Taxi drivers can get into collisions for the same reasons as any other driver, and when their negligence is to blame, the taxi driver and the taxi company can be held responsible to compensate the injury victims for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other legal damages. Some of the leading causes of taxi crashes in Texas include:
- Drowsy Driving – Taxi drivers often work long shifts, sometimes exceeding 12 hours, to make ends meet. The practice of “deadheading,” where drivers roam the streets continuously in search of fares, adds to their exhaustion, making them more prone to wrecks due to decreased reaction time and errors in judgment caused by drowsiness and fatigue.
- Speeding or Reckless Driving – Time is money in the taxi business. Drivers frequently resort to speeding or other risky maneuvers in an attempt to turn over fares quickly, putting both the passengers and other road users at risk. Even if the passenger is in a hurry to get to the airport or an important meeting, the cab driver’s priority should be to drive carefully for the safety of the taxi’s passengers and others on the road.
- Distracted Driving – Continuous recourse to GPS and constant communication with dispatch centers can easily distract taxi drivers. Focusing on navigation apps or communicating with the dispatch office while driving increases the likelihood of accidents. Cab drivers might also pick up fares while eating to maximize their compensation, but eating while driving is manually, visually and cognitively distracting, and it could lead to an otherwise preventable crash.
Texas Insurance Laws and Taxi Crashes
In Texas, taxis are required by law to carry minimum liability insurance applicable to other motor vehicles, which covers at least $30,000 for bodily injuries per person, $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. If you are involved in a taxi accident, this insurance can provide some financial relief for medical expenses and property damage.
However, insurance complexities can arise if the accident is the fault of another driver who is underinsured or uninsured. In such scenarios, the liability may shift to the taxi company’s uninsured motorist coverage, if available. Other UIM policies may also provide coverage.
Other ride services in Texas, such as limousines, pedi-cabs, and Uber and Lyft, have vastly higher insurance coverage requirements than taxis in Texas, which many people might not be aware of. If you’ve been hurt in a crash with a taxicab, it’s important to get help from an experienced lawyer who can identify and understand the relevant laws and applicable insurance policies to pursue.
Liability of Taxi Companies
In Texas, the concept of “vicarious liability” can also come into play in taxi accidents. Under this legal doctrine, a taxi company may be held liable for the negligent actions of its drivers if those actions occurred during the course of employment. Therefore, accident victims may have the option to seek damages from the taxi company in addition to the driver. A threshold question to answer is whether the driver was an independent contractor or owner-operator versus an employee for a taxicab company
Contact Gilbert Adams Law Offices for Help After a Taxi Crash in Beaumont or Texas Statewide
Taxi crashes can happen for a number of reasons, including drowsy driving, reckless driving, distracted driving and other negligent driving behaviors. Understanding Texas insurance laws and the potential liability of taxi companies can be crucial in pursuing a claim for compensation for your injuries. If you’ve been hurt in a taxi crash in Beaumont, Houston, Galveston, or anywhere else in Texas, the team at Gilbert Adams Law Offices is here to provide the legal guidance you need. Call 409-835-3000 for a free consultation to discuss your claims.