We are constantly looking for the convenience in life and without any doubt, we have access to a lot of provisions in our day to day life, all thanks to the advancement. Taxi service is one such amenity that we enjoy in this modern era and, indubitably, it has become a part and parcel of our routine life. Taxi is a very convenient and well established service in Canada and all over the world, as we use taxis when our vehicles are not working and for many other reasons. This service is thriving by leap and bounds and we are in fact grateful to this as it promises convenience, comfort and safety (in most cases).
Yet, like all the other provisions in our life, this is not without its dark realities which manifest in the form of taxi collisions every now and then. There are numerous cases where people travelling in a taxi as passenger meet accidents and face serious injuries. If you are such person then you are entitled to claim for personal injury compensation. It is observed that most of us are not aware of their legal rights and what do they need to do when they ride as a passenger when a taxi collision took place. In this article we are going to help you in getting the insight into your rights and the right way to seek the compensation if you are a passenger involved in a taxi collision.
First of all let’s find out how a taxi is technically defined. A taxi is a motor vehicle that can be hired to get to a particular destination. You don’t have to drive the vehicle, as a taxi driver is always available with taxi. It ends up to the main problem when a taxi meets an accident; at that particular time you may have to face personal injuries, that is also because of someone else’s fault. In such a situation, you can file a personal injury claim, as well as seek compensation from the taxi owner.
The most common types of taxi accidents that a passenger can face
- Other driver’s fault leading to a taxi accident If you hired a taxi and met a motor vehicle accident due to another driver’s ignorance of traffic rules or safety reasons then you are entitled to claim for your injuries, loss of income and financial loss of personal belongings such as a mobile phone, a laptop and/or other gadgets. If you have faced injuries due to fault of other vehicle driver then you can claim for compensation. Mostly people who broke traffic rules cause such type of accidents, and example of these cases are drink and driving, signal ignorance etc. leading towards serious accidents. Most people are not aware of the fact that they can also claim for loss of income opportunity because of a vehicle accident.
- An accident caused by a mistake of a taxi driver’s If you have meet an accident due to a taxi driver’s mistake, then you and other passengers are entitled to claim for compensation. You can demand compensation from the taxi driver or from the insurance company, depending on your injuries and damage. For example, if you have faced a permanent injury due to a taxi accident then you can claim compensation for your disability. If you are facing minor injuries then you can demand compensation from the taxi driver. However, even if you are entitled to file a claim for compensation for your injuries, it is advised that you contact a personal injury attorney for securing a fair compensation amount.
- Ignorance of wearing the seat belt Every passenger who has faced injuries in a taxi accident is entitled to claim for compensation, even if he/she hasn’t fastened their seat belt. The contributing factor in your case is that you don’t have any control over the vehicle and you are not liable for the accident under any circumstances. You can reduce the risk of injuries by wearing a seat belt but if you haven’t used it – you also can claim for compensation. Obviously, such kind of a situation will make an impact on your compensation, as you will receive less amount for your negligence. In worse situation when you haven’t fastened a seat belt, can cost you up to 25% of the total amount that you have demanded as compensation. In case there were no seat belts available in the taxi – you can claim for a huge amount of compensation, because you had no chance to do anything to protect yourself in case of a motor vehicle accident.
- An accident happened due to skid If you are facing any kind of injury due to taxi skidding during bad weather conditions (e.g. icy road) then also you can demand for compensation from the taxi driver. It is his fault to possess control over the vehicle even in bad weather conditions, and you can claim for compensation according to your needs. You might face serious back or neck injury due to skidding, so make sure that you have visited the hospital after meeting such accidental situation. If it happened due to breaking at a very high speed then you can claim for higher amount of compensation, depending on your case.
- Hit and run There are numerous cases of hit and run accidents when passengers faced injuries in a taxi. If a vehicle at fault didn’t stop after the accident then a passenger and a taxi driver both are entitled to claim compensation for their injuries. In normal circumstances, claim will be provided by the insurance company, according to seriousness of injuries. The taxi driver can also claim for the same amount that you are claiming for injuries.
Once you are a part of a taxi collision, you need to be aware of things that you can do in order to have a strong base for seeking compensation for injuries you have faced. Here we are going to discuss the steps that you are should do.
Actions that you should consider taking after facing a taxi accident as passenger
- Call the police You should contact the police as soon as possible after meeting an accident because that fact will provide a lot of help in your claim. You can contact local police from your phone or a taxi driver’s phone, or ask people who are present at the time of the accident. It is also important that you follow other important steps for securing your demanded compensation, because the police report will contain valuable information that can make your case really strong. If you avoid contacting the police – you can potentially face very serious problems.
- Contact your attorney You should contact your attorney for seeking legal help, because attorneys are well aware of necessary documentation and legal processes. There are sets of procedures that you should follow as soon as you have faced an accident. Normally people avoid these steps and in result they get only minimum compensation amounts. If you are also seeking for maximum settlement or full fleshed compensation then you need to hire a professional personal injury attorney. So, it is highly recommended to make sure that you have contacted your attorney to avoid any further complications.
- Gather information about the vehicle and the taxi driver You should gather detailed information about the taxi driver, along with the taxi owner. You should start collecting information, such as the taxi driver’s license, phone number, personal details etc, as that information will be used in the future. If your taxi driver doesn’t have a valid driving license then you can secure a great compensation amount. If your taxi driver avoids providing such details then you should ask for a copy of the police report, as it contains all information about the taxi driver. It is also important because your attorney can provide more help in your case with that information.
- Details of of the accident scene You should also keep details of the place where the accident happened, such as highway or road number and closest major intersection. It is very important because it helps in ensuring that your accident will be treated according to appropriate laws. In Canada, each province has different laws, and your compensation will be based on the applicable laws of the Province or territory where you have meet the accident. So you should not compromise with such important information as that will help your attorney to prepare your case in best manner.
- Witnesses You should also gather all details of people who have seen your accident because they can be used as witnesses if required. If your case is taken to the court then a witness becomes a very important person as he/she can describe the entire accident clearly. It also gives clear indication if the accident happened due to the taxi driver’s mistake or somebody else’s fault.
- Medical bills Medical expenses are always the major portion of the claim amount. When you are a part of an accident, you are bound to have injuries and here you need to make sure that you are compensated fully for your damage and medical expenses. Hence, you should keep the record of all medical bills and reports, so that they can be used as evidences and for evaluation of the claim amount.
The welcoming news in regards to this matter is that modern day attorneys offer you many provisions which are making their services worth availing. First of all, you can seek their free initial consultation option which helps you in assessing the legal professionals that you will be hiring. You can make sure that you have consulted some attorneys before making the final decision. Secondly, there is also the benefit of paying your attorney after they have won the case for you, and then you will have to pay some percentage amount of the money that you received as compensation. Generally it is around 30% but the amount will be in your budget when you have sought a very talented attorney to win a high amount of compensation for you. So if you want to enhance the chances of success for your case and want to receive the highest amount of compensation that covers your damage, then it is imperative that you are not careless in selecting an experienced attorney. This decision can be very crucial, so ensure that you have located the best professions to hire legal support and services.
When we hire a taxi we are in fact placing a lot of trust into the hands of a taxi driver (after all, he has control of the steering wheel). It is advisable that if you hire taxis on a regular basis, you should seek one which is experienced and dependable. You can negate a lot of risk if you hire the known and reliable taxi driver.
In the end, all we can say is that it is your proactive attitude that can help you immensely in avoiding the mishaps on the road. In case you became a part of an unfortunate event then should never delay in seeking the rightful compensation by filing for claim. Moreover, you should not take legal proceedings carelessly as any negligence on your part can cause further delays and you might have to wait endlessly for justice. Hence, it is advisable that you seek the best personal injury lawyer in the city and move confidently in seeking the compensation that you should rightfully receive for your loss, injuries and other damage.