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February 2014
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Your right to compensation for taxi accidents in New York City


If you are injured by a taxi in New York City, you may have difficulties recovering adequate compensation for your injuries, due to insurance policy limits on taxicabs. As a result, it is important to consult with an attorney early in the process.

February 01, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ — With the number of licensed and unlicensed taxicabs operating in New York City, it is no surprise that many New Yorkers have a heightened risk of being involved in a taxi-related accident. In fact, the New York area averages up to 11 taxi accidents each day. Unfortunately, when a person is injured in a taxi accident, be it a passenger, pedestrian or a bicyclist, different issues can arise than run-of-the-mill car accidents. It is therefore important for New Yorkers to be aware these issues, so they are able to ensure that they are adequately compensated, should they be injured by a taxi.

Compensation may be limited

Under New York law, people injured in taxi accidents, like other motor vehicle accidents, have a right to no fault benefits. Under the New York no fault system, medical bills, lost wages and other basic expenses are recoverable regardless of whether the taxi driver is responsible for the accident. However, the minimum level of no fault coverage under the law is $50,000, which is the level that most taxi operators carry. Although helpful, this level of compensation is inadequate in many cases to fully pay for medical bills, especially if the injury was serious.

Fortunately, there is additional compensation available under the taxi operator’s liability insurance. Liability insurance benefits can help pay for expenses such as medical bills, pain and suffering and rehabilitation expenses. However, like no fault benefits, the amount of benefits available under liability insurance is limited.

Under the rules set by the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission, all licensed taxis and car services must carry a $100,000/$300,000 policy at a minimum. This means that the amount of liability benefits available is limited to $100,000 if one person is injured. If more than one person is injured, a maximum of $300,000 in benefits is available, which is shared among the injured parties. For unlicensed taxis, the minimum amount of coverage required by law is significantly lower: $25,000/$50,000.

Unfortunately, it is significantly more difficult for an injured party to receive benefits under the taxi’s liability insurance policy. Unlike no fault benefits, the injured party must prove that the taxi driver was at fault for the accident in order to receive benefits. In many cases, it is only after a long litigation process that the injured party receives any liability benefits.

How can I protect myself?

Even if the injured party is able receive liability insurance benefits, it may not be enough to cover all expenses. However, New York residents can protect themselves inexpensively by purchasing a uninsured/underinsured motorist policy. Even if you do not drive, this type of policy can protect you in cases when the no fault and liability insurance benefits available are inadequate to cover your losses.

If you are injured in a taxi accident, it is also important to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side, as the process of collecting insurance benefits can involve complex liability issues. An attorney can assist you throughout the claims process and ensure that you receive fair and adequate compensation for your injuries.

Article provided by Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C.
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