Taxi Cab Accident Lawyer in Chicago
Taxis are a very popular mode of transportation in Chicago and a convenient way to get around the city. However, despite efforts to make taking a taxi a safe choice for passengers, many people are still hurt or killed each year in accidents involving taxis. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 1,109 injuries and 5 taxi-related deaths in 2013. Taxi drivers are notorious for driving aggressively and speeding because they can maximize their revenues by carrying as many fares as possible during a shift. Their reckless driving puts not only the passengers, but also other drivers on the roadway, pedestrians, and bicyclists safety at risk.
If you were injured in a taxi-related accident, it is important to act quickly to protect yourself and others involved in the accident. First, it is important that you assess your own condition and that of others involved in the accident. If anyone shows signs of being hurt call for medical attention immediately. Next, call the police and notify the responding office of how the accident happened, of all parties involved and of any identified witnesses. Exchange contact information and insurance information with the driver involved. It is also important to take photos of the scene of the accident and of any damage to the taxicab you were a passenger of or any damage to your vehicle if you were struck by a taxicab. Next, go to a doctor or ER and get fully evaluated before you return home. Lastly, contact your insurance company and notify your carrier that you have been in an accident. Tell them what happened and the extent of your injuries.
Taxicabs are common carriers and therefore they owe a particularly high duty of care to protect the safety of their passengers, which means the driver or his or her employer may be held liable for damages, including but not limited to: past and future medical expenses, past and future pain and suffer, loss of normal life, and lost wages. However pursuing a claim for injuries sustained in a taxi-related accident is not always an easy task.
Under Chicago ordinances, taxicabs are required to carry liability insurance policy with minimum limits of $350,000 combined single limit/each occurrence. While this may seem like a lot, it is often inadequate to cover for medical expenses for individuals seriously injured in an automobile related accident. Past and future medical expense, coupled with loss time from work can add up quickly and can be devastating on an individuals or family financial security if the total amount is in excess of the policy limits.
Frequently Asked Questions About Taxicab Accidents
If you have been injured in an accident with a taxicab, you likely have several questions about what happens next. Here are the most common questions we hear from people injured in taxi accidents, along with our answers to those questions.
Can I Sue the Taxi Company?
Yes. When you are injured in an accident while you are inside a cab or in a collision with a taxicab, you can sue both the owner of the cab, the driver (if different), and the cab company. This is generally complicated, as taxi companies are experienced in dodging liability. But at Stein & Shulman, we know the system, and we know how to work around cab companies’ usual tactics. If you were injured in a taxi accident, contact us today to understand exactly whom you can sue.
What is a “Common Carrier?”
A common carrier is a carrier of passengers. Under Illinois law, common carriers must use the highest level of care to protect their passengers. According to the state’s common carrier laws, they must protect their passengers from injury, assault, and abuse, even by other passengers or third parties. The following types of vehicles have been designated common carriers under state law:
- Amusement rides
While common carriers cannot 100 percent guarantee a passenger’s safety, they do have an extremely high duty to protect their passengers from harm. It is this duty that triggers the ability to file a lawsuit if taxi drivers act negligently and cause their passengers injury.
What Can I Recover in a Taxicab Lawsuit?
When you file a lawsuit against a taxi owner, driver, or company, you can recover for all the ways you have been injured. This includes:
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future lost wages
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental pain and suffering
By law, Chicago taxicab drivers are required to carry a certain amount of insurance, but they’re not eager to part with it. If you have medical bills stacking up and are worried about how you are going to make ends meet, you need to hire a lawyer to ensure your rights are protected. Stein & Shulman’s personal injury lawyers can help you hold responsible parties accountable and obtain the compensation you need to move forward.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
All Illinois personal injury claims, including those alleging injuries from a taxicab accident, are subject to the state’s statute of limitations. Statutes of limitations are state-imposed deadlines to file a lawsuit. If you do not file your claim within the appropriate time and in the appropriate court, you risk forever losing the ability to sue.
Generally, the statute of limitations on an Illinois taxicab accident claim will be two years from the date of the accident. However, many factors can influence the exact statute of limitations in someone’s case, which is why it is extremely important to contact an attorney as soon as possible following an accident. Failure to timely file your case can be devastating, and Stein & Shulman can help you understand the appropriate time limit on your claims.
Do the Same Laws Apply to Uber or Other Ride-Sharing Services?
Uber, Lyft, and other popular new ride-sharing services have increased the complexity of accident case law. These drivers are not considered employees and often do not carry appropriate insurance to cover the cost of accidents. If you were injured in a ride with or by a driver for one of these services, Stein & Shulman, LLC, is prepared to investigate your claim and help you navigate this new and difficult legal path.
However if you were injured in a taxi-related accident, you may have multiples insurance policies as sources of potential compensation. That is why it is important to contact an attorney immediately if you were involved in a taxi-related accident. An experienced attorney can help you pursue all avenues of compensation and maximize your settlement or trial award.
The taxicab accident lawyers at Stein & Shulman, LLC understand the uphill battle for recovery you may be facing. If you or a loved one has been injured in an taxi accident, our experienced attorneys can help you hold drivers and companies responsible so that you can receive the compensation you deserve. To learn more about your rights and recovery options, call us at (312) 422-0506 and speak with one of our experienced Chicago accident attorneys for free.