Passengers’ Right to Pursue Compensation for Injuries Suffered in Taxi Accidents
If you have ever climbed in the backseat of a taxi on your way to a Braves game at Turner Field, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport or a business convention at the Georgia International Convention Center, you might have learned that the phrase, "Crazy Taxi®" often describes more than a video game. The taxi industry has been adversely impacted by the high price of fuel, tough economic times, and the financial competition for fewer fares as people cut back on travel. Most taxi drivers are safe and law-abiding. However, the above factors have increased the incentive of taxi owners and taxi companies to neglect maintenance and increase speed between destinations. This lack of emphasis on public safety increases the risk that occupants of a taxi, other vehicle, and pedestrians can be injured in taxicab accidents.
When a passenger hires a taxi driver, the patron justifiably anticipates that the vehicle will be in good working order and that the driver will operate the vehicle with the skill and prudence of a professional driver. Unfortunately, many passengers in taxis or occupants of vehicles that are hit by cabs recognize that some taxi drivers are prone to talk on their cell phone, perform paperwork, and engage in other forms of distracted driving. Most people who use a taxi on a fairly regular basis also have probably witnessed a taxicab driver commit one or several traffic violations, including but not limited to speeding, failing to yield, running red lights, rolling through stop signs, following too closely, or executing unsafe lane changes.
When a person is injured in an accident involving a taxi, the injury victim needs to ascertain his or her rights and identify the responsibility of the cab driver, taxi company, and other parties. Generally, private companies that offer transportation services to the public like cab companies and limousine services have a duty to hire safe and competent drivers. These companies also have a duty to confirm their drivers are properly trained and possess a valid driver's license. Cab companies also should verify that the vehicles bearing their name have functioning seat belts and have been properly inspected and serviced.
Many taxi accidents occur because cash strapped drivers are rushing to reach a destination too rapidly, so the driver can pick up his or her next fare. A customer has the right to expect reasonable care by the taxi company and driver from the moment the vehicle stops to pick up an individual until the time he or she has gotten out of the vehicle and reached a place of safety.
If you are injured in a collision involving a taxicab, you should have a right to pursue legal compensation for your injuries and other forms of financial loss. The responsible parties might include the cab driver, the driver of the other vehicle, the vehicle manufacturer, the vehicle owner for negligently entrusting the car to an incompetent driver, or a vehicle body shop for substandard repairs.
However, the responsibility of other parties also must be investigated when you are injured while riding as a passenger in a taxi. Our Atlanta Taxicab Accident Injury Attorneys also explore the fault of the following parties, among others:
- Taxi Driver: The compensation structure for taxi operators provides an inherent incentive to drive recklessly by speeding, weaving through traffic, and tailgating to take home a few additional bucks at the end of a driving shift.
- Taxi Company: Taxi companies that fail to properly screen drivers by not investigating their driving record or license should be responsible for negligent hiring. However, the obligation to protect the public also includes making sure drivers are properly trained and supervised. When cab companies fail to remove unsafe drivers with a history of accidents and/or traffic violations from the road, it can amount to negligence by the employer. The company also cannot turn a blind eye to the condition of their vehicles by ignoring necessary maintenance and safety inspections.
Put Our Law Firm's Over 35 Years of Experience to Work For Your Claim
If you or a family member suffers injury in a taxicab accident in the Atlanta Metro area, our Atlanta Transportation Accident Lawyers diligently pursue our clients' legal rights and remedies. Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been representing those who suffer serious injuries in Georgia and the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.