Thousands of people rely on taxicabs every day throughout the United States. While cab drivers are supposed to be trained professionals, they can cause accidents just like anyone else. In many cases, crashes that taxi drivers cause injure passengers, other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists who are unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
If you have suffered injuries in a taxicab or Uber accident, there is a good chance that you are entitled to compensation for your losses. As a victim, the best thing to do is to retain a uber accident lawyer as soon as you can to protect your rights.
Each claim stemming from a car accident is unique, making it difficult to predict the outcome. There are several steps that each potential taxicab plaintiff should take to ensure they protect their case and legal rights following a crash. Take the following steps after a taxicab accident.
Most states require that people involved in accidents call the police and make a report. The officer will speak to drivers, passengers, and witnesses at the accident scene to determine who is at fault. As a passenger in the cab, you are a witness to the accident. Make sure you get a copy of the police report and allow your attorney to review it.
If you suffered an injury, visit the hospital and have a doctor examine you. Your well-being is the most important thing after an accident, so take care of your physical health.
You need to speak to an attorney immediately after the accident to preserve your legal rights. Filing a lawsuit begins with filing a timely complaint. Your complaint must include specific language pleading facts and asking for requests for relief that you intend to recover from the lawsuit.
Attorneys have legal training. You can rely on their knowledge to ensure you plead every claim that applies to your case.
An accident victim gains an advantage when hiring an attorney, as attorneys are typically well-versed in the technical rules of filing a lawsuit. Below are explanations of each step of the lawsuit. Continue reading to learn more.
The list of potential defendants can be pretty long in cases involving employees and employers. Under the legal doctrine of vicarious liability, an employer is responsible for the injuries an employee’s negligence causes. If the company employs your taxicab driver, the driver and the company should be defendants in the lawsuit.
Other potential defendants include:
The rules of civil procedure in each state require that each defendant in a lawsuit is served appropriately. Service of the process puts defendants on notice of the lawsuit. Finding each of the above potential defendants can get complex if you do not have a legal team working on your behalf. In cases involving taxicab companies, you may need to serve a corporation with a copy of the complaint and the summons. Finding the correct defendant can be challenging as you peruse the state’s Secretary of state website.
After finding each defendant, you must adequately serve them. The laws for service are specific per state, and process servers must follow them closely. An experienced attorney can ensure that they handle the process of serving people involved in your claim appropriately.
Based on the Rules of Civil Procedure, a defendant gets a set time to answer the allegations in the complaint. A defendant can admit or deny allegations, or they can file a motion to dismiss the case. In some instances, the defendant may even file a counterclaim.
Plaintiffs must file an answer to any motions that the defendant files. These answers are on a deadline. If you miss your deadline, it can hurt your case.
A motion to dismiss may contain a legal argument to support the defendant’s side of the lawsuit. Most states allow a defendant to file a motion to dismiss instead of filing an answer. Answering a motion to dismiss requires legal arguments, often technical legal arguments, and familiarity with the applicable rules of civil procedure.
If you do not have experience with the law, you may be unable to respond effectively to highly technical legal questions. An accident attorney can carefully consider the arguments presented in a motion to give your case the best chance to survive a motion to dismiss.
Once you file your lawsuit, the court will schedule the litigation. In addition, the other side can file an answer or other pleadings. Your case may still be in negotiations with the insurance company, but it will proceed to trial if you cannot resolve your matter.
A civil lawsuit can take months or years. Each stage of the case is essential and can make or break the outcome of your claim. The following are some of the stages of personal injury lawsuits.
Depositions are interviews that lawyers conduct out of court with people under oath. The things witnesses say during a deposition have the same weight as live trial testimony.
Attorneys use depositions for many reasons, including getting the testimony of witnesses that cannot appear at trial. Each party may also be required to give deposition testimony. Unrepresented accident victims are vulnerable if they must give a deposition.
During a deposition, each side must comply with the rules of procedure. In addition to ensuring compliance with the law, attorneys can easily subpoena witnesses they suspect will not show up at trial, for example, if the witness lives out of town and cannot appear at trial or multiple court appearances. Having recorded testimony makes the trial move along more smoothly.
Discovery is the investigation phase of a lawsuit. During the discovery phase, the parties must disclose all relevant information that may prove the facts of the case or disprove allegations in the complaint, answer, or motions.
An experienced attorney knows how to carefully craft questions and request documents to help you build a strong case that will allow you to receive the maximum compensation available.
As your case moves forward, you may discover that you need an expert witness. Expert witnesses help accident victims prove the cause of their injuries, describe how the injuries affected their lives, and establish whether they will have to deal with the consequences of the accident for many years to come.
Expert witnesses are hard to come by for people representing themselves. Accident attorneys who have been representing victims for many years usually have an extensive network of expert witnesses that they can hire to help you prove the elements of your case.
Taxicab lawsuits are negligence claims. Four elements of negligence include duty, breach, causation, and damages. Each element of negligence must be proven to win a case.
Every driver must drive safely and avoid accidents. Taxicab drivers are common carriers and have an increased duty to ensure their passengers get to their location safely. Common carriers include public transport for hire.
A breach of duty happens when a driver operates a vehicle in an unsafe way that causes an accident or endangers the safety of occupants and other drivers. A breach can occur if the taxicab driver does something like running a red light, blowing through a stop sign, talking on the phone while driving, drinking and driving, or otherwise violating traffic rules.
The accident plaintiff must prove that the accident was the cause of the injuries they suffered. To help prove causation, accident attorneys may advise their clients to seek medical attention immediately after the accident, comply with medical treatment, and hire expert witnesses to testify about the plaintiff’s harm.
Damages include all losses that a plaintiff may suffer due to the accident. Every accident plaintiff must prove damages to win a taxicab lawsuit.
Plaintiffs in taxicab accidents may recover for various losses after an accident.
Plaintiffs may recover for the physical losses they suffered, including present and future medical bills, present and future lost income and earning capacity, the cost of hiring domestic assistance if they cannot complete household tasks on their own, and recover for other applicable losses.
Accident victims also may recover compensation for damages, including pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, diminished quality of life, and other intangible losses.
In some states, punitive damages are available. Courts use punitive damages to punish defendants and deter future bad actors. Punitive damages are often subject to state limits and are not the largest source of recovery for most accident plaintiffs. Speak to your attorney to learn more about the availability of punitive damages in your case.
In addition to taxicab companies, rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft should be examined to determine if they share liability. The critical difference between taxicab companies and rideshare apps is the status of the drivers.
Whether the company is liable for workers’ actions depends on several factors, including whether the worker is an employee or an independent contractor. Employers are generally responsible for the negligent acts of their employees, but the same is not so for independent contractors.
A worker is classified as an employee if the company controls their work and pay schedule, supplies them with the equipment to do their job, and supervises their work.
The company will generally not supervise an independent contractor and does not control their earnings or schedule.
Drivers for Uber and Lyft are independent contractors. Therefore, the companies they drive for are not typically liable for the negligent actions of their drivers unless certain circumstances apply, such as the driver had an active passenger.
There are many kinds of injuries that you may face after a taxicab accident. It is difficult to predict the specific damages one might suffer, but certain injuries are common in car accidents. Common injuries in taxicab lawsuits include:
The impact of a car accident can cause head trauma. Any blow to the head can have devastating results and leave a victim with the permanent effects of a brain injury.
Whiplash causes a strain on the neck. It happens when a vehicle goes quickly and suddenly stops causing a person’s head to jerk quickly forward. Whiplash is a soft tissue injury and can heal with time and rest. That said, it can be extremely painful, last for months or even years, and prevent victims from working or engaging in activities that they enjoy,
A car crash can cause broken bones and spinal cord injuries. Broken bones can disable a person for weeks or months. A spinal cord injury can cause long-term or permanent disability.
If the passenger is wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, they may suffer a seatbelt injury.
Suppose you find yourself the victim of an accident involving a taxicab driver and are concerned about the cost of legal representation. In that case, you can retain legal counsel with a contingency fee agreement.
A contingency fee agreement is a payment structure that allows clients to defer payment of legal services until the end of a case. Lawyers typically do not recover a fee unless the plaintiff has a financial settlement.
If you want to pursue your case and take advantage of a contingency fee agreement, contact an attorney in your area and discuss payment options.
You deserve to be safe when you enter into another person’s care. If a problem happens and you get hurt, you need the assistance of a qualified taxicab accident lawyer.
Contact a personal injury attorney in Tampa to learn more about your legal options after an accident.
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