A car accident is a stressful experience on its own. Getting in an accident that isn’t your fault is even worse. However, the worst accident of all is one where you’re paying for the car ride.
Falling victim to a car crash in a taxi opens up a number of legal problems and in particular surrounding liability.
For example, a recent taxi accident led to one death and one hospitalization. The accident was possibly caused by the taxi driver’s negligence.
The hospitalized passenger is unlikely to be liable for an accident because they had no control over the situation, so they will be able to file against the taxi driver’s insurance for their injuries.
However, some situations can be complicated. Here’s how liability works in Florida taxi accidents.
How Liability is Assigned in Florida Accidents
Liability is the decision for who will pay for damages after an accident. The liable party is the party that either caused or otherwise bears responsibility for the accident.
If you are a passenger in a vehicle, it is highly unlikely that you will bear any liability for any accident, because you have no control over the situation.
Whether you are in a vehicle that has been hit or you are in the vehicle that caused an accident, as a passenger you are not liable.
Instead, one of the drivers will be considered liable. Instead of proving or disproving liability, as a passenger, you can file against the taxi driver’s insurance knowing that you are not at risk.
When a Florida Taxi Is Liable
In general, Florida is considered a no-fault state for car accidents. For most car accidents, both drivers file claims with their own insurance, no matter who was responsible.
However, taxis are exempt from this no-fault law. If a taxi is in an accident, then the victims in the accident can file against the taxi driver’s insurance.
Because of this exemption, taxi drivers and other licensed vehicle drivers must be covered under liability insurance. Any for-hire vehicle driver can either provide their own liability insurance or by the insurance of their employer.
Insurance Requirements for Florida’s For-Hire Drivers
This liability insurance needs to cover a minimum of $125,000 per person, $250,000 per occurrence, and $50,000 property damage liability insurance policy for individuals, and up to $300,000 for large companies.
This insurance is designed to cover injuries and damages caused by the taxi driver. If it is decided that the taxi driver was responsible for an accident through negligence, then this insurance is in place to cover the damages reported.
When a Florida Taxi Driver Doesn’t Have Required Coverage
If the taxi driver or the company they work for does not carry this insurance, then they are in violation of Florida law. They are still obliged to cover damages for any accidents they bear liability for, but they will need to cover it instead of their insurance. The amount they owe you in damages will not be affected by their lack of insurance.
Being hurt in a car accident is traumatic and can negatively affect your life for years. Taxi drivers and other for-hire drivers ower you the duty to drive safely and carefully.
If you end up in an accident while taking a taxi, you deserve to have your medical bills covered, and the law is on your side. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a qualified car accident attorney to discuss your options after any car accident.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2020 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2017, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019.