Boston remains one of the most popular destinations on the East Coast. People flock to the historic city for great museums, dining, baseball, business conferences, and more; accordingly, Boston taxi companies provide their service to visitors and residents alike to get around the city.
Taxis are a convenient form of transportation for those who don’t want to deal with parking or who don’t have a car when they visit. Yet, taxi accidents can lead to serious, sometimes fatal, injuries.
If you have fallen victim to a taxi accident as a passenger, pedestrian, cyclist, or motorist, Massachusetts law permits you to seek compensation for damages related to the accident and your injuries. You shouldn’t have to suffer financially when a taxi driver or taxi company’s negligence led to your injuries.
A skilled Boston taxi accident lawyer can guide you through the legal process and help you find the best strategy to recover compensation for your case. Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers today to discuss the details of your taxi accident, your injuries, and the way they have disrupted your life.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers Advocate for Traffic Accident Victims
The knowledgeable and compassionate legal team at Sibley Dolman Gipe has extensive experience representing traffic accident victims, including those who have suffered injuries in taxi accidents. The firm’s passion for justice, dedication to client advocacy, and focus on professional excellence has led to the recovery of millions in damages from jury verdicts and settlements.
We cannot guarantee a specific financial outcome for your Boston taxi accident claim; however, we have the experience and resources to investigate your claim and help you hold the taxi driver and/or taxi company that harmed you accountable for their negligence.
Causes of Boston Taxi Accidents
Many situations can lead to a taxi accident in or around Boston. Below we cover some common causes of taxi accidents that often serve as grounds for a taxi accident claim.
Massachusetts and federal laws regulate the number of hours commercial drivers can spend driving each day and each week. However, taxi drivers do not have to comply with these rules because they do not have to hold a commercial drivers’ license (CDL), like other professional drivers. Boston cab drivers often operate their taxis for long hours and take few breaks, especially when it’s busy. With demanding schedules and a lack of sleep, taxi drivers sometimes suffer from driver fatigue.
The risk of drowsy driving increases with cab drivers who have health problems, untreated sleep conditions, or take prescription medications that cause drowsiness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drivers who are awake for 18 hours suffer the same impairment as a drunk driver with a 0.05 percent blood alcohol content. Those awake for 24 hours have the same level of impairment as a driver with 0.10 percent blood alcohol content. This impairment can lead to dangerous and deadly taxi accidents.
Massachusetts Safe Driving Law speaks to distracted driving. The law prohibits drivers in Boston and throughout the state from creating, sending, or reading texts, emails, or other data from handheld electronic devices. Drivers over age 18 can use cell phones with a hands-free device, but minor drivers have an absolute ban.
The Safe Driving Law has helped prevent traffic accidents, including those involving taxi drivers. However, cell phones are not the only driving distractions that taxi drivers face.
Examples of other driving distraction that can lead to taxi accidents include:
- Eating and drinking
- Adjusting the radio, heat, A/C, or other vehicle features
- Unruly, drunk, or obnoxious passengers
- Reaching for something on the floor
- Watching an event outside the vehicle
The experienced Boston taxi accident lawyers at Sibley Dolman Gipe help injured passengers and other motorists hold negligent taxi drivers responsible for distracted driving when it leads to injuries.
Taxi drivers who use illegal drugs or consume alcohol before driving put passengers and others who share the road at risk for accidents and injuries. Cab drivers who are impaired by controlled substances cannot process the information they need quickly enough to transport passengers around Boston safely.
Alcohol and drugs impair drivers by reducing their ability to judge distance and time, making it difficult to respond to other motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and others. Similarly, impaired cab drivers cannot appropriately react to traffic control devices at intersections, crosswalks, and road hazards.
Surely, some cab drivers abuse drugs and/or alcohol, but others should be more concerned about caffeine or illegal amphetamines that drivers use to help them stay awake late at night or for long shifts. Cab drivers who work long shifts can transport more passengers and make more money. Caffeine and illegal uppers eventually wear off, leaving drivers sleepy and putting others at risk for accidents and injuries.
Poor Taxi Maintenance
Taxi companies and their drivers have a legal responsibility to maintain their vehicles to avoid mechanical breakdowns while transporting passengers. Mechanical failure at crucial times can lead to dangerous accidents.
Boston cab drivers put on hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles every month. This requires regular inspections, maintenance, and fixing any known issues. Simple things such as changing tires, changing the oil, and checking fluids can prevent accidents due to poor maintenance. Unfortunately, taxi companies and drivers do not have to follow the strict rules that many others in the transportation industry must follow.
It’s not uncommon for taxi companies to avoid spending money on preventative maintenance and wait for something to break or quit working before they fix it. This can lead to taxi accidents that result in severe injuries.
Examples of poor taxi maintenance that could lead to an accident include:
- Brake failure because the company did not inspect rotors and pads and replace them before the loss of function
- Tire blowouts because the taxi company did not inspect, rotate, or replace old tires
- Transmission or engine failure because the company did not inspect and replace necessary belts
Cab drivers in Boston and everywhere are notorious for rushing between their stops. They make more money when they drive faster and provide more rides. However, speeding taxi drivers also put passengers and others at risk for accidents and injuries.
Driving too fast in poor weather, road, or traffic conditions makes it far more likely for drivers to lose control of their taxis and cause accidents. Additionally, speed creates a more forceful impact during a collision, leading to greater property damage, more severe injuries, and a higher likelihood of fatalities.
Boston Taxi Accidents Lead to Serious Injuries
Depending on the exact situation, you or your loved one might have suffered a wide range of injuries in a taxi accident. Backseat passengers are especially at risk during an accident because many taxis do not have seatbelts, making it easy for people to get tossed around during a crash.
However, Boston is full of other vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists who also can suffer major injuries in a taxi accident.
Examples of injuries that often give rise to a claim after a taxi accident include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
The impact of a taxi accident can cause direct or indirect trauma to the brain. Passengers might bang their heads on the glass. Pedestrians might hit their heads on the pavement. Drivers and occupants in any vehicle might simply experience a sudden jolt that moves their brains around in the skull. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) sometimes cause lifelong struggles for victims that impact their motor and cognitive functions. Additionally, TBIs sometimes leave victims with chronic headaches or migraines.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Whiplash is the most common soft tissue injury associated with traffic accidents; however, it isn’t the only one. The impact of a taxi accident can cause sprains and strains muscles, tendons, and ligaments throughout the body.
In the most severe cases, accident victims might tear soft tissue, which often requires surgery to reattach or rebuild the tissue. Severe soft tissue injuries can cause chronic pain and interfere with mobility for an indefinite amount of time.
Taxi accidents and other traffic collisions can lead to a wide range of injuries along the spinal column. Accident victims might fracture vertebrae or suffer damage to their discs. Bulged discs and broken bones sometimes require one or more painful surgeries and typically do not completely fix the problem.
Many who suffer spine injuries need to employ a variety of methods to manage their pain. Sometimes spine injuries impact the spinal cord, causing permanent paralysis for victims.
The extent of loss depends on the exact location of the injury. Spinal cord injuries are among the most costly of all accident injuries, often leaving victims and families without the money they need for treatment if they do not take legal action.
Amputations are rare, but they do happen. If an accident crushes a limb, it loses blood flow and begins to die. Doctors and emergency responders do everything they can to restore blood flow, but sometimes it’s too late.
Amputation is a last resort to prevent infection from the dead limb from spreading throughout the body. Amputees face a long road. Once they heal, they have to go through the process of learning how to function with a prosthetic. Many amputees also face lifelong pain and discomfort.
Regardless of your exact injuries, you should not have to suffer the financial consequences of medical expenses and lost wages when a negligent taxi driver caused an accident. At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, we help clients hold taxi drivers accountable for their poor choices behind the wheel.
Seeking Damages for Your Injuries After a Boston Taxi Accident
When a taxi driver causes an accident, you have the right to take legal action to seek compensation for damages related to the accident and your injuries. If you reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company, you may not have to file a lawsuit or go to trial. If you settle, or a jury rules in your favor, you could recover losses related to the taxi accident.
The damages taxi accident victims receive compensation for in a claim may include:
- Medical expenses such as ambulance service, emergency room treatment, hospitalization, surgery, diagnostic scans and tests, aftercare, medication, and transportation expenses to and from the hospital/doctor
- Estimated future medical treatment costs when a taxi accident leads to a permanent injury or condition that requires continuous care, sometimes in a long-term nursing care facility
- Rehabilitation costs for treatment with physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, mental health specialists, and other specialized treatment that helps taxi accidents recover from the emotional and physical trauma related to the taxi accident
- Costs for assistive devices such as artificial limbs and wheelchairs
- Lost wages for time away from the job due to the accident and injuries
- Lost earning capacity when a taxi accident prevents someone from working because of a permanent injury
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium with a partner if applicable
- Punitive damages in cases that involve gross negligence on behalf of the taxi driver or the taxi company
When you meet with a Boston taxi accident lawyer, he or she will review the facts of your case and determine which damages apply to your situation.
Boston Taxi Accident FAQs
In the wake of a Boston taxi accident, you might be unsure about what comes next if you or a loved one has suffered injuries. You have the right to seek compensation for damages, but it can be overwhelming if you haven’t gone through the claims or lawsuit process before.
It’s best to contact a Boston taxi accident lawyer who can review your case and advise you on the best course of action. Until you have the chance to meet with a lawyer, the answers to these frequently asked questions provide preliminary information about recovering damages after a Boston taxi accident.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Boston Taxi Accident?
Massachusetts has a three-year statute of limitations for people to bring a lawsuit against a taxi driver, their employer, or a third party after suffering injuries in a taxi accident. In most cases, the time clock starts on the date of the taxi accident.
However, if the at-fault party flees the state, or you run into some other challenges, your case might qualify for an exception. It’s best to take action as soon as possible and avoid missing the opportunity to recover damages related to your injuries.
Who Can I Name as Defendant in a Lawsuit for My Boston Taxi Accident Injuries?
Under Massachusetts law, you can seek compensation for damages from any party responsible for the taxi accident that led to your injuries.
Your attorney might advise you to name one or more of these parties in a taxi accident claim:
- Taxi driver
- Taxi company or owner
- A motorist in another vehicle
- A public entity, such as the City of Boston, if poor road design or maintenance led to the accident
- Automaker if a defective taxi, car, truck, or other vehicle led to your taxi accident
Can I Still Sue for Damages if I Partially Caused the Taxi Accident?
Yes, you can still sue for damages even if you contributed to the accident and your injuries. The taxi driver, taxi company, or another party still has financial responsibility for their part. However, the insurance company or court might reduce the damages you receive. Your attorney can review your claim and give you an idea of what you might expect.
Does My Mandatory Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage Apply if I Was Injured as a Passenger in a Taxi?
Massachusetts requires drivers who register a vehicle to carry mandatory PIP coverage to comply with the state’s no-fault insurance laws. After a traffic accident, each driver files a claim under their own policy regardless of who caused the accident.
Your PIP coverage applies if you were a passenger in the taxi or another vehicle during the accident. If you do not have PIP coverage, the driver’s PIP insurance also typically extends to you. PIP coverage also extends to family members who live in the same household.
Does My PIP Coverage Apply if a Taxi Hit Me on My Motorcycle?
Massachusetts bikers are not eligible for PIP coverage, and PIP coverage from your auto insurance policy does not apply when you are on your motorcycle. You must file an insurance claim with the taxi driver’s or taxi company’s insurance carrier to receive compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and other losses incurred from the accident and your injuries.
Can I Sue if a Loved One Died in a Boston Taxi Accident?
Massachusetts law permits eligible surviving family members to take legal action when the death of their loved one occurs because of negligence or intentional harm—but only if your loved one could have filed a suit had they survived the taxi accident.
Family members can receive compensation for a wide range of damages by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Lost income from the decedent
- Lost services
- Lost protection and care
- Loss of assistance
- Loss of society and companionship
- Loss of comfort and guidance
- Loss of counsel and advice
- Funeral expenses
- Burial expenses
- Punitive damages when a taxi accident occurs because of gross negligence
An experienced Boston taxi accident lawyer can review your claim and advise you on whether you may file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages for the loss of your loved one.
Do I Have to Go to the Doctor if I Only Have a Few Bumps and Bruises?
You should always seek medical attention immediately after an accident, especially when someone else caused the accident.
Bumps and bruises sometimes indicate severe or life-threatening injuries. A taxi accident creates emotional and physical trauma like any other car accident. The excitement and adrenaline rush from an accident sometimes masks pain, so victims do not feel immediate symptoms.
A simple bump on the head or a minor headache sometimes indicates a serious brain injury. Bruising and soreness in the belly sometimes indicate internal bleeding and or internal organ damage, which can be fatal if left untreated.
Additionally, some types of injuries do not immediately show symptoms for hours or days after an accident. You might have suffered a serious injury, although you cannot feel it. For your own health and safety, it’s best to let a doctor examine you for common traffic accident injuries and provide treatments and restrictions.
Also, you need medical documentation of your injuries for the best chances of recovering the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. Your medical record serves as evidence that the taxi accident caused your injuries, making it difficult for the other side to deny the claim.
Will My Boston Taxi Accident Claim Go to Trial?
The overwhelming majority of traffic accident claims, including those involving taxes, settle before going to trial. It’s doubtful your attorney will take your case to trial; however, it could happen. Both sides have an incentive to avoid litigation. Going to trial is expensive, and accident victims risk not receiving anything if the court does not rule in their favor.
Typically, a taxi accident attorney negotiates with the insurance company representing the taxi company or the driver and attempts to reach a reasonable settlement amount that compensates their client for their injuries. When insurance carriers vehemently deny liability for their policyholder, aggressively attempt to reduce the value of a claim, or only make lowball settlement offers, going to trial is likely.
Although it’s unlikely your taxi accident claim will go to trial, you should always be prepared for the possibility.
How Much Money Could I Receive for My Taxi Accident Injuries?
Each accident claim has different underlying facts and circumstances that impact its value. Additionally, your attorney and the insurance company will value your claim differently. You can expect the insurance company to value your claim far lower than your attorney. If you settle your case, you may or may not receive less compensation than the full value of your claim.
Examples of factors that influence the financial outcome of a taxi accident claim include:
- The nature and severity of your accident injuries
- Chances for a full recovery
- The presence of a permanent injury and/or scars
- The total amount of economic losses, such as medical treatment costs and lost wages
- Limits of insurance policies involved
- The ways an injury has impacted a victims life
- Whether the taxi driver or taxi company acted with gross negligence
Your attorney can review the facts of your Boston taxi accident claim and provide a range for the amount of compensation you could receive if you settle or win your case in court.
Should I Accept a Settlement Offer from the Insurance Company?
You should always consult with an attorney before accepting a settlement offer.
If you’ve suffered injuries in a Boston taxi accident, one of your first steps to recover damages is to file a claim with the taxi company’s insurance carrier once you’ve exhausted applicable personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. These commercial insurance policies typically have higher limits than the average auto insurance policy.
Higher limits do not always mean higher payouts or settlements. Insurance companies stay profitable by avoiding financial responsibility for their policyholders. Some carriers try to avoid a large payout by making a quick settlement offer.
These predatory offers seek to attempt accident victims to “take the money and run.” In the wake of a serious taxi accident, some accident victims and their families face economic hardship because of high medical treatment costs and lost wages from missing work. A settlement offer is tempting because it provides needed cash. However, these early offers are typically far less than the value of a claim and typically do not qualify as fair compensation for an accident victim’s injuries.
The biggest issue with accepting an early settlement offer from an insurance company is that signing the agreement waives your right to seek additional compensation for the same taxi accident injuries in the future.
Oftentimes, accident victims do not know the full scope of their injuries. If they do not completely heal, need additional treatment or surgeries, or find out they have a permanent injury, they face additional medical expenses with no way of getting more money.
It’s tempting to accept an offer, especially if your household finances are tight, but many times it’s not in your best interest. Let an experienced taxi accident attorney review your case and review any offers you receive. A lawyer can use an early offer as a starting point for negotiations and obtain a better outcome for their client.
Can I Afford Legal Help from a Boston Taxi Accident Lawyer?
Yes, you can. Sometimes accident victims avoid contacting an attorney out of concern for the costs of representation. Your financial situation should not dictate whether you receive compensation after a taxi driver’s negligence caused your injuries. It’s the industry standard for personal injury lawyers, including those who represent taxi accident victims, to accept new clients with a contingent fee agreement.
A contingent fee agreement gives your lawyer the legal right to deduct attorney fees and other costs of representation from any settlement or jury award you receive because of their efforts on your case. You do not have to pay an upfront fee to retain a personal injury lawyer like you would for many other types of lawyers.
How Can a Boston Taxi Accident Lawyer Help?
Some injured accident victims avoid hiring a lawyer for a variety of reasons. Maybe they feel their injuries are not bad enough to warrant legal action, or conversely, they feel their injuries are so severe that there is no way an insurance company won’t give them the money they deserve from a claim.
Regardless of your situation, it’s always best to at least consult a Boston Taxi accident attorney at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers about your taxi accident injuries. A lawyer can evaluate your case, determine if you have a viable claim, and fight for your compensation.
If you hire a lawyer after your Boston taxi accident, they can help you in many ways, including:
- Investigation. Lawyers go beyond the standard police investigation after an accident. They uncover all the facts of an accident to build the strongest case possible for a client. For example, they will dig into the taxi driver’s driving history, seek out potential video footage that shows the accident, speak to eyewitnesses, and gather relevant documents.
- Protection. Insurance adjusters and investigators for the defense do what they can to elicit statements from claimants they can use to deny or devalue an accident claim. Lawyers handle most communication for their clients, protecting the value of the claim. Accident victims need to speak with insurance adjusters at some point after a taxi accident. Lawyers also handle those conversations.
- Litigation. Lawyers are trained negotiators who know how to deal with insurance companies, typically obtaining a better outcome for clients. However, settlement negotiations sometimes fail. A taxi accident lawyer knows when it’s time to file a lawsuit and bring a case to trial if necessary.
Let Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers Help
If you have suffered injuries in a taxi accident in Boston or the surrounding area because of a negligent taxi driver or taxi company, you have the right to recover damages for your injuries.
An experienced taxi accident lawyer from Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers can handle the details of your case, guide you through the legal process, and advocate for you each step of the way.
Contact us today for a free case review at 833-552-7274, so you can learn more about your legal options and strategize about the best path forward for your situation. You can also write to us to share your story on our online contact page.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
76 Canal Street, Suite 302
Boston, MA 02114