Orlando is a popular worldwide travel destination for tourists and business travelers alike. Whether visitors come for fun at Disney World or to attend a conference at the Orange County Convention Center (or both!), they can rely on Orlando taxi companies to shuttle them around town instead of renting cars and driving unfamiliar streets. Orlando-area residents who don’t want to deal with parking or do not want to drive after enjoying a night out on the town also regularly take advantage of local taxi services. Taxi drivers work long hours in a volume business; the more people they transport, the more money they make. That gives taxi drivers a reason to drive fast and aggressively, and to work for as long as possible without a break. Unfortunately, those factors also heighten the risk of cabbies getting into traffic accidents, which regularly happens throughout the Orlando area. No Orlando-area visitor, resident, or worker should ever have to bear the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of an Orlando cab driver’s poor decisions and reckless actions behind the wheel. Victims of Orlando taxi accidents deserve full and fair compensation, and the experienced taxi accident injury lawyers at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman can help them get it. Contact us at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH) for a free consultation to discuss the Orlando taxi accident that injured you or a loved one.
Why You Want to Hire Our Orlando Taxi Accident Lawyers
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman are affiliated law firms representing Florida clients coast-to-coast, from the Panhandle to the Keys and everywhere in between. A significant portion of our law practice involves seeking justice and compensation for people injured in Orlando-area motor vehicle accidents, including those involving taxis. Our firms sport an impressive track record of success in car accident cases, having secured millions of dollars for our clients through settlements and jury verdicts alike. Of course, we can never promise that a client will recover compensation in a taxi accident matter. We can, however, guarantee that our clients will always have a lawyer on their side who provides smart, sensible legal advice and who fights day-in, day-out, to get them the money they deserve.
Florida Taxi Insurance Requirements
Florida law requires taxi drivers or their employers to carry insurance on each vehicle to cover, among other things, the costs of accidents caused by cab drivers. Taxi companies that own at least 300 taxi cabs have the option to self-insure to remain in compliance with the state’s financial responsibility law. Florida does not require taxi drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which is mandatory for any other driver who registers a vehicle. Yet, taxi companies and their drivers must carry the following minimum insurance coverage on each vehicle if they are not self-insured:
- $125,000 minimum in death and bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage per vehicle occupant
- $250,000 minimum death and bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage per accident
- $50,000 minimum property damage liability (PDL) coverage
The above insurance requirements apply equally to taxis and other for-hire passenger transportation services such as jitneys or limousines. These insurance requirements protect victims of Orlando taxi accidents by providing them a ready source of compensation for injuries and losses they suffer because of a taxi driver’s careless or reckless actions behind the wheel. At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman, we have years of experience fighting to make sure insurance companies pay for the harm that drivers cause.
Causes of Orlando Taxi Accidents
A wide array of scenarios can lead to a taxi accident in or around Orlando. Passengers in taxicabs face significant risks in an accident because many of them sit in the rear seats and do not wear seatbelts. In a crash, the force of impact throws passengers around the passenger cabin, often against the partition between them and the driver, which can cause severe injuries. At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman, our personal injury lawyers investigate the mistakes or factors that often cause Orlando taxi accidents. Through these investigations, our team can identify who should bear the blame for a cab crash. Frequently, we discover one or more of the following dangerous behaviors or decisions led to an accident.
Driving While Fatigued
Orlando’s municipal code contains extensive regulations that taxi companies and drivers must follow. Those regulations do not, however, include limits on the number of hours a driver can spend behind the wheel without a break or sleep. As a result, many cab drivers work long hours, take few breaks, and operate on insufficient rest. Some take the wheel so fatigued that their driving ability becomes impaired, increasing the risk of an accident. Research has revealed that drivers who go without sleep for 18 hours suffer the level of functional impairment as those who have a 0.08 blood or breath alcohol content, the legal limit for driving. This is a hidden, but very real, danger of riding in an Orlando taxi cab. Taxi drivers who drive while fatigued put their passengers and others at serious risk of harm. The teams at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman can hold those drivers, and their employers, accountable.
Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) defines distracted driving as any activity that:
- Takes your eyes off the road;
- Takes your hands away from the wheel; or
- Takes your mind away from driving.
Visual, manual, and cognitive driving distractions put motorists at risk for dangerous accidents. Behaviors that cause all three categories of distraction at once, such as texting while driving, are especially dangerous. Many driving distractions are illegal in Florida and throughout the United States. Yet, it’s not only illegal distractions that put taxi passengers and other motorists at risk for accident and injury. Examples of other driving distractions that Orlando cab drivers often succumb-to while driving include:
- Talking on the phone;
- Adjusting the radio or programming information into a GPS;
- Coping with unruly or drunk passengers;
- Eating snacks and drinking;
- Adjusting A/C or another vehicle feature;
- Watching events outside the vehicle; and
Distracted driving takes a heavy toll on Florida roads. At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman, we fight to make sure cab drivers and cab companies pay when their drivers cause accidents by giving-in to dangerous distractions while behind the wheel.
Driving Under the Influence
Orlando taxi drivers who drink alcohol or get behind the wheel after using illegal drugs, put their passengers and others at risk for traffic crashes resulting in injuries and fatalities. Taxicab drivers who are impaired by alcohol or drug use suffer from impaired visual, motor, and cognitive skills, and engage in risky behavior. Although some taxi drivers abuse alcohol, many more abuse energy drinks or illegal amphetamines to stay awake. The longer a cab driver can stay awake, the more passengers he can transport. Eventually, caffeine or drugs wear off and drivers suffer from severe drowsiness and other dangerous side effects of extreme fatigue. Those who drive taxis late at night also risk accidents and injury from the heightened risk of other drunk or drugged drivers on the road at those times of the day. Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman lawyers fight to hold drivers legally and financially accountable for taking the wheel of a taxi while under the influence of any substance.
Poor or Improper Taxi Maintenance
Large taxi companies and individual driver-owners alike have a duty to maintain their Orlando taxis in roadworthy condition to prevent dangerous accidents. A taxicab puts on hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles each month, making it especially important for drivers to do regular inspections and perform preventative maintenance such as filling fluids, changing the oil, and rotating tires. Unfortunately, Orlando cab companies and drivers may cut corners on this necessary maintenance to save time and money, with potentially deadly consequences for their passengers and others on the road. At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman, we know that sometimes it is the cab, not its driver, that fell short in keeping passengers safe. In those instances, we work to hold cab companies, maintenance contractors, and owners accountable.
Speeding and Other Aggressive Driving Behaviors
Orlando taxi crashes happen when cab drivers fail to follow the rules of the road. Any violation of a traffic regulation might lead to a crash, but taxi drivers are particularly well-known for speeding and driving aggressively from stop to stop. Passengers are in a hurry to get to their destination and drivers go as quickly as possible to oblige. Taxicab drivers also make more income when they transport more passengers. Yet, these behaviors come with serious potential consequences. Traveling too fast in rain, during heavy traffic, or on rough roads puts drivers at risk of losing control of their taxi and causing an accident. Additionally, speed increases the force of impact in a crash, leading to severe injuries and a greater chance of fatalities.
Seeking Compensation for Orlando Taxi Accident Injuries
If you sustained injuries in a taxi accident as a taxi passenger or as a driver or occupant in another vehicle, then Florida law entitles you to seek compensation for damages, once you have exhausted any personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage that covers you against accident injuries and losses. Florida requires all drivers who register a vehicle to carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage, which pays for a portion of lost wages and medical expenses when an accident occurs. For Florida residents who carry PIP insurance, filing a PIP claim after a taxi accident is typically the first, all-important step in recovering compensation for injuries and losses. Some Floridians do not realize, however, that PIP coverage protects them as taxicab passengers, just as if they were driving or riding in their own vehicle when the crash happened. This is important knowledge to have, because PIP is primary insurance, and crash victims must seek medical care promptly and put their PIP carrier on notice in many cases to preserve their legal rights. People not covered by PIP insurance, and Floridians who suffer serious injuries in a taxi accident that exhausts the limits of their PIP coverage, can often also take legal action seeking compensation from the party at fault in the accident. Every Orlando taxi accident has unique facts, of course, but in a lawsuit, cab crash victims can often seek compensation for:
- Medical treatment costs, including ambulance and emergency rooms services, hospital stay, surgery, X-rays, follow-up doctor visits, prescriptions, and travel expenses to and from the doctor
- Estimated future medical expenses when a taxicab accident leads to permanent disability or a condition that requires ongoing care and treatment, sometimes in a nursing home
- Rehabilitation expenses for specialized treatment such as physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral therapy, and any other treatment that helps taxi accident victims cope with injuries
- Expenses for assistive devices like wheelchairs, walkers, and prosthetic limbs
- Lost wages for missing work as a result of the accident, injury, and recovery
- Estimated future lost wages when a taxi accident victim cannot return to their job or work in the future
- Expenses to replace labor a taxi accident victim provided around the house before the accident including lawn care service, grocery delivery service, childcare expenses, pool maintenance, and cleaning service
- Emotional and physical pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of consortium with a spouse if applicable
- Punitive damages in extreme cases that involve gross negligence
If a loved one has died as a result of a fatal injury sustained in a taxi accident, Florida law allows eligible surviving family members to seek compensation for damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. Eligible survivors can receive some of the types of damages listed above as well as burial and funeral expenses.
Our Experienced Orlando Taxi Accident Injury Lawyers Are Here for You
If you or a loved one sustained serious injuries in an Orlando taxi accident, then you may have the right to receive significant financial compensation. With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, and Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH), or you can write to us using our online contact page. To learn more, contact us for a free consultation to discuss the circumstances of your Orlando taxi accident and injuries with a member of our award-winning teams.
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