Auto accidents are commonplace in New York, and can often result in serious injury. These crashes are particularly dangerous when pedestrians or cyclists are involved, as these victims are unprotected so are more vulnerable to injury.
Case-in-point: six people were recently injured in Chelsea when a car slammed into a deli. A yellow-cab taxi was headed north when it T-boned a Hyundai with livery plates. A mother was pinned between the hood of the Hyundai and the deli while her son stood by, horrified by the multi-car accident.
Because the accident involved two for-hire vehicles, a number of parties could potentially be held accountable, including one or both of the individual drivers, the taxi company, and potentially the ridesharing app likely used by the Hyundai driver. The cause of the accident will determine the responsible party or parties, but liability for any accident involving a for-hire driver is likely to be complex.
Common Causes of New York For-Hire Auto Accidents
New York has a high density of autos, pedestrians and cyclists, making auto accidents very common. However, drivers for hire, whether in in cabs or livery vehicles, have an increased duty of care to passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists.
Some common causes of New York taxi accidents are:
- Driver distraction, negligence or fatigue stemming from overworking
- Inexperienced or untrained drivers
- Cell phone use while driving
- Failure to yield
- Driving at unsafe speeds for road conditions and traffic
- Mechanical malfunctions due to defective or improperly maintained equipment
The cause of an accident will determine which party (or parties) will be held accountable. For example, distracted driving would mean that the driver would be accountable in most cases. On the other hand, if the driver has not been properly trained or the vehicle has not been properly maintained by the taxi company, it could be held liable.
Insurance Requirements of For-Hire Vehicles in New York
Because for-hire vehicles have an increased duty of care, New York state law requires that these vehicles maintain increased insurance coverage. For-hire vehicles must maintain a minimum of $100,000/$$300,000 of liability insurance coverage.
This means that these vehicles must carry a minimum of $100,000 if one person is injured, and a minimum of $300,000 if two or more persons are injured. These requirements can be met by a single insurance policy providing the required limits, or by an excess policy which, when combined with the primary policy, meets the required limits.
Damages After a New York Auto Accident
Auto accident injury victims commonly recover damages for what are considered to be “reasonable expenses.” This can include medical care for injuries caused by the accident, and lost earnings resulting from missed time on the job.
In order to collect damages for pain and suffering, car crash injury victims must establish that a “serious injury” was sustained as a result of the accident. Generally, a serious injury is defined as an injury that causes death, dismemberment, major disfigurement, or a significant limitation in use of a bodily function or system for 90 days or more.
New York Auto Accident Liability Concerns?
If you are the victim of an auto accident, it is important to consider seeking damages for your injuries by filing a personal injury claim. This can help to secure your family’s financial future against losses resulting from the accident, in addition to holding the responsible party accountable for his or her negligent actions.
These types of cases can be complex, but a knowledgeable New York personal injury attorney can help to advise you of your rights and help fight to get you the compensation you deserve.