What Should I Do If I’m Injured By a Taxicab in Miami?
Miami is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state of Florida. As a result, taxicabs are everywhere in the Miami-Dade area. While a taxi can make the lives of both tourists and residents easier, taxi drivers are not immune to accidents, no matter how experienced they are or how well they know the road.
Like any other state, Florida has laws on the books specifically for taxi drivers. Knowing these laws is important if you have been in an accident involving a taxi. A Miami car accident lawyer can help you file your claim and get you the most money for your injuries.
Accidents Involving Taxicabs
Normally, when a person is injured in a car accident in the state of Florida, he or she is required to follow up with their insurance company. This is because Florida is what is referred to as a "no-fault state." However, accidents involving taxicabs are exceptions to Florida's no-fault laws, which is why you may need a traffic attorney by your side to help you understand and navigate your claim.
For instance, in taxicab accidents, you do not need to prove you have suffered a permanent injury to be successful on your claim, like you do with an accident involving a passenger vehicle. Instead, you only need to show the financial damages you've suffered as a result of the accident to prove the taxi driver’s liability.
Understanding Partial Fault
In the state of Florida, taxicab claims are handled on a “partial fault” basis. This means that the driver in the passenger car is not held completely liable for the accident. Instead, Florida courts consider mitigating factors when determining fault so as to properly award people compensation for their injuries and repairs.
Let's say you were struck by a taxicab because the driver was texting while driving. This can serve as evidence that the driver was negligent and thus responsible for the crash. However, if you weren't wearing your seatbelt, while you can still prevail on your claim, a jury would probably award you less money, as your actions likely made your injuries worse. Under Florida law, not wearing your seatbelt means you're partially at fault for the extent of your injuries.
Fault Factors For Taxicab Drivers
Since it is crucial to determine how much fault each driver shares for an accident, it is important to understand the obligations taxicab drivers face. If a taxi driver isn't following the specific laws surrounding taxicabs, then a jury will likely find him or her to be more at fault. This means that the driver’s failure to comply with the law will result in a larger award for your injuries.
A taxi driver must have a special license to drive a taxi in Florida, and that license must be displayed prominently within the vehicle. The failure to display the license, letting the license expire, or having a fraudulent license are all factors that can increase a taxi driver's liability.
Likewise, taxi drivers are required by law to maintain their vehicles. This includes but is not limited to:
- Making sure the vehicle's tires are properly inflated
- Checking that the brakes are working properly
- Ensuring that the headlights are working properly
If the driver has not kept up on the vehicle's maintenance, and one of the vehicle’s parts fails and causes an accident, this will contribute to the driver's level of liability for the accident.
Employee Versus Independent Contractor
Not all taxi drivers are employees of the companies whose names appear on their vehicles. Many taxi drivers are actually independent contractors. If you are in an accident with one of these independent contractors, you would then have to file a claim against the driver's insurance company, rather than the taxi company itself.
While companies may want to label their drivers as independent contractors, this isn't always the case. If a company directly profits from the driver's activities, this can affect the company’s liability in the event of an accident. However, companies can still argue that they shouldn't be held liable for the driver's actions, which is why you may need a lawyer to help you fight back.
Injured By a Taxicab in Miami? Call Us!
With all the rules governing taxicabs in the state of Florida, it can be confusing to know whether you are properly filing your claim. Since there is a statute of limitations on personal injury claims in Florida, filing your paperwork both correctly and timely is critical – else you risk losing out on the compensation you deserve.
If you have been involved in an accident involving a taxicab, contact a Miami car accident lawyer today. Fill out the contact form on the right, or call 305-928-2909 to be connected with an experienced member of our team. The first consultation is free, and there is no obligation to retain our services. Don’t let the law confuse you into making a mistake – let a Miami car accident lawyer help you today!