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It's About Time: NYC Cab Accident Statutes Of Limitation

Have you wondered what to do after a taxi cab accident in New York? New York City's streets have been flooded with new Boro Taxis, which have only increased the likelihood of collisions that involve cabs. Passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers - we're all at risk.

In many cases, victims choose to pursue compensation through the legal system, in personal injury lawsuits. Lawsuits allow injured parties to secure money for necessary medical expenses and lost wages, along with more abstract, but very real, consequences like pain and suffering.

If you were hurt due to someone else's negligence, time is of the essence. Many potential clients come to our cab accident lawyers with very real injuries. And we have no doubt that their accidents happened, and took place as they describe. But unfortunately, the clock has already run out. In general, the longer you wait, the weaker your case becomes.

What Is The Statute Of Limitations On A Cab Accident Lawsuit?

New York State's statute of limitations on motor vehicle accident lawsuits is relatively generous. You have up to 3 years in which to file suit against a taxi owner, driver, or vehicle manufacturer for cabs in New York City

That probably sounds like a long time. But proving that certain events actually occurred is a lot harder than you might expect. This is especially true in the case of motor vehicle accidents, where many common injuries only surface later.

For example, whiplash is particularly prevalent among the victims of cab accidents. But the pain and structural damage that this injury can cause may not be obvious at first. Let's set up a simple scenario, and see how it would play out in a legal setting.

Case In Point: What Happens If I Wait?

Jane was on her way home from Manhattan, where she works, to Brooklyn, where she lives. She decided to take a cab. At an intersection, the driver failed to yield and rear-ended another car. Jane was whipped around a bit, but felt fine. She decided not to seek medical attention, and walked the rest of the way home.

A few days later, Jane wasn't feeling too good. She was having trouble moving her neck and could feel pain, radiating down her arms. She called her doctor, and set up an appointment.

What's The Problem?

It might seem obvious that Jane's injury was caused by her prior taxi accident. But to the courts, it's not. Most lawsuits are governed by a concept of "reasonable doubt," rather than certainty or actuality. If the defendant's attorney can create doubt in the minds of a jury, or that of a judge, then the whole lawsuit can crumble. Doubt is all you need.

In Jane's case, a defense attorney could easily argue:

  1. that Jane's actual injury, the source of her pain, could have occurred some time between her cab accident and her visit to the doctor. In essence, she could be lying.
  2. that a reasonable person would visit the doctor immediately after an accident. Since Jane didn't, her entire story is thrown into doubt.

Without an immediate, authoritative medical report, there's no conclusive evidence that Jane's injuries occurred when, or how, she says they did.

With that being said, the fact that Jane did visit a doctor eventually may be enough to file an insurance claim. In that case, there are even more rigorous deadlines to note.

Is There A Deadline On Cab Accident Insurance Claims?

Cab owners are required by New York's Taxi & Limousine Commission to carry at least $50,000 in No-Fault insurance. No-Fault covers medical expenses and lost wages, the basic necessary requirements of both recovery and maintaining financial stability. While payouts from a No-Fault plan will occur irrespective of negligence, a policy's limit may be too low to cover every expense a victim requires. In addition, this type of insurance offers no compensation for "non-economic damages," abstract forms of harm like pain and suffering.

Planning on filing a No-Fault insurance claim to secure compensation for your medical bills? New York State's insurance law gives you 30 days after the accident to file your insurance claim. If you are severely injured, and cannot file the claim within that 30 day period, you'll still file it afterward. As long as you do when it is "reasonably practicable," as long as you have a good reason for waiting.

Contact A New York City Taxi Accident Lawyer

The bottom line? Don't wait to act, and risk your chances at securing fair compensation. Contact Banville Law's cab crash attorneys today for a free consultation. We'll review your situation, and describe the best options in plain, everyday language. Our lawyers always work on a contingency-fee-basis. You pay nothing until we win your case.

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Laurence P. Banville
Date Published: November 3, 2014
Laurence P. Banville is the managing partner of Banville Law. As an experienced personal injury attorney, Mr. Banville helps clients recover compensation from those responsible for his clients' injuries. Our firm is located in New York City, serving clients from the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
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