On an average day in New York City, licensed yellow cabs give 485,000 rides. At a minimum, almost 500,000 passengers entrust their lives to the drivers, owners, and manufacturers of taxis every day. Upon climbing in, few of us take much time out of our busy routine to think about the staggering responsibility that cab drivers assume, every time they accept a new fare.
Passengers Injured In New York City Taxi Accidents
But along with their expedience, the simple fact that taxis are everywhere in NYC and can get us where we need to go comes a dark undercurrent. Every year, thousands of New York City residents, along with tourists visiting our great city, are injured seriously in taxi cab – related accidents.
NYC’s Taxi Industry: A Culture Of Silence
And while New York’s Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) inundates the media with reports highlighting regulatory and safety improvements, authorities are less than forthcoming with comprehensive accident reporting. Instead, the community is left to pore over print and television reports of isolated incidents.
The last comprehensive report released to the public was performed in 2004, by a company called Schaller Consulting. Taxi And Livery Crashes In New York City, 2004 found that there were 3,349 reported taxi crashes in that year alone.
Injuries Suffered By Cab Passengers
Tragically, when Schaller turned to investigate the severity of cab passengers’ injuries, they found that 21% of passengers injured in taxi crashes were injured seriously. 68% of injured passengers suffered devastating head and face injuries, like Traumatic Brain Injury, which can leave victims paralyzed, crippled by depression, and unable to work.
In fact, when severity of injury is taken into account, cabs are far more dangerous than privately-owned vehicles. Two primary factors can help us explain this fact. First, taxi passengers are less likely to wear seat belts than other vehicle occupants. Schaller found that “of injured taxi passengers, 24% of those not wearing a restraint were seriously injured compared with 13% of those wearing a restraint.” Second, the back seat of a taxi is separated from the cab by a hard, plastic partition. Thrown forward by the impact force of a crash, many passengers hit their heads against this “wall,” and suffer severe brain injuries, injuries which can result in life-long disability.
For a comprehensive look at the common injuries sustained by cab accident victims, visit this page.
In evaluating a taxi driver’s responsibility, the first question we should ask is:
“What is a cab passenger?”
Do you become a passenger when you enter a cab, or when you sit down in the backseat? It seems obvious but, in fact, the law does not require that you ride in a taxi at all to be considered its “passenger.” The definition of “passenger” extends to the moment you hail a cab. And it extends beyond the moment you exit the taxi, until you are a “safe distance” from the vehicle. Taxi drivers, the companies that own their vehicles, and these vehicle’s manufacturers, are legally responsible for your safety at all these points.
The Manhattan Connection
According to New York’s Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC), an astounding 94% of all licensed, yellow taxi cab fares are picked up in either Manhattan or at one of New York’s airports, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA), and Newark International Airport (EWR). According to Schaller Consulting’s statistical efforts, 2,620 of the 3,349 total taxi accidents in 2004 occurred in Manhattan.
After recognizing the disproportionate servicing of Manhattan, to the exclusion of NYC’s other boroughs, the TLC instituted a new “Boro Taxi” service in 2012. These green cabs, serve the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. They are prohibited from accepting fares below East 96th Street in Manhattan.
Find more information specific to New York’s boroughs on our “Locations” page.
Contact A Lawyer
Were you injured as a passenger in one of New York City’s over 13,000 taxi cabs? If negligence played a part in your accident, you may deserve compensation.
The taxi accident attorneys at Banville Law have helped numerous accident victims receive compensation for their injuries. From covering medical expenses and lost wages to reimbursing you for pain and suffering, our lawyers’ only concern is to promote your complete recovery.
We seek to provide comprehensive legal counsel. By working closely with your doctors and a seasoned team of professional accident investigators, our attorneys will determine the exact extent of your injuries and the circumstances of your crash. A thorough approach, and exhaustive understanding of New York City law, ensures that we can pursue the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.
Banville Law’s attorneys always offer their services on a contingency – fee basis; you owe us nothing unless we win your case. We also offer a free consultation to accident victims exploring their options.