New York City is, with little doubt, one of North America’s greatest walking cities. New Yorkers themselves take advantage of this: of all US cities, NYC has the highest percentage of households without a car. Astoundingly, 55.7% of all households in New York prefer public transportation, walking, or biking to driving.
To most of us, walking feels innately safer than driving a vehicle. Vehicles are large, powerful machines, that we can only control through a complex system of pedals, levers, and wheels. The human body, on the other hand, is a delicate, finely-tuned instrument with which we are all intimately familiar. But statistics don’t bear this out. According to the New York City Department of Transportation‘s “NYC Pedestrian Safety Study & Action Plan,” published in 2010, pedestrians account for 52% of all traffic fatalities. In fact, a pedestrian is “10 times more likely to die than a motor vehicle occupant in the event of a crash.”
And while taxi cabs only account for 2.1% of all registered vehicles in New York City, they cause 13% of all fatal traffic collisions that involve pedestrians. An influential study performed in 2006 found that taxis injured 542 pedestrians, in that year alone. You can find the full report here. In fact, the DOT has created an entirely separate category, and language, in which to speak about pedestrians. In academic circles, walkers are known as “vulnerable road users,” precisely because, when we walk through the city’s streets, we aren’t protected from drivers and their often negligent actions. As a result, pedestrians disproportionately suffer debilitating injuries, far more than drivers and even cyclists involved in traffic collisions, which is cause for a cab accident lawsuit.
No traffic accident is simple, and none can be explained through reference to a single cause. Instead, collisions generally result from a wide web of factors, factors that converge in a moment, creating the opportunity for severe injuries. This is a personal injury lawyer’s primary occupation, untangling the web, determining negligent actors and holding them accountable. With that being said, the DOT’s extensive research found certain specific forms of negligence at the root of many taxi accidents involving pedestrians.
Police reports have revealed that 36% of all drivers who cause severe injury to pedestrians are “inattentive” at the time of the accident. Beyond modern distractions, like cellphones and tablet computers, taxi cabs are home to a host of dangerous diversions, including dispatch radios. Inattentive drivers cause more devastating accidents than others, as well. Accidents that involve driver inattention are twice as likely to result in victim fatality than other types of negligent behavior.
74% of all traffic collisions that involve pedestrians occur at intersections. Even walkers crossing the street legally, with the light, are at high risk. Of course, drivers must yield, and wait for pedestrians to cross, before turning; in this situation, pedestrians always have the right-of-way. But statistics have consistently illustrated that more pedestrians are severely injured while crossing the street legally, than while jay-walking.
More than 90% of all taxi fares are picked up in Manhattan. And, as could be expected, more pedestrians are injured in taxi accidents there. In fact, a walker is four times as likely to be severely injured by a traffic collision in Manhattan than in any other borough. When miles of roadway are taken into account, the likelihood of being struck by a cab in Manhattan is more than that in the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn combined.
Because New York is a “no-fault” insurance state, victims suffering from severe injuries may only receive a fraction of the compensation that they need from their insurer. And even in the event that a settlement is offered, this money can only be used to cover necessary medical expenses and lost wages. Insurance companies offer no reimbursement for so-called “non-economic damages,” like psychological trauma, pain and suffering. Instead, victims of taxi cab negligence turn to personal injury lawyers. By filing a personal injury lawsuit, New York’s neglected injury victims can seek maximum compensation, the real sum they need. The taxi accident attorneys at Banville Law are experienced trial lawyers, with proven expertise in representing accident victims.
If you were injured as a pedestrian, contact our personal injury attorneys today. Our lawyers work on a contingency-fee-basis, so you pay us nothing unless we win your case. We also offer a free consultation for anyone exploring their legal options and can answer questions such as: What To Do After A Taxi / Cab Accident In New York?