What Happens After a Taxi Accident in Utah?
Most taxi drivers have good driving records and carry their customers safely, but with thousands of people using Ute Cab, Champion Taxi, and similar services on a daily basis, accidents can happen at any moment. If you or a loved one is ever injured in a Utah taxi accident, knowing the next steps can increase your chance of getting compensated fairly. Salt Lake City taxi accident lawyer Darwin Overson explains what to do after you’ve been in a taxi crash in Utah.
Utah Taxi Accident Compensation for Injured Passengers
Taxi accidents are rare in Utah, but that doesn’t mean they never occur. One of the most tragic examples took place in August 2010, when 25-year-old Derrick Price died after being struck by a Yellow Cab of Utah driver, Sarbjit Singh, who collided with Price near the intersection of 200 South and 200 West in Salt Lake City. Price sustained fatal head injuries after the impact from the collision knocked him from his scooter. Price’s passenger Sarah Michelle Tarr, also 25, was also hurt in the collision.
If you are injured in a taxi accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and other damages. But who pays, and what do you need to do to get compensated?
Let’s start with the second question. In order to be compensated for injuries from a taxi crash, it is very important that you document the accident in the greatest detail possible. The documentation you gather can be useful evidence later, when you are trying to prove that the driver and/or taxi company was negligent. So what type of evidence do you need?
If you are able to do so safely, you should take as many pictures of the crash as possible, ideally from multiple angles. This will help investigators rewind the chain of events to determine how the crash happened, and who was at fault. If you cannot take pictures because you are injured or your phone has been destroyed, try to get another person to photograph the accident scene for you.
It is also important that you seek medical care right away, not only for your own health and safety, but also because failure to obtain treatment can weaken your ability to recover compensation. Save all of your medical records, including receipts, invoices, prescription slips, email threads, and any paperwork or medical equipment you receive from your doctor. You can use this evidence to demonstrate that your injuries were severe and impairing.
Because Utah is a no-fault state for car insurance, drivers are required to turn to their own insurers for compensation – at least initially. You will file a first-party claim with your insurance company, which will cover the first $3,000 of your medical bills. If your medical bills exceed $3,000, you may be able to file a claim against the taxi driver and/or the insurer for the taxi that was transporting you.
Municipal ordinances in Salt Lake City require taxi companies to have insurance. (As an alternative to purchasing an insurance policy, a taxi owner can file a surety bond “so conditioned that the taxicab owner will pay all final judgments rendered against him for damages.”) All vehicles with a seating capacity of one to 15 passengers are required to have liability insurance in the amount of at least $1 million. If the vehicle can seat 16 or more people, the minimum liability limit is $5 million. If a taxi driver causes an accident that injures another person, liability insurance will help to pay for the injury victim’s medical bills and other expenses.
There are two basic scenarios where a taxi crash victim may have a claim against a taxi driver and/or the company that employs the driver:
- A taxi driver gets into an accident, causing his or her passenger to be injured.
- A taxi driver causes an accident that injures a pedestrian, or the driver or occupant of another vehicle. This includes cyclists and motorcyclists.
If you or someone you love was injured in any of these situations, you should discuss your legal options with a Salt Lake City car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact a Salt Lake City Taxi Accident Lawyer for Help Filing a Claim
In order to get compensated, you will need to prove that the taxi driver caused the accident by being negligent (careless), and you were injured as a result. Examples of negligence include careless driving errors like speeding, running red lights, failing to check mirrors, failing to use turn signals, and failing to stop at stop signs. If you have a cause of action, your personal injury lawyer will initiate the recovery process by filing all necessary legal documentation.
Unfortunately, the taxi company will vigorously defend itself with attorneys of its own. Even if it seems that issues of fault and liability are straightforward, proving negligence can be a difficult task. To level the playing field and have a fair chance at getting adequate compensation, you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. To speak with an auto accident lawyer about getting compensated for injuries you sustained in a taxi crash, contact the law offices of Overson Law at (801) 895-3143 today.