A Look into Miami Taxicab Accidents in Florida
As a Miami car accident lawyers “Adapt or die” is one of the most valuable lessons we can learn from the long-extinct dinosaurs that once roamed our planet–and that principle certainly is timely for Miami’s antiquated taxicab industry. The millions of tourists who have taken a taxi ride from one of Florida’s airports or cruise ship ports most likely have less than favorable first impressions of our state.
Taxicab drivers are now kicking and screaming because consumers, politicians, and owners of taxi businesses are all availing themselves of the newest available technologies to identify the worse and most reckless taxi drivers as well as protect innocent passengers from padded fares, bumpy rides, and other unpleasant experiences.
THE LATEST IN TAXICAB TECHNOLOGY
A proposal currently pending in Miami would make it mandatory for cabs to accept credit cards; another would eliminate the limits on the number of taxis working for hire across the county by using new mobile technology that would make available any car for hire at any given time. As a Miami car accident lawyer, those developments would be most welcome improvements for consumers. Unfortunately, taxi drivers are fighting the changes.
In Broward County, Yellow Cab dispatches more than 500 taxicabs a year, covering 45 million miles, making it the leading provider of taxicab transportation in the Fort Lauderdale area. Earlier this year Yellow Cab hired DriveCam, Inc., to install incab video cameras in its entire fleet. What makes DriveCam unique is that it provides real-time feedback focused on the driver rather than the vehicle, resulting in reductions in both accidents and fuel consumption. The three driving behaviors that have the greatest impact on fuel efficiency are smooth driving, idling, and speeding. Earlier this year, in reaction to the DriveCams, over 100 Broward taxi drivers erupted in protest, blocking the entrance to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, leading to two arrests.
TAXICAB LAW IN FLORIDA
The State of Florida as well as most cities and counties in our state have very specific regulations for taxicabs operations. Most of those rules are designed to protect the taxicab industry at the expense of consumers. However, one of the most important requirements under Florida Statute 374.032 is that all self-employed taxi drivers have at least $125,000 per person and $250,000 per accident of insurance coverage to pay for anyone’s injury claim, as well as at least $50,000 for property damage. This provides substantially better protection than is mandated for other vehicles in Florida, which are not required to carry any bodily injury insurance as I’ve come across as a Miami car accident lawyer.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF FLORIDA TAXICAB INJURY CASES
There are primarily two types of taxicab accidents in Florida:
- Passenger injured in taxi: This is called a taxi passenger accident. In investigating these types of taxi injury claims, we must first determine how the accident happened and who was at fault. We have seen cases where the taxi was not at fault at all, such as a rear-ender, or where the cabbie was partially at fault, such as in an intersection collision or sideswiping accident.
- Injured outside of taxi: This is called a non-passenger taxi accident and occurs when our client is in another vehicle, on a bicycle, or is a pedestrian and is hit by a taxicab. Since taxicabs are common carriers in Florida, they are not required to maintain PIP insurance. Accordingly, those injured by a taxicab are not required to prove permanent injuries if they are hit by a taxicab, and they may automatically be entitled to receive compensation. In other words, the only question for taxicab accident victims in Florida is, “How much is the case worth?”
HOW MUCH IS MY TAXICAB ACCIDENT IN FLORIDA WORTH?
To determine the value of a particular claim, it is vitally important that our clients receive the very best medical care and treatment to properly document and diagnose the extent of their injuries and validate any claim for lost wages.
We rely on experts in the fields of orthopedics, trauma medicine, radiology, psychology, neurology, pain management, and neuropsychology to help us understand the nature of our client’s injuries. Often when a client is severely injured, we will consult with economists and vocational rehabilitation experts to help calculate the economic impact that is associated with a prolonged disability. Each case is different, requiring our Miami car accident lawyers to provide a customized approach to each client rather than a cookie-cutter factory claims process.
INVESTIGATING A TAXI CRASH
In investigating a taxicab accident, it is important to engage an experienced lawyer who understands the unique nature of these claims. Our office employs an in-house accident scene investigator, David Bolton, who is specifically trained to obtain the following evidence as quickly as possible:
- Photographs of the scene to determine skid marks, debris, and other evidence.
- Photographs of the all vehicles involved.
- Interviews of all witnesses.
- Surveillance video from intersection cameras and from the taxi’s Event Data Recorders (EDR), or black box, that will indicate the speed, deceleration, and braking at the time of the impact.
- Fire Rescue and Police Reports.
- All medical records, bills, and diagnostic testing.
Currently, Miami-Dade County alone has 2,121 permitted taxicabs, whose licenses presently sell on the open market for between $15,000 and $25,000. The taxicab business is big business, and as a Miami car accident lawyer who has represented both injured taxi drivers as well as passengers, I urge the industry, drivers, and politicians all to come to an agreement soon so that we can provide the highest degree of safety and accountability for all of us who share the same roads.
The Florida taxicab accident claims attorneys at Aronfeld Trial Lawyers represent not only injured passengers, but also drivers and others in taxi, limousine, or shuttle-bus accidents across the State of Florida, from Jacksonville to Key West. Our primary office is in Miami, Florida, located between the Port of Miami and Miami International Airport. We provide a free initial consultation to anyone who has been involved in a taxicab incident. You can Email me, Spencer Aronfeld, or call our office at: 305-441-0440 or Toll Free: 866-597-4529 today.