There’s no question: taxis are a great way to get around big cities. They’re also an important method of transportation for a night out, when avoiding the dangers of drinking and driving. However, as with all other means of transportation, while riding in a taxi, there is the potential for road traffic accidents.
Taxi drivers are experienced road users, but, as always, accidents can and do happen and a taxi accident can leave passengers seriously injured. If you have been involved in an accident as a passenger in a taxi, you may be able to make a claim for personal injury compensation.
If you’re interested in making a claim, there are things you can do at the scene of the accident, and shortly after, to increase your chances of success.
First, be sure to record all the details you can about your taxi cab, driver and company. Try to get the contact information of others involved in the accident and those who witnessed the accident, too. Second, if you can, take photos of the scene and draw a sketch showing what happened leading up to the accident.
You should also seek medical attention. Your injuries might seem mild, but common road traffic accident injuries such as whiplash sometimes take a couple days to develop. Also, getting a thorough medical checkup means that there is an official record to support your case.
Your last step is to make a claim for compensation. Your claim should be successful if you can prove that the taxi accident was someone else’s fault and you’ve suffered an injury as a result. To do this, you’ll need to contact a personal injury solicitor, preferably one who has had experience and success handling taxi passenger accident claims in the past. You can get started by talking to a trained legal adviser on 0800 234 6438, or request a callback by submitting your name and phone number using one of the contact forms on this page.
Who you claim from will depend on the particulars of your case. If the accident was the taxi driver’s fault, you will claim from the driver’s insurance company (or possibly the taxi company’s insurance provider). On the other hand, if it was another driver who caused the accident, you will claim from that person. So no matter who was at fault for the accident, because you are an entirely innocent victim, you will be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
In instances where a dangerous or poorly maintained road is to blame for the accident, you may need to claim compensation from the council or another local authority. According to the Highways Act of 1980 a local authority has a legal duty to maintain the integrity of the road surface and to repair any faults such as potholes within a reasonable space of time. Making such a claim will involve demonstrating that the local authority in question had been made aware of the poor condition of the road, and had failed to take the steps necessary to repair it.
Getting hold of the evidence for this may involve making a Freedom of Information request to the local authority, who will be obliged to detail not only their road repair programme, but also any complaints they had received about the road in question.
If the accident was caused by poor upkeep of the taxi itself, then the taxi company has not only let you down, it has broken the law. The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states that employers have to ensure that not only are their employees safe whilst at work, but also that nobody else should be put at risk by work related driving activity. This applies to the self-employed as well as those working for someone else, and clearly covers the activities of taxi drivers.
Another act, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, stipulates the risk assessments which companies must undergo in order to ensure the safety of both their employees and anyone else who might be affected by their activities. A risk assessment carried out on a taxi should include daily inspections of the following:
If you find you’ve been injured due to the failure of a taxi company (or driver) to properly maintain their vehicle, then you have every right to make a claim for compensation. Even if you weren’t wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident you will be entitled to make a claim, since the accident itself was clearly outside your control. The fact that you didn’t have a seat belt on may, however, be judged to have contributed to your injuries, in which case what is known as ‘contributory negligence’ may result in the amount you are awarded being reduced.
Ride-sharing apps, such as Uber, have been steadily growing in popularity in recent years. Uber is now available in most areas of the UK, and as a result accidents involving Uber drivers are becoming more commonplace.
As with other private hire taxi drivers, Uber drivers are required to take out “Private Hire Vehicle Insurance”, which will cover any injuries suffered by passengers in an accident. If the driver has not complied with the law by taking out the correct insurance, Uber’s own insurance company will step in to provide cover. In any case, a personal injury solicitor will need to be contacted in the event of an accident to get the compensation claim process started on your behalf.
Hundreds of personal injury solicitors across the UK choose to work on thousands of no win no fee claims every year. You can certainly find a qualified professional to handle your claim on a conditional fee basis, too.
If a taxi accident has had consequences on your life, you need to be aware of your options. You can call a trained legal adviser free on 0800 234 6438 or complete the online claim form and get advice as soon as possible. If you have a strong case, you could be speaking to a personal injury solicitor today.
When you submit your details, you'll be in safe hands. Our partners are National Accident Helpline (a brand of National Accident Law, a firm of personal injury solicitors regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority). They are the UK's leading personal injury service. Their friendly legal services advisers will call you to talk about your claim and give you free, no-obligation advice. National Accident Law may pay us a marketing fee for our services.
By submitting your personal data, you agree for your details to be sent to National Accident Law so they can contact you to discuss your claim.
If you win your case, your solicitor's success fee will be taken from the compensation you are awarded - up to a maximum of 25%. Your solicitor will discuss any fees before starting your case.