Taxi Cab Accidents
Miami has an estimated 13.4 million overnight visitors and tourists per on an annual basis, and therefore the city also has a very active taxi cab industry. When tourists hire a taxi cab driver to transport them and their families, they expect to get what they pay for - a clean, reliable ride and safe arrival at their destination. Florida has very specific laws that a taxi driver must follow in order to receive and maintain the required Vehicle Driver's Permit to stay in business as a cab driver.
Florida law regulates everything from insurance requirements to driver dress codes to vehicle maintenance standards, all in an effort to keep the state's tourists safe. Despite these strict regulations, taxi cab accidents happen regularly and passengers can be seriously injured. Because the laws in Florida are different for taxis than for regular passenger vehicles, lawsuits following a taxi accident are also different than suits following a regular car accident. The attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz are familiar with Florida's taxi laws and how to apply them to your case to help you hold the taxi driver liable for any injuries you have suffered.Factors in Taxi Cab Accidents
One of the first steps after a taxi accident is to make sure the taxi driver was qualified to be driving a vehicle for hire. Florida law requires every driver to have a special permit and to display that permit at all times. However, drivers sometimes have expired or fraudulent permits and they are not, in fact, legally qualified to drive passengers. Taxi cab drivers are also notorious for driving too fast and sometimes in a negligent manner. Checking the background history of the taxi driver may reveal that he has a history of negligent or careless driving, or criminal driving infractions. For these reasons, if driver error played a part in the accident, the background of the driver is very important.
Florida also has specific regulations regarding maintenance of taxi cabs. The regulations mandate proper maintenance for tires, brakes, windows, interior condition, seat belts, headlights, horns, and much more. If any of the maintenance is not up to code, defective parts can cause accidents. The taxi driver can be held liable for not properly maintaining the vehicle. In addition, if the parts malfunctioned due to defective design or manufacture, the company who made and sold the parts can also be held responsible.
Issues also sometimes arise when small children ride in taxi cabs. Research over the past couple of decades has shown that young children require different safety devices and restraints in a car than adults, and that not using proper restraints for children increases the risk of injury. Florida laws require that every operator of a motor vehicle that is transporting a child under the age of five years must use a federally approved restraint device for the safety of the child. This law applies to any motor vehicle designed for carrying ten passengers or less, which includes taxi cabs. Therefore, if a taxi driver does not provide proper restraints and your child suffers additional injuries as a result, the driver can be held liable for those injuries.