Being injured by a taxi can lead to substantial financial, physical and emotional hardship. Successfully recovering fair compensation depends greatly on understanding how to strategically navigate the claims process with taxi insurance providers. An experienced personal injury attorney can prove invaluable for maximizing your settlement, but having a grasp of key legal and tactical factors is important as well. This article provides an in-depth overview of core considerations when pursuing injury claim settlements.
Demonstrating Liability and Fault
The very first priority is thoroughly proving the taxi driver’s liability for the accident through police reports, eyewitness statements, photographs, video footage, medical documentation of injuries sustained, and other evidence. Taxi and rideshare companies have extensive resources and often fight liability claims aggressively to avoid higher insurance premiums, so the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff. Detail the full extent of damages suffered when presenting demand packages to insurers. Any potential contributory negligence by the plaintiff can also reduce settlement amounts, so evidence must reinforce the driver’s sole fault beyond any doubt.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations
Each state has strict time limits on filing personal injury claims following accidents – this “statute of limitations” is usually between two to six years. Carefully identify your state’s specific statutes for auto-related incidents and taxi liability so all deadlines are met – this is essential for maintaining eligibility to recover damages. Present your claim documentation and demand to insurers as soon as feasibly possible, as delays can significantly reduce initial settlement offers down the road.
Calculating Damages Sustained
Document every single penny lost or spent on medical treatment, property damage, lost income from missing work, physician/hospital bills, medication copays, physical therapy, home health aides, medical devices like wheelchairs or crutches, and any other injury-related expense – both actual expenditures to date and projected future costs. Also account for harder-to-quantify non-economic damages like pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life after disfigurement or disability, etc. Maximize these totals as reasonably as possible at first, as insurers will look to minimize and cherry-pick damage claim elements aggressively across negotiations.
Employing Strategic Negotiation Tactics
Hiring a personal injury attorney well-versed in maximizing settlements through negotiations is crucial, as they can extract much larger payouts leveraging their specialized legal skills. But understanding basics like making very high initial demands (sometimes $100K+ if total damages truly warrant it) then compromising down after assessments and back-and-forth counteroffers is important. Structured settlements allowing certain tax breaks and payment schedules over time rather than lump sums can also increase the total value of settlement deals. Attorneys typically take 33-40% cuts of totals as their fees too.
Pursuing Third Party Liability Policies
If another vehicle also contributed to the accident versus just taxi driver negligence, be sure to file injury claims with every applicable insurance policy associated with all parties involved. This includes not only the taxi or rideshare’s commercial liability coverage, but also the personal auto insurance of other drivers, umbrella policies, and any other avenues that could warrant consideration for restitution. This allows for much fuller recovery potential from multiple sources, but each will have distinct (and strict) legal procedures and time restrictions.
Understanding Litigation Options
If insurers reject reasonable good-faith settlement demands outright, litigation may become essential to secure fair accident compensation, especially regarding extensive damages. Experienced attorneys can assess case merits, help craft detailed complaints demonstrating hardship and irrefutable legal grounds for compensation, retain expert witnesses, appraise case values, and pursue jury awards if advisable. Insurers often become more amenable to appropriate out-of-court settlements before allowing cases to reach trial, in hopes of avoiding even larger awards.
Contact Custodio & Dubey Today
The personal injury claims process following taxi and rideshare accidents can quickly become complex and legally precarious for inexperienced individuals. An attorney intimately knows how to:
- Avoid delays meeting strict deadlines
- Properly coordinate evidentiary documents
- Demonstrate irresistible liability and negligence arguments to insurers
- Negotiate settlement deals strategically layer-by-layer
- Retain credible medical experts and accident reconstruction witnesses if necessary
- Accurately appraise case specifics like future medical costs
- Pursue litigation if initial settlement offers fail to adequately compensate accident victims
For the best possible chance of maximizing your ultimate injury claim settlement, contact our office today for a free consultation. Our experienced legal team has secured millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for clients – we can assess your situation and help you too.
Find us at: 445 S Figueroa Street Suite 2520 Los Angeles, CA 90071.
Or call now for a free consultation on (888) 200-9431.