It is common to use taxi services or ride-sharing services like Uber in East Tennessee. Often, these services make transportation more convenient. However, a taxi driver may be under pressure to transport a customer quickly, and this pressure may result in negligent actions like speeding, sudden lane shifts, or running red lights. The result may be serious injuries. If you were hurt in a taxi accident, retaining a car crash attorney is an important step to take in pursuing compensation. You should consult experienced Knoxville taxi accident lawyer Mark Hartsoe about filing a personal injury lawsuit against the taxi driver or other responsible parties.Bringing a Taxi Accident Claim
An ordinary taxi is usually considered to be a common carrier for hire. A common carrier has a non-delegable, heightened duty of care to transport its passengers safely. In order to be considered a common carrier, the taxi must offer its services to the public generally and be indifferent to who is applying for transportation. In other words, a cab driver who is considered a common carrier is someone who does not have the right to refuse a passenger who offers the proper fare.
When a taxi company is considered a common carrier, it may be held liable for its employees' tortious conduct and is held to the highest standard of care. This is distinct from a private carrier that carries passengers based on individual, voluntary contracts, which is held only to the duty of reasonable and ordinary care. In other words, a cab company may be held responsible if a driver's speeding or reckless driving causes an accident that results in injuries to a passenger or another victim.
Certain business models, like those of Uber or Lyft, may increase the possibility of accidents, but these companies may not be considered common carriers because the drivers may reject ride requests. However, Uber and Lyft drivers are still required to use reasonable care when driving, and they may be held responsible if their failure to drive safely causes an accident. A failure to use reasonable care may include any number of unsafe actions while driving, such as distracted driving. An Uber driver must accept a new passenger's ride request within minutes or lose the opportunity, which means that they may be distracted from the road while driving. Uber itself may be liable for negligent supervision or screening of negligent Uber drivers.
Although victims who are injured in taxi accidents often have a cause of action against both the taxi driver and the taxi company, they may also have a cause of action against any other driver on the road whose negligence caused the crash. In most cases, it is wise to sue both the taxi driver and any other driver who may have been negligent.Discuss Your Taxi Accident Case with Knoxville Lawyer Mark Hartsoe
The insurance coverage associated with a taxi accident may be confusing. Liability for a crash may be uncertain, depending on the business model used. For example, regarding peer-to-peer services like Uber, there may be different insurance regulations from those used by ordinary taxi companies because this model of service is relatively new. If you were involved in this type of crash, you should consult Knoxville taxi accident attorney Mark Hartsoe, who understands how to establish liability in these types of cases. Call the Hartsoe Law Firm at (865) 524-5657 or contact us via our online form to schedule a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney. Hartsoe can assist victims throughout East Tennessee, including in Knox, Blount, Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Cumberland, Fentress, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hamilton, and Jefferson Counties.