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Taxi Cab and Uber Accidents: Is There Enough Insurance?

Drivers of New York taxi cabs, Uber cars and for-hire service cars are required, by law, to carry a minimum amount of insurance to protect passengers in the case of an accident. Yet, while it may be comforting to know that you are protected should an accident occur while you are riding in a cab, the amount of insurance required is not as comforting.

Under the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) regulations, most vehicles that transport passengers in New York City must carry a minimum of $100,000/$300,000 in liability insurance. This means that the insurance company will pay up to $100,000 for each passenger injured in an accident and up to $300,000 per accident. This may be enough to cover injuries in minor accidents, but when serious accidents occur, the costs add up quickly.

Here are just a few cases where $100,000 is not enough:

  • Brain injury: Motor vehicle accidents account for more than 17 percent of all traumatic brain injuries suffered in the United States. According to various studies, the lifetime cost of a traumatic brain injury can range from $85,000 to $4 million.
  • Paralysis: According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, paralysis/spinal cord injuries can cost up to $500,000 in the first year alone, and between one million and four million over the course of an injured person's lifetime.
  • Wrongful death: Determining how much a person should receive when their loved one dies as the result of a cab driver's negligence is largely contingent on the individual facts of their case. Yet, the average wrongful death settlement in New York City is well above $100,000, often reaching upwards of a million dollars.

The good news, of course, is that you are covered by insurance if you ride in a city-sanctioned vehicle, including Uber cars. Some Uber services and private car companies choose to carry more than the minimum insurance with the understanding that they may face a payout should a serious accident occur. Compare that to unlicensed cabs, which often only carry the $25,000/$50,000 state minimum in auto insurance.

If You Are Involved in a Taxi Cab Accident, Seek Help

The insurance numbers are confusing enough without also having to worry about the tactics insurance companies use to get people to accept low-balled settlement offers. If you are in an accident, put an experienced lawyer on your side as soon as possible.

Wondering what happens to cab drivers involved in an accident? Read about it here.

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