Being involved in any type of car accident can be traumatic, particularly if there are serious injuries or fatalities involved. If you collide with a taxicab while driving, depending on the particular circumstances, the process of determining fault for injury is the same as it would be with any other vehicle. Nonetheless, it pays to bear in mind that, since the taxi driver’s livelihood is at stake, the fight for fair treatment may be a tough one.
Though being a passenger in a taxi that collides with another vehicle most often lets you off the hook in terms of possible liability, taxi accidents are often more complicated than other car crashes involving injuries. For this reason, it is crucial that you have a first-rate personal attorney handle your case. If you reside in Fairfax County, Virginia, you are fortunate to have Alavi Law, with its well-informed, tough lead attorney, close by in Vienna. Ali Alavi is extremely knowledgeable about personal injury law in general, and taxi accident law in particular. Once he meets with you, understands the specifics of your case, and takes you on as a client he is fully committed to winning you every bit of compensation for you deserve.
Virginia is an “Add-On” No Fault State
Virginia uses a variation of no-fault insurance in which insurers pay first-party claims. In our state a driver can pay extra to include Personal Injury Protected (PIP) to their auto insurance. Though not mandatory in Virginia, having PIP gives you full coverage for your own injuries in a car accident as well as the injuries of any of your passengers no matter who was at fault in the crash. In almost all cases, this is a valuable addition to your insurance policy, especially because of Virginia’s stringent contributory negligence laws.
Contributory Negligence in Virginia
Virginia is one of only five states that use a legal principle known as “pure contributory negligence.” While many states decrease damage awards according to the percentage of liability assigned to the plaintiff, Virginia’s pure contributory negligence rule does not permit any legal action to be taken by would-be plaintiffs who have any responsibility (even 1 percent) for their own injuries. If you played even a small role in causing the crash, you cannot pursue a claim to recover damages. In some cases a defense attorney may even argue that by not wearing your seatbelt you contributed to your own injuries and should not be permitted to sue for damages.
Some Confusion About Liability in Taxi Accidents in Virginia
Typically, drivers whose negligence is determined to have caused the accident, are deemed responsible and it is their insurance company that pays damages. There are cases, however, in which the law assigns fault to the car’s owner (in many taxi accidents, this is the owner of the cab company). In such situations, the employer is found liable because of vicarious liability or employer negligence.
If the owner of the company is charged with employer negligence, also known as “negligent entrustment,” he or she is being accused of not properly vetting the driver who has been found to be “unfit to drive.” When the owner is charged with vicarious liability, however, it means the court is holding the owner accountable for improper training or supervision of employees.
How Alavi Law Can Help
At Alavi Law, if another person is responsible for the serious injuries you have suffered, or tragically, for the death of your loved one, we will file a lawsuit on your behalf against the responsible party. If you collided with a taxi while you were at the wheel because the taxi driver went through a red light, for example, we will work tirelessly to prove that the other driver’s insurance company owes you just compensation.
If, on the other hand, you were a passenger in a taxi when it was involved in a crash, we will sue the third party (or parties) responsible for your injuries. In either case, we will listen carefully to your description of events, investigate the accident site, interview witnesses, and examine police reports, photographs, and all pertinent medical data to develop a winning strategy. Because Ali Alavi is a sharp negotiator, we may be able to win you appropriate damages without ever going to court. If a trial becomes necessary, however, his tough litigation skills will see you through.
Compensation You’re Entitled to if You’re Injured in a Taxi Accident
In Virginia, personal injury damages are awarded to you if you are injured in a taxi accident according to the same standards that apply to victims of other vehicular accidents. If you have been seriously injured, you and your family are entitled to compensatory damages for:
- Medical and rehabilitation costs
- Property damage
- Lost present and future income
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Permanent disfigurement
In rare cases in which the responsible party caused the accident by engaging in “willful and wanton misconduct,” you may also be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant and to prevent others from engaging in similarly outrageous behavior.
Contact Our Vienna Taxi Accident Attorney
Clearly, suffering a severe injury as a result of a taxi accident in Virginia is a challenging, as well as painful, experience. This is when it becomes essential to have an attorney like Ali Alavi beside you. He will take over all legal and insurance matters while you focus on recovering and will always fight aggressively for your rights. Contact us today for a consultation.