Taxi Accidents in College Park

When a taxi driver is involved in an accident in College Park, they are subject to the motor vehicle laws the same as any other vehicle on the highway as well as the common carrier laws. This means they are required to be registered, have insurance and proper identification of the company they are under, as well as proof of insurance. An attorney can identify whose responsibility it is to pay for the damages suffered in an accident caused by a taxi driver.

Due to the complicated and complex nature of navigating the many regulations and laws surrounding taxi accidents, it can be very confusing to navigate these claims. For this reason it is imperative to contact a College Park car accident lawyer who can help you understand the situation and help you procure the compensation you deserve.

Common Carrier Laws

Common carrier laws are designed for companies tasked with having passengers in and on their vehicles such as bus, train, airplane, and cabs. The companies are subject to regulation if they are carrying passengers and are regulated for the protection of passengers. There are minimum requirements to which they must adhere, including requirements of insurance and the ability to identify the carrier in the event of an accident.

Taxi cabs, on the other hand, are deemed to be a common carrier and subject to the rules and regulations of the commission. The commission promulgates the guidelines, standards, rules and regulations for common carriers, affecting rates that the taxis can charge, hours they can operate, and manner in which they can operate. The commission requires that taxis must register, keep insurance, provide proper identification of the company, proof of insurance, and otherwise adhere to all of the other regulations that exist for the protection of the passengers they carry.

How Laws Impact Lyft

A new common carrier is Lyft. In Maryland, ride-sharing services have fought to not be considered a common carrier. They consider themselves a technology company, getting drivers with vehicles to provide services to passengers, but not actually providing services themselves. Maryland developed a kind of a hybrid applicability of the common carrier laws only for Lyft’s limousine services as opposed to the passenger car services.

Whether that will change is a matter of the appropriate commission promulgating regulations and fighting to have Lyft considered a common carrier under all of their services. But as of July 2016, the regular passenger vehicle part of Lyft is not considered a common carrier, whereas the limousine service is.

Recovering Damages After a Taxi Accident

Therefore, there is not any significant difference from receiving damages in a regular car accident as opposed to a taxi accident except for the fact that the taxi’s passenger may be dealing with a company that owns the cab. That involves being able to identify the company and the driver, and the relationship between the driver and the company.

Some drivers are independent and some are considered employees. This affects the manner in which a passenger proceeds, whom they proceed against, as well as what and whose insurance coverage is available if the case of an injury. There is a difference regarding the investigation that is conducted, the information that is gathered from the beginning, in terms of identifying the driver, the company he may be driving for, or under whose umbrella he may be driving, establishing who is legally responsible, and what insurance is legally responsible for paying for the damages suffered as a result of an accident involving a taxi driver.

Role and Benefits of an Attorney

It is important to hire an experienced attorney who can help navigate the complexity of establishing the facts and circumstances of the driver, the owner of the cab, the employer-employee relationship, and the interplay between the driver, the company, and the insurance company.

This investigation, in addition to the normal investigation of any accident, supports the information about how the accident happened, why it happened, establishing liability by way of investigation of the scene, preserving evidence, obtaining evidence of witnesses, and obtaining any video evidence including a camera inside the cab, if there is one, is very important to be done as soon as possible and thoroughly.

This is accomplished by hiring an attorney as soon as possible to represent the injured party’s interests in the accident, to establish liability, to file a claim seeking compensation for injuries suffered in an accident, and to maximize the recovery to which the injured party is entitled.