Were you in an auto accident with the taxi driver? You might have seen this news story about the danger that tired and overworked talk to drivers pose to everyone else—the taxi’s passengers, other drivers and their passengers, and innocent bystanders just walking on the sidewalk or crossing the street.
You might be surprised to learn that there is no legal limit on how much a taxi driver can work in any given day or week. Shifts of 12 to 18 hours in a day are shockingly common, and some anonymous drivers claim to work for 24 hours straight in a single shift. Not shockingly at all, this dangerous trend has lead to more accidents directly caused by overtired and overworked taxi drivers.
If you are the victim of a car crash caused by an overworked taxi driver, you will need to be able to prove it. Always make sure to watch taxi drivers you see in case you can spot obvious signs of extremely tired taxi drivers: erratic driving, slow responses, and so on. Your observations will be crucial to proving their dangerous state.
You should know that proving that the driver was overworked and the company knew of it and were therefore negligent depends on the facts of your case, such as the following:
- How long the taxi driver was working in the day of the crash
- How long the taxi driver was working the day and week before the crash as well
- Did the taxi company know that the driver was so overworked
The reason why establishing the working hours in the day and week before the crash, is because they could just be a few hours into their shift when the accident occurs but they might have been working 12+ hour shifts in the days before. That would still contribute to their fatigue the day of the accident, and therefore would still be dangerous working conditions for the driver.
Before you do anything else you should contact Christopher Ligori & Associates to know your rights and how you should proceed with your case to get the compensation you deserve. The laws, insurance and different jurisdictions can be radically different depending on your specific case, and what you would have to prove under the law can be significantly different.
Your attorney can subpoena records from the taxi company that shows the amount of hours worked by the driver in that day and week leading up to the collision. And if their records are complete, do not properly reflect their actual hours, or they claim their driver was an independent contractor that they are not liable or responsible for, your lawyer will use their knowledge of the law to see through deceit and negligence.
Your lawyer will also advise you that in Florida, you should sue both the taxi company and the driver rather than just one or the other. As the one who directly caused your injuries the driver is liable, but as the employer who is responsible for the driver and the hours they work they are liable due to negligence. Furthermore, if the taxi company owns the vehicle that the driver uses they are liable under the Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine. This means that because the company knowingly allows their driver to operate their vehicle and they could use it dangerously (such as driving while extremely overworked) then the owner of the vehicle is liable for damages caused by the vehicle.
However in Florida there are certain monetary limits on how much in certain types of damages that can be paid . For example, there is a $500,000 limit on economic damages, such as:
- Medical bills for the treatment of your injuries
- Rehabilitation costs
- Repair costs for your vehicle and personal items damaged in the accident
There is also a $100,000 cap on non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of employment due to your injury. It is very important to know that there are no limits on the damages that can be paid by for the driver and employer—this cannot be emphasized enough.
If you have any other concerns or questions about an auto accident of any type or one involving a taxi please feel free to call us at anytime 24–7 as we are always available to help.