My Taxi Cab Accident

by RyanD on January 26, 2013

My involvement in a taxi cab accident taught me a lot of tough lessons. After driving around the same block in Chicago for 45 minutes to find a parking spot, I finally saw my opportunity. A car ahead of me pulled out of a parking lot onto the street, and he’d left a spot open right at the front of the lot! I turned left to enter the parking lot when a taxi cab behind me smashed into my driver’s side door so hard that it set off my airbags. The cabbie later claimed that he was trying to go around me from behind. Because I wear glasses, the impact of the airbags bruised and cut my face. Luckily, my wife had no injuries and she was able to get the cab driver’s plate number and company information. She also exchanged insurance information with him. We’d never been in an accident before, and we were both so shaken up that we couldn’t remember what we had to do. The cab driver seemed genuinely sorry and assured us that we didn’t have to worry because his insurance would pay for everything, so there was no need to call the police. Our first mistake was believing him as we drove off to a hospital.

My left eye swelled up badly; I felt worried because of the bleeding and the fact that I couldn’t see out of it for 24 hours, but there was no damage serious enough to warrant an operation. The ER visit was expensive because they ran extra tests on me since I had slight whiplash from the impact. My wife first called our car insurance company and explained to them what had happened. They asked her if she had taken any photographs of the damage, and we had not; that was our second mistake. There was a big dent on our car, but the cab didn’t have much more than a broken headlight from what we could remember. When she described the accident to our insurance representative, he deduced that the cab driver was at fault, which was just as we’d suspected, since he made an illegal move by crossing the center median while trying to go around us. My wife immediately called the cabbie’s insurance company to begin to file our claim with them. Unfortunately, what we didn’t know was that the cab driver’s insurance had expired more than six months ago. We had to argue with our own insurance company to try to help pay for the medical bills since our plan did not cover accidents with uninsured motorists.

The police couldn’t help us, even though we had his license plate number because they weren’t there after the accident to confirm our story, so we were left in a case of our word against the driver’s. The cabbie also gave us phony contact details, so we filed suit in small claims court against his taxi company for our damages. The company was able to trace the driver using the plate number and they forced him to settle with us in mediation to avoid going to trial and creating a bad name for their company. After this nightmare to recover more than $2,500 in total expenses, we’ve learned to always call the cops, take photos before moving our vehicles in an accident, and check the driver’s insurance information carefully! I hope others reading this story never have to go through a similar experience.

Byline: Ryan D found a lawyer that specialized in taxi accidents when he was struck with his bad cab experience.




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