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Catching a taxi is something that many will do on a regular basis, while for others it is an occasional thing. But no matter how often you use taxis as a mode of transport, it is important to know what rights you have if you have been injured in an accident while a passenger in a taxi. After all, taking a taxi is placing your safety in someone else’s hands, so you want to know you will be protected if you are hurt.

Not counting Uber and other types of rideshare services, taxis make up a large portion of the Australian transport industry. The last count of taxis in Australia showed that there were 21,344 taxis Australia-wide with 408,400,000 passengers served that year. This is a large leap from when the first motorised taxi was introduced in Sydney in 1906, and while the ridesharing industry has definitely changed the monopoly taxis used to have over Australian commuters, they are still a popular and well-used method of transport.

So if you were travelling as a passenger in a taxi and the driver has been involved in an accident causing you injury – whether due to their driving or someone else’s – then you may be able to make a claim for compensation. Our compensation lawyers can help you commence your claim for compensation for the injuries sustained and possible loss of income as a result of your injury. All claims are run on a no win, no fee basis with no upfront costs.

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Common Taxi Accident Injuries

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  • Whiplash - One of the most common types of car accident injuries is whiplash. If you are travelling in a taxi you may be sitting in the front or rear seats - but no matter where you sit you are susceptible to whiplash if your vehicle stops suddenly. Whiplash can cause lasting pain and suffering with your back, shoulders and neck.
  • Head injuries - If you are seated in the back of a taxi and your driver is hit in a collision, your head may impact with the seat in front of you. Similarly, if you are seated in the front your head may collide with an airbag (if it deploys) or with the dashboard. Either position can place you at risk from suffering a head injury.
  • Broken bones and fractures - If an accident occurs in a taxi this can result in broken bones due to vehicle on vehicle impact, or through colliding with a stationary object such as a pole. Broken bones and fractures can both take some time to heal and the injury may cause a loss of income as you take time to recover.
  • Broken jaw/teeth injuries - Colliding with the object in front of you may result in broken jaw or teeth injuries, both of which can be painful and costly to fix.
  • Concussion - A specific type of head injury in car accidents is concussion, which is caused when the brain is shunted and collides with the side of the skull, causing bruising and inflammation.

Speak to our Brisbane based personal injury lawyers today about the claim process if you have been injured in a taxi accident. We can help you commence a personal injury claim to recover compensation for possible lost income, medical expenses, and pain and suffering associated with your accident.

Passenger Injured in Taxi

Injured person with insurance shield and tick

As a passenger in a taxi you are covered for your injury and possible loss of income if your are involved in an accident on the road, even if the taxi driver was at fault. This is due to compulsory third party (CTP) insurance, which is an insurance scheme that covers you in the event an accident occurs while you are in a taxi. If you have suffered an injury as a passenger in a taxi, you may be able to claim against the at-fault driver, including of your own cab.

Example: Gina is taking a taxi home from the airport. The taxi driver picks her up and then as she is exiting the airport taxi parking area, the taxi is hit from behind by another cab, and Gina is shunted forward, colliding with the seat in front of her and breaking her nose. She has to take three weeks off work to recover and has to have reconstructive surgery. Gina would be able to make a claim against the other taxi driver’s CTP insurance, and the claim would cover lost income (both present and future), reasonable medical expenses, and any other relevant costs.

Morgan is taking a taxi to visit a friend when the taxi driver negligently reverses over her foot as she is stepping into the car. Morgan would be able to claim against the driver for the damage to her foot, loss of income and medical expenses associated with recovery.

What to Do If Injured in a Taxi

Taxi roof sign icon in green

Been in a taxi accident? Follow these steps to ensure you have all the information you need to make a claim for compensation:

  1. Seek medical attention if required. Ask the taxi driver to call an ambulance if they have not done so already, and remain still if you believe you may be at risk of spinal injury.
  2. If you are able to get out of the car, and it is safe to do so, climb out of the car and take photos with your phone of the accident, including the whole scene. You could also take a video.
  3. Get the registration plates of each person involved in the accident as well as the drivers licence information if possible.
  4. Ask the driver of your vehicle if they will be reporting the accident to police. You can call the Department of Transport and Main Roads on 13 19 40 to report a minor accident, or otherwise contact your local police.
  5. Be sure to seek medical advice if you have been injured, and make note of any expenses or associated costs.
  6. Seek legal advice from a road traffic accident compensation specialist.

What if I Wasn’t Wearing a Seatbelt?

Seatbelt icon

In some cases, accidents happen when you are not wearing a seatbelt. In this case, any claim for compensation may result in a decrease of the overall amount paid to you due to contributory negligence.

Example: Rodney is coming home from a night out in the city with friends. He doesn’t put his seatbelt on as it’s only 10 minutes down the road and less focussed after a few drinks. As they are driving along, the taxi driver is negligent and does not pay attention, running up the back of a parked car. 

Rodney is seriously injured as a result of the accident, and has a large period of time off work as he recovers, along with a significant amount of medical treatment. While Rodney would be successful in claiming against the taxi driver for failing to pay attention to the road, he would be found to have contributed to the severity of his injuries because he was not wearing a seatbelt. Due to this contributory negligence, the amount of compensation would be reduced by a percentage.

Compensation Amounts

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Compensation claims are calculated to try and return you to the position you were in - at least financially - before the accident happened. This means that if you lost money due to being off work, this will be included in the compensation calculation. Similarly, if you had to have surgery or stay in hospital, this will be included.

Compensation amounts vary, but one matter where the person injured suffered whiplash and trauma to the spine and pelvis, the plaintiff was awarded over $200,000. This was calculated looking at:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Past economic loss
  • Future economic loss
  • Medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses

It is also worth noting that if you are using a taxi to travel to or from work, you may also be eligible to claim against WorkCover for workers compensation. We can assist you in identifying which insurance company is the relevant party for your claim and help you with the process. 

Time Limits

Clock with alert symbol to show concussion compensation time limits

When injured in a taxi accident, you generally have three years in which to commence a possible claim for compensation. There are certain circumstances when this is a longer (or shorter) time frame. Read more about time limits for personal injury claims in our guide.

It is understandable that the last thing you might want to do when you have suffered an injury is to make a claim for compensation. But it is vital that you start your claim before the time limits expire so that you are not barred from getting the compensation you may be eligible for.

That is where we can assist you. Our team of Brisbane accident lawyers can help you throughout the entire process of your claim and will be there for you at every stage to ensure you are supported and know where you stand.

Information for Taxi Drivers

If you are a taxi driver whose passenger suffered an injury as a result of your driving, you are protected under the CTP scheme which provides compensation for their injury. As road users, you are susceptible to fatigue and driver error which can contribute to accidents. But know that you are protected under insurance if your passenger is injured as a result of your driving.

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