Serious Questions Regarding Taxicab Safety

Serious Questions Regarding Taxicab Safety

The Taxi and Limousine Commission delayed safety inspections for the next series of taxicabs, despite clear evidence that the vehicles leave occupants vulnerable to head injuries in the event of a collision.

The TLC approved the rule in 2013, after Dr. John Sherman, chief of plastic surgery at St. Barnabas Hospital, announced that sharp edges and unpadded partitions create a risk of “serious” and “disfiguring” injuries; additional crash tests indicated that the head injuries may also be lethal, in many cases. Despite the obvious danger, only two of fifteen new taxi models have been approved for use.

Due to low compliance, the TLC pushed the compliance deadline to the end of 2016. The rule was to go in effect on December 31, 2015.

Third Party Liability

When a taxicab, limousine, delivery truck, or any other commercial vehicle causes a crash, respondeat superior nearly always applies. Just like the captain of a ship is ultimately responsible for the behavior of the crew, regardless of whether or not he participated in their activity, an employer is responsible for the damages that its employees negligently cause as they perform their work.

So, there are two basic elements in respondeat superior. First, the tortfeasor (negligent driver) must be an “employee” for tort law purposes. It is very common for a worker to be defined as a non-employee in certain areas, like income taxes, but still be an employee for liability purposes. Courts generally look to the amount of control that the boss exerted over the employee.

Secondly, the tortfeasor must have been “working” at the time of the car crash. This word is also very broadly defined: if the worker is doing anything that benefits the employer in any way, that person was “working.” This rule even applies to workers who are not on the clock, but use a company car to go to and from their jobs.

Third party liability is important because of the large number of uninsured and underinsured motorists in New York, because respondeat superior and other theories create an additional source of compensation for injured victims. So, plaintiffs have a better chance of obtaining maximum compensation for their economic and non-economic injuries.

The careless driver may not be the only person who is legally responsible for your injuries. For a free consultation with attorneys who are strong voices for victims, contact our office. We have six locations statewide.


Last year we recovered over $15 million for our clients. With that money, our clients are able to pay their medical bills. They are getting their lives back on track after serious injuries and they are holding to account the people who wrongfully injured them.


$1,100,000.00 - Female, 35: Motorcyclist hit by oncoming traffic

Our client was riding on the back of a motorcycle going south when the defendant heading north made a left hand turn in front of the client, causing the accident.
Injuries: Fractured left leg which required surgery

We understand motorcyclists because we ride


$5,100,000.00 - Female, 43: Cyclist hit by truck

Our client was riding her bicycle when a truck was turning and came up onto the sidewalk. Our client went to back up and the truck struck her.
Injuries: Catastrophic injuries to entire right side of body below the waist resulting in amputation of the right leg and hind quarter; bladder rupture; multiple rib and spinal fractures.

$3,500,000.00 - Female, 33: Serious personal injury

Our client fell down the stairs and was knocked unconscious at a New York City
subway station.
Injuries: Fractured skull, subsequent seizure disorder.

$4,300,000.00 - Male, 63: Pedestrian hit by bus

Our client was crossing a street when a bus hit a car and the car spun and hit him.
Injuries: Traumatic brain injury; fractured shoulder.

$750,000.00 - Male, 35: Workers' compensation

Our client was changing a pump strainer on a hot air furnace when he stepped on a board and fell through the ceiling.
Injuries: Herniated disc which required surgery.

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