New York Taxi Accident Lawyer

On June 20, 2022, a New York taxi jumped the sidewalk in Manhattan’s Flatiron district. The driver hit a bicyclist and several pedestrians, then crashed into a building near 29th Street and Broadway—an area “[p]acked with bars, restaurants, and hotels,” according to The New York Times. Six people were injured, three critically.

New York City has one of the busiest and most complex public transportation systems, of which taxi services play a large part. There were over 400,000 daily taxi rides back in 2014. That number dropped significantly when Uber and Lyft came to town shortly after, and then plunged in 2020 with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. But numbers have been climbing steadily since then, particularly since Uber reached a deal in 2022 to list the city’s taxis on its app.

Most taxi rides are safe, but sometimes accidents such as the one noted above can happen. Chaffin Luhana supports New York residents with experienced and dedicated taxi accident attorneys. We address local car accident laws, who pays for a taxi accident, what to do following a collision, and reasons why you may consider filing a lawsuit.

If you have been involved in an accident involving a taxi, it is always best to contact a qualified New York taxi accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. When you speak with an experienced attorney at Chaffin Luhana, the consultation costs nothing and puts you under no obligation whatsoever.

Give our New York taxi accident lawyers a call today to schedule a complimentary consultation at 1-888-480-1123.

Taxi Vehicles Part of an Ongoing Auto Accident Problem

Increased traffic volume, such as what exists in New York City, is associated with a significantly higher number of motor vehicle collisions, according to a 2022 study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Taxis make up a small percentage of those collisions, but it’s still a significant number.

In December 2023, for instance, there were 8,027 collisions in the city alone, according to the New York City Police Department (NYPD). Nineteen people were killed, with 1,941 motorists injured, along with 1,368 passengers, 351 cyclists, and 889 pedestrians. Of all the vehicles involved, there were 340 taxi vehicles.

And that’s just in one month.

As for the contributing factors to the collisions, the NYPD reported driver distraction as the most common one, affecting 2,271 of the crashes. Second to that was a failure to yield right-of-way, and third was following too closely.

Fatigue can be of particular concern with taxi drivers. According to a recent 2024 study, the monotonous nature of the work, long driving duration, and working overload hours can cause frequent fatigue in taxi drivers. The researchers also found a significant relationship between the number of traffic accidents in the driver’s past year with the level of driving experience and education.

Common Causes of Taxi Accidents in New York

Common causes of taxi accidents include the following.

Distracted Driving

As noted above, distraction is a common problem for all drivers in New York, including taxi drivers. In a 2018 study on taxi drivers, researchers found that even for highly experienced taxi drivers, distracting tasks such as sending a text message or searching a navigation device increased workload and the difficulty of vehicle control, detracting from safe driving.

The apps that taxi drivers use can also be distracting. According to one study of 40 drivers, researchers found that participants using two apps at the same time made more wrong decisions while driving, and spent more time looking at the phone. Those using a single app exhibited similar driving behaviors, but less severe.

In a 2022 study on the same issue, researchers found that taxi driver mobile apps impaired driving performance more than traditional radio systems. The researchers suggested the results be used to develop safer ride-hailing systems and to increase driver training.


Taxi drivers, like all other motorists, are required by law to obey the speed limits. New York City has cameras posted to help catch drivers who are speeding, but according to a report by NYC Streetsblog, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) “does not suspend the license of cab drivers who are repeatedly caught on camera speeding…”

Meanwhile, cameras caught taxi cabs speeding 117,042 times in 2019. Dana Lerner of Families for Safe Streets noted that her nine-year-old son was killed by a “reckless taxi driver” who hit him and her husband as they were crossing the street with the light.

She added that taxi drivers should be held to a higher standard “because they spend hours on our streets and need to be setting the standard bearers for a safe driving culture.”


In 2015, a longtime taxi driver struck and killed an 88-year-old woman crossing the street. He told the cops he’d been behind the wheel for 16 hours. He was charged with failure to yield.

In 2017, the TLC put new limits on drivers to help battle the issue of fatigue behind the wheel. The limits prohibit all drivers from picking up passengers for more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period and more than 72 hours in any seven-day period. In addition, a driver who has gone eight or more consecutive hours without pick-ups can reset his or her 12-hour work clock again.

Studies show that driving while fatigued can be as dangerous as driving after heavy drinking. It slows down reaction times, creating a higher risk of traffic collisions. Long work hours, both daily and weekly, can lead to acute fatigue and reduced sleep, which over time, can lead to cumulative fatigue.



Taxi drivers in New York City must complete taxi school before they can drive. They must also complete a Department of Motor Vehicles-certified defensive driving class no more than three years before applying and must have a current chauffeur license or New York State class A, B, C, or E license.

These rules set a minimum level of experience for taxi drivers, but a new, inexperienced driver may still make mistakes that cause an accident. Particularly those drivers who don’t know their way around the city or local area yet may make risky choices that could put passengers in danger.

Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving can be an issue with some New York taxi drivers. According to a report published in Transportation Quarterly, public complaints about aggressive taxi drivers headed the list of formal complaints filed with the TLC, at least back in the 1990s.

New York taxi drivers have a reputation for being aggressive. In a nationwide poll, taxi passengers gave New York City tax drivers high marks for knowing their way around, but 39 percent said that New York drivers are, by far, the most reckless behind the wheel. Another 38 percent gave New York cabbies the lowest marks for their surly dispositions.

Poorly Maintained Vehicle

The TLC is responsible for licensing and regulating for-hire vehicles in New York City. The commission performs 126,000 vehicle emission and safety inspections annually. It is up to the taxi cab company, however, to make sure that their vehicles are in good operating condition. If a company doesn’t perform regular maintenance activities as scheduled, something could go wrong with the vehicle that could increase the risk of an accident.

Driving Under the Influence

One-third of the fatalities in New York State involve impaired or intoxicated drivers and pedestrians, according to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). With increased blood alcohol content (BAC), crash risk increases sharply. A driver with a BAC of 0.08 is four times more likely to cause a crash than a driver who has not been drinking, while a driver with a BAC of 0.16 is 25 times more likely to do so.

Typically, the BAC limit for driving is 0.08. The laws for those carrying a Class A, B, or C license in New York State, are stricter—the legal blood alcohol limit is 0.04 percent. Drivers who are arrested for DWI can lose their licenses.

How to Select an Attorney in New York for Your Taxi Accident

When looking for the best taxi accident attorney in New York, look for the following qualifications:

Experience with Taxi Accidents

Many lawyers have experience with car accidents, but taxi accidents are different. You increase your chances of being successful in your taxi accident lawsuit if you have an attorney who has experience with your type of case. There are unique laws in New York that apply to taxi accidents, and your attorney needs to be well-versed in these to properly represent you.


It’s easy these days to find out more about the firm you’re considering working with. Check online to see what sort of reputation they have. Then feel free to ask them about their other clients, their results, and their referrals. A good taxi accident attorney will be willing to provide references that speak to their abilities and their reputation.


When you hire a taxi accident lawyer, you’re not hiring only the attorney—you’re hiring the entire firm or office. That means you want to check the attorney’s staff as well, as they will likely be doing research and investigative work on your behalf.  Do the staff members communicate clearly and politely? Are they professional atmosphere? Do they show compassion for your situation?


There are few things as frustrating as wondering how your case is going and hearing nothing from your attorney’s office. It can be equally difficult to try to talk to your attorney about your case if all you hear is a lot of legal jargon that makes no sense to you. As you’re shopping around, take note of how responsive the firm is, and how they communicate with you.


How will your taxi accident attorney be paid? It’s best to choose one that works on a contingency basis. This means they will not charge you unless they can achieve a settlement or judgment in your favor. Ask about the attorney’s fee process so you understand exactly what you’ll be responsible for.

What Our Clients Have to Say About Chaffin Luhana

Below is a small sampling of the testimonials we have received from our clients:

Auto Personal Injury Recovery

“It’s a shame that the insurance companies put you through this…I’m glad there are people like you out there because the insurance companies would walk all over victims otherwise.”

– Mark S., Personal Injury Client

Automobile Accident Victim

“[The firm has] done right [by] me. You did everything right. Informing me and keeping me up to date. You did a fine job. I appreciate you very much.”

– Roger J., Personal Injury Client

Automobile Accident Victim

“I didn’t know what to expect since I never needed an attorney before. You took care of everything and were there for me.”

– Vicki B., Personal Injury Client

Find more testimonials here.

Dedication to Community

Law partners Eric Chaffin and Roopal Luhana, along with their families, established The Chaffin Luhana Foundation in 2010.

A not-for-profit organization, the Foundation encourages the development of human potential and supports community empowerment through the following activities:

  • Scholarships: The Chaffin Luhana Foundation awards an annual scholarship to a student who helps us in the fight against distracted driving by submitting an inspiring personal essay.
  • Financial gifts: The Foundation awards periodic financial gifts to institutions of higher learning to support scientific research and funds educational scholarships to students.
  • Stephanie Victor Legacy Award: The Chaffin Luhana Foundation awards an annual financial gift to one deserving individual who overcame significant challenges and achieved great milestones in his or her life or career.
  • Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation: Chaffin Luhana has partnered with this organization to benefit those living with spinal cord injuries and paralysis.
  • Najee Harris Partnership: We have partnered with Pittsburgh Running Back, Najee Harris, and his Da’ Bigger Picture Foundation to support those in need in the Greater Pittsburgh area.

Firm Awards

The founding partners of Chaffin Luhana have extensive experience in fighting for plaintiffs’ rights:

  • Founder Eric Chaffin: Chaffin has handled a wide array of cases against various types of manufacturers, with dozens of multimillion-dollar recoveries.
  • Founder Roopal Luhana: Luhana manages the firm’s mass torts division. Throughout her career, she has served on committees in MDLs involving over-the-counter consumer products and defective pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
  • Partner Patrick Booth: Booth enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help his clients obtain the best results possible in their personal injury cases.

Chaffin Luhana lawyers have also been named to the prestigious “Super Lawyers” list several years in a row.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many taxi accidents are there in NYC?

Taxi cabs make about 109,00 trips a day in New York City. About 3,859 car accidents in the city involve a taxi. In 2022, four percent of all motor vehicle accidents involved a taxi.

What happens if a taxi driver crashes?

If a taxi driver crashes his or her vehicle, any injured victims would typically file a claim against the driver and/or the company he or she was working for. In New York, however, which is a no-fault state, victims file claims with their own insurance first. If the policy does not cover all of a victim’s expenses, an additional claim may be made. Talk to your New York taxi accident attorney for more information.

Who is Financially Responsible After a Taxi Accident?

Several parties may be held liable after a taxi accident, depending on what caused the accident and how many parties were involved. Common liable parties may include the following.

The taxi driver

If the taxi driver was at fault or partially at fault for the accident, he or she may be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit. Perhaps the driver was speeding, was driving fatigued after working too many hours, or was guilty of aggressive driving. If the police report states that the driver made mistakes, a victim would have a strong case for a lawsuit.

The taxi company

Whoever the driver was working for at the time of the accident may also share in the liability. If the company owns the cab itself, your taxi accident attorney may be able to find evidence that shows they were negligent. Perhaps they failed to properly maintain the vehicle and something went wrong with it. Or maybe they failed to properly check the driver’s record or to manage any past transgressions.

Another driver

It could be that another driver was responsible for the accident. If that person’s negligent actions caused you to suffer from serious injuries, you may be able to sue them for compensatory damages. In that case, you and your New York taxi accident attorney would proceed much as you would for a regular car accident.

How Do I Get Money After a New York Taxi Accident?

After a taxi accident, file a claim with your own insurance provider first for medical expenses. If your policy doesn’t provide enough funds for your needs, you can file with the at-fault party’s insurance provider for additional damages.

Keep in mind, however, that insurance companies are most concerned about their profits and may try to pay you less than you deserve. This is why you may want to hire a New York taxi accident attorney. He or she will represent your interests and fight to achieve the best outcome for you.

What If a Taxi Accident Claim Exceeds Insurance Limits in New York?

If your insurance policy limit does not cover your medical expenses, lost wages, or other similar losses, you will need to file a lawsuit against those you believe were responsible for the accident. This may include the taxi driver, the company he or she works for, or another driver if there was another driver involved. Talk to your New York taxi driver attorney for advice in your particular case.

What Types of Compensation are Available After a Taxi Accident?

The types of compensation that may be available to you (depending on your circumstance) after a taxi accident include the following:

  • Medical damages: This includes current and future medical bills, as well as physical therapy and long-term care if needed.
  • Lost wages: If your injuries keep you from being able to work, you can seek compensation for your lost wages.
  • Loss of earning capacity: If your injuries are severe enough that they will keep you from returning to your job, you deserve compensation for this.
  • Disability and disfigurement: If you were paralyzed or otherwise disabled in the accident, or if you suffered from injuries that resulted in permanent disfigurement, you can make a claim for these damages.
  • Property damages: If you were driving another car that was hit by a taxi driver, you can claim your property damages. The same would be true if you were riding a bike or motorcycle, as long as the taxi driver was at fault.
  • Pain and suffering/emotional distress: Though these damages can be more difficult to quantify, your taxi accident attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to support this claim.
  • Loss of consortium: If you are hurt or disabled to the point that you can no longer provide the support and companionship to your partner or spouse that you did before, your partner or spouse can claim loss of consortium.

What If I Was Traveling In a Vehicle Which Was Involved In An Accident with A Taxi?

If you were in another vehicle that was involved in an accident with a taxi cab, you may be able to recover damages from the taxi driver, the company he or she was working for, or another at-fault driver. The police report as well as other evidence will help determine fault. If you disagree with their findings, a taxi accident attorney can help.

What Should I Do After I Am Involved In A Taxi Cab Accident?

Whether you’re a passenger, a taxi driver, or another driver, seeking immediate medical attention is paramount following a taxi accident in New York. Even if you “feel fine,” it’s best to call 9-1-1 and have yourself checked for whiplash, herniated discs, meniscus tears, and other latent car accident injuries.

If you’re a taxi passenger involved in a collision, you may want to do the following:

  • Use your phone to snap photos and videos of the crash scene and property damage, if possible.
  • Make note of the driver’s name and information and contact info of other parties involved.
  • Try to get the contact information of any eyewitnesses who saw the crash.
  • Do not assume the driver’s policy will cover your injury claim. You may need a New York taxi accident lawyer to fight.

If you’re a taxi driver hit by another vehicle, you may want to do the following:

  • Call 9-1-1 to file an accident report and seek medical attention, even if the damage seems minor.
  • Take photos, looking particularly for skid marks or lack thereof. Get witness contact information.
  • Get the other driver’s license plate number, insurance provider, and contact information.
  • Contact your employer to find out if you are allowed to continue driving for them during the investigation.
  • Call your insurance provider to find out who pays for the accident.
  • Contact a New York taxi accident attorney to negotiate compensation.

If you’re driving another vehicle and get struck by a taxi driver, you may want to do the following:

  • Get the names and contact information of all witnesses.
  • Take as many photos of the accident scene and the cars involved from different angles as possible.
  • Call the police from the accident scene to file a report, insisting that the taxi driver stick around.
  • Contact a law firm to represent your best interests, particularly when dealing with insurers.

Are New York Taxi Drivers Insured?

In the state of New York, all taxi drivers are required to carry adequate insurance coverage, including liability insurance, to operate legally. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines, suspension of licenses, and even revocation of operating privileges.

How Long Do I Have to File A Personal Injury Case Against a Taxi Driver in New York?

You have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim in New York. Once that time passes, you can no longer seek compensation.

There are some exceptions to this rule:

  • If you want to file a claim against a municipality as well—such as New York City—the statute of limitations is shorter and special rules apply. Typically, you must file a Notice of Claim within 90 days.
  • If you or a loved one passed away in the crash, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Statutes of limitations vary by state and depending on the facts of an accident. It is best to contact an experienced attorney right away to understand the statute of limitations on your claim. Everyday could be the last day you have to file a claim.

It’s best not to wait that long, however. In New York, you have only 30 days to apply for no-fault benefits with your insurance company. If you file after that, the insurance provider may deny your claim.

You also don’t want the facts of the case to go cold. Gathering evidence about the accident is easiest early on. After that, witnesses may forget details, videos may be erased, and other types of evidence may be more difficult to obtain.

Your Trusted Taxi Accident Lawyer in New York

The taxi accident attorneys at Chaffin Luhana serve the New York City and New York State area. We are passionate advocates for plaintiffs who have suffered injuries in taxi accidents and stand ready to help you pursue compensation to the fullest extent allowed under New York law.

Call us today at 888-480-1123.