The news about Boston taxis is big these days. Apparently there are over 14 million taxi fares each year, with one quarter of a billion dollars in fares in Boston alone. And we pay some of the highest rates for service in the country. As a Boston motor vehicle lawyer, we hear about the collisions; and with taxis, there are a lot. And the taxis have insufficient insurance.
Yet, as we have pointed out in our website, for years, taxis are under insured. Furthermore, many don’t have insurance at all or are insured by a “bond” which means no real insurance if you are injured by a taxi. When a Boston motor vehicle lawyer sends a taxi owner a request for insurance information, taxi owners frequently refuse to respond. Furthermore, taxi drivers frequently fail to show up for witness statements, depositions and trials. This causes delays and often results in clients not getting fair compensation, or delayed compensation.
After trial, Boston motor vehicle attorneys uncover that many of the taxi medallions are mortgaged to the point where there is no real equity. Thus, notwithstanding a value of over half a million dollars, there is no equity in the medallion and the minimal insurance is all a victim can recover. On the other hand, with the limited issuance of medallions, the value has increased dramatically so there may be equity in them, going forward.
Massachusetts Taxis Under Scrutiny
The Boston Globe’s investigation determined that the taxi cab system is corrupt: drivers, who are generally low and moderate income and often immigrants, are required to pay bribes, and work in an unfair system. Drivers are not issued receipts for payments which indicates that the taxi companies are not declaring income and therefore not paying taxes on income. While this may not be important for a victim of a Boston taxi accident, it reveals a climate of deception and undermining a fair system of compensation for victims of taxi accidents.
The Boston Police Hackney Division is not necessarily fair according to the Globe’s investigation. We had a case involving that division and there were alleged violations of procedure, unanswered questions and unfair dealing. Small taxi owners are at their mercy.
Outgoing Mayor Menino wants to undertake an investigation. This is good news and what Boston motor vehicle lawyers have been seeking for years. The Boston Globe has highlighted what our website and blogs have been saying for years.
What Can Victims of Massachusetts Taxi Collisions Do?
Avoiding taxis in Boston, and cities in Massachusetts is impossible. They are everywhere.
In a case we litigated for many years, a taxi was hit by a state police vehicle. By suing multiple defendants we were able to secure a settlement for our client. Our client had serious facial injuries; he wasn’t wearing a seat belt. Taxis are required to have seat belts and, for some reason, many folks don’t use them.
Be wary of taxis when you are using crosswalks as a pedestrian or entering an intersection as a driver. They are frequently driven by distracted drivers – they use cell phones, radios, operate their meter, and are often excessively aggressive.
If you are injured by the negligent driver of a taxi, call a Boston personal injury lawyer with 27 years of experience. We have tried cases against taxi drivers, settled cases against taxi drivers and offer a free evaluation and consultation. So call Attorney Neil Burns at 617-227-7423.