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Taxi Cab Accidents in Wisconsin

Posted on in Car Accidents

Wisonsin personal injury attorney, Wisonsin car crash lawyer, Milwaukee taxi cab accident lawyerThe law surrounding any car accident can be complex, but taxi cab accidents can have their own unique legal issues. As a passenger, there are special rules related to the fact that taxi cabs are “common carriers,” which means that they have a higher obligation to keep their passengers safe than ordinary drivers do. As a bystander, such as a driver in another car, there are also unique rules pertaining to cabs because they are commercial, regulated vehicles, rather than just normal cars being driven by private people.

As a Passenger

Taxi cabs owe their passengers special duties because of their common carrier status. The leading legal dictionary defines common carriers as “a commercial enterprise that holds itself out to the public as offering to transport freight or passengers for a fee.” These sorts of enterprises typically include taxi cabs, buses, and railroads among others. Taxi cabs' common carrier status is important because it means that they have an increased duty to protect their passengers from harm.

A duty of care is a legal standard that relates to how careful people must be not to harm each other in given situations, and proving a violation of that duty is important in prevailing in a traffic accident case. For ordinary drivers, the duty of care is “reasonableness.” They must take reasonable care to ensure that they do not injure other drivers or pedestrians. Common carriers have their own standard. The law requires common carriers to exercise the highest degree of care possible that would be consistent with running their operations. However, it is important to understand that that increased duty of care only extends to passengers. Other drivers and pedestrians are only owed the usual “reasonable” standard of care during accidents.

As a Bystander

However, even taxi cab accidents involving bystanders and other drivers can still present unusual legal issues. For instance, many Wisconsin municipalities regulate taxi cabs. Those regulations may play an important role in the case because violations of safety regulations can be used to show that the taxi cab driver was operating their vehicle negligently.

Additionally, taxi cabs are commercial vehicles, which bring into play a branch of law known as agency law. Agency law governs when one person is responsible for the acts of another. For instance, the principles of agency law govern the extent to which taxi cab companies are responsible for accidents caused by their drivers. This can be especially important in light of the fact that the company is more likely to be able to cover injured plaintiffs' medical costs that the cab driver.

If you or one of your loved ones was recently injured in an accident with a taxi cab, it is important to understand the special legal issues that raises. Contact an experienced Milwaukee personal injury attorney today to learn more about what rights you have.
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