The Boston Globe Spotlight Team has published a multi-part series investigating the need for reform and regulation of Massachusetts taxis. As any experienced personal injury lawyer knows, a person seriously injured by a negligent taxi cab driver in most cases be limited to the $20,000 state minimum bodily insurance limits currently required under Massachusetts law. Because there are many layers involved in the operation of a taxi cab in Massachusetts, it is very difficult to go beyond the negligent driver of the taxi cab. That’s because the driver most often is an individual who leases or rents the taxi cab from the owner of the taxi medallion, which is the cab license issued by the city or town allowing the cab to operate. The driver is typically treated by the medallion owner as an independent contractor — not an employee. Besides income tax and workers compensation considerations, this arrangement is used to shield the taxi medallion owner from legal liability in the event that the driver of the taxi cab injures someone in an accident.
As reported by the Boston Globe, Massachusetts lags behind many other large cities which require taxi cabs to maintain higher bodily injury limits to protect the general public who may be injured by negligent taxi cab drivers. While Massachusetts only requires taxi cabs to have BI limits of $20,000/$40,000, New York City and Los Angeles require $100,000/$300,000, Chicago $350,000 and Dallas $500,000.
The taxi cab business is a multi-million dollar commercial industry that should be required to carry higher bodily injury insurance limits than a private individual in order to protect the general public from the thousands of taxi cabs traveling our public roads and highways.
The current rules that allow taxi cabs to carry the state minimum for bodily injury coverage is yet another reason why every Massachusetts car owner should purchase Uninsured/Underinsured coverage to protect you and your family in the event you are seriously injured by an uninsured driver or inadequately insured driver such as a taxi cab.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, you should speak to an experienced Massachusetts car accident attorney immediately to ensure that your right to legal compensation is secured.