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People have relied on taxi cabs to take them to and from specific destinations in the Denver area for many years. Some locations are not served by public transportation, but many other people call cabs because they might have had too much to drink or are unable to get home for other reasons.
Another option that became available to Colorado residents in September 2013 was ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. Legally referred to as transportation network companies (TNCs), these businesses allow regular people to provide rides with their personal vehicles through smartphone apps.
Whether it is a traditional taxi or a TNC vehicle, these drivers feel increased pressure to pick up passengers and take them to their destinations as quickly as possible. Many accidents in the Denver area are the result of unsafe driving by taxi or TNC drivers, causing passengers or others to sustain devastating injuries.
Were you injured in a motor vehicle crash caused by a negligent taxi or ride-share driver? Whether you were a passenger in or you were struck by such an automobile, it may be in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation.
Colorado ride-share accident attorney Jennifer Donaldson has more than a quarter-century of experience helping people who were involved in accidents. The Law Office of Jennifer L. Donaldson serves numerous communities in and around Denver County, including Boulder, Broomfield, Longmont, Lakewood, Arvada, Aurora, Thornton, Westminster, Centennial, and Littleton.
If you suffered injuries as a result of a collision involving a taxi or TNC, you may be able to seek compensation for your economic losses including, medical bills and lost wages, and for your non-economic losses. Call (303)-458-5000 right now to take advantage of a free, no obligation consultation.
Cab drivers may work long hours which can lead to fatigue or driving aggressively, recklessly or in a negligent manner.
When a person has been injured or killed as a result of a taxi driver’s negligence, it is critical to take legal action as soon as possible. Cab companies may aggressively defend claims against them and often attempt to deny liability in these accidents.
Motor vehicle carriers of eight or less passengers are required by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) under Code of Colorado Regulations (CCR) 723-6 § 6007 to maintain at least $500,000 of motor vehicle liability insurance. However, these insurance requirements do not necessarily ensure that insurance companies will automatically pay personal injury claims or will fully and fairly compensate you for your injuries, damages and losses.
Some of the most popular taxi providers in the Denver area include, but are not limited to:
TNC drivers operate under different standards than traditional taxi drivers. For example, TNC drivers are prohibited from soliciting or accepting any traditional “street hail” passengers who did not arrange rides through digital application platforms under Senate Bill 14-125, which Governor John Hickenlooper signed into law on June 5, 2014.
The PUC also requires TNCs or drivers to maintain at least $1 million of primary liability insurance coverage. When TNC drivers are logged into their digital networks but are not transporting passengers (commonly referred to as a “gap period”), the PUC requires drivers to maintain minimum coverage of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident/$30,000 property damage.
Similar to accidents involving traditional cabs, a ride-share company is extremely likely to deny its liability for any crash. In many cases, a TNC will claim that its driver was acting as an independent contractor.
TNC drivers may be more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle crash while distracted because their jobs are heavily reliant on their use of cell phone applications. Multitasking has generally been proven to make people do several things less effectively, and it is especially dangerous when one of the things involved in multitasking is driving a motor vehicle.
Colorado Public Utilities Commission | Transportation Network Company Rules — The PUC established these rules effective February 4, 2015. Some of the subject areas addressed by rules include, but are not limited to safety, civil penalties, and insurance. You can also review Senate Bill 14-125, which provides certain exemptions for TNCs.
A Comparison of the Cell Phone Driver and the Drunk Driver — TNC drivers rely on their smartphones as part of their jobs. Noting that “epidemiological evidence suggests that the relative risk of being in a traffic accident while using a cell phone is similar to the hazard associated with driving with a blood-alcohol level at the legal limit,” this University of Utah study provided a direct comparison of the driving performance of a cell phone driver and a drunk driver in a controlled laboratory setting. It found that “the impairments associated with using a cell phone while driving can be as profound as those associated with driving while drunk.”
If you suffered catastrophic injuries or your loved one was killed as the result of a cab or ride-share driver’s negligence, you should not delay in contacting legal counsel. Jennifer Donaldson has received an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell® and was also previously named Lawyer of the Year by the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association.
The Law Office of Jennifer L. Donaldson represents clients throughout Denver County and many surrounding areas such as Arapahoe County, Adams County, Jefferson County, and Boulder County. You can have our Colorado personal injury attorney review your case by calling (303)-458-5000 today to schedule a completely free initial consultation.
This article was last updated on Friday, January 13, 2017.