It seems like Baltimore injury lawyers see more cases involving buses and taxis than lawyers who practice in other parts of the state. I think this is because Baltimore’s geographical layout and demographics mean that more people don’t have cars of their own than in other areas. (In 2018, we are obviously seeing tons of Uber and Lyft cases.)
These kinds of cases have their own sets of problems and pitfalls that injury lawyers need to look out for. For example- don’t take a case involving a bus passenger unless you have some independent way to prove your client was actually on the bus in the first place. Most veteran Baltimore injury lawyers have seen or heard of cases that were lost because the plaintiff was not actually in the accident, but saw it and was looking for a quick payday.
Maryland Law Makes Taxi Cases Tougher
These cases can be tough to settle because buses and taxis do not carry PIP insurance. In Maryland, Personal Injury Protection is no-fault insurance that pays the first $2,500.00 in expenses because of a motor vehicle accident. For smaller cases, this cushion often makes the difference in resolving a case prior to trial for an amount that compensates the plaintiff. Keep an eye out for other ways to access these benefits. If the injury victim lives with a relative who has car insurance, that policy may provide benefits.
Worse still, a taxi policy is not required to maintain uninsured motorist coverage. Maryland Insurance Code § 19-501(b) specifically exempts buses and taxicabs from the statutory definition of a motor vehicle. So cases against Barwood Taxi, Regency Taxi, Yellow Cab, Affinity Taxi, etc. are all claims with no PIP and no UM.
At the time this post was written, we were still handling smaller accident claims. In 2018, we would only get in involved in bus or taxi cases where a serious injury is involved. Otherwise, the problems inherent in these kinds of cases make it difficult to get a settlement or verdict that will fairly compensate the injured party.