Side Swipe by Cab in NYC

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Hi All

On way to work a yellow cab side swiped me while trying to change lanes. This happened just as I was slowing down for a traffic light in a high traffic area.

He came from behind and hit me on the side and kept on going. I tried to move into another lane, but there were parked cars, and I could not go anywhere, and he hit me a second time. He was trying to run away but a pedestrian traffic stopped him from fleeing.

There was a cop car at that light and showed up immediately. The cops did not see the accident, but a passerby did and spoke to the police and gave them his contact info as a witness.

The police said that because of the witness I was in luck, because otherwise it would be a 50-50.

The police asked me to come to the precinct in a couple of days and get the accident report number.

I have a 10+year old car and only third-party insurance. So my insurance Geico will not pay the cost of bodywork/painting etc.

How do I go about this ? I do not have the cab driver's insurance.

Should I report it to Geico ? Can the police give me the insurance information of the cabbie so I can report directly to his insurance company ?

BTW.....the cabbie had the gall to tell me that I was lucky the cops showed up so quickly otherwise he would've "taken care of me". The SOB's luck was such that the second cop was just behind him when he said it to me and overheard the conversation.

Screw NYC Cabbies.....some of them are horrible drivers and should never be in the drivers seat. And this is from an ex-cabbie myself, (during my student days)

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The answer would be to sell the car for $4k and pocket the $2400 insurance settlement = $6400 vs. $5500 if you repair an... (more)

elektronic (Aug. 07, 2013 @ 4:25p) |

Thanks for your answer. If I don't own the car, can the insurance company use that in court against me ? In the sense...... (more)

wadias (Aug. 07, 2013 @ 4:28p) |

Take this asshole to the cleaners. He hit you and tried to run. See if you can sue for diminished value, too.

JamesPolk (Aug. 07, 2013 @ 6:58p) |


You are indeed in luck the cops and witnesses were there

The police report should have his insurance info . If it doesn't ask the cops for it. It they won't give it hire a lawyer , I'm sure you'll start feeling some soreness in a few days after the adrenalin wears off

Not sure how/if they might help, but if you can't get his insurance info you might also look to see if the Taxi Cab Authority might intervene somehow. I'd think there would be regulations on how cabbies must conduct themselves and the Authority might keep track of insurance info.

Considering NYC is concerned with how large your drink is, I'd think they would have strong consumer protection laws

Thanks for the quick tips.

Should I call up my insurance and let them know ? I've had a bad experience in the past where I did not call my insurance, and got hit with a AT FAULT on my record, even though a police report showed it was not.

wadias said:   Thanks for the quick tips.

Should I call up my insurance and let them know ? I've had a bad experience in the past where I did not call my insurance, and got hit with a AT FAULT on my record, even though a police report showed it was not.


A quick search showed that NY has some version of a no-fault insurance program. You may want to report to your insurance. I'm not sure. I don't see any reason why you shouldn't contact them.

Additionally, if it looks like the damage is more than $1001 to either party, both parties must fill out a form and submit to the DMV within 10 days. The DMV apparently can suspend your license if you skip this step. It would be interesting karma if you fill out the form (putting the DMV on notice so they wait for the cabbie's form), and he does not submit the form. He might get his license suspended. http://www.dmv.ny.gov/accident.htm

You are very lucky that it happened in New York City and not Boston or Philadelphia, where insurance minimums for cabs are tiny and many are "self insured" but refuse to pay under almost non-existent regulations. New York City has 100k/300k minimum insurance for all cabs.

Although not directly related to the OP, I highly recommend this very recent investigative reporting of the Boston Taxi scene, including what happens when cabs injure or kill people there. It's also very interesting how big medallion owners use a complex corporate structure, unregulated self-insurance schemes, and highly leveraged medallions to nearly avoid all liability (in part 2).

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2013/03/30/world-...

OP, I would definitely report it to your insurance carrier. The taxi company and insurer are going to drag things out for you as much as they can. I would also buy the witness a very nice dinner.

You can also call the NYS DMV and ask for his insurance carrier. You should have his name and/or owner of the cab (maybe a corp.) and get insurance info. You can try calling his insurance company directly and tell them you want to file a claim aginst the cab driver for an accident he caused which is backed up by a witness and police report. Has worked in the past for me.

FIRST go see a "good" chiropractor, and don't delay. I can only imagine the impact from the multiple car hits has thrown your back out and given some whiplash. This cab driver definitely wants to take care of you.

I can't offer any suggestion but green for you, if you can really "Screw" this cabbie/company. I hate driving my new car cuz of these cabs. Please, please do what SIS is suggesting for the sake of humanity
<Quote>I'm sure you'll start feeling some soreness in a few days after the adrenalin wears off </Quote>

wadias said:   BTW.....the cabbie had the gall to tell me that I was lucky the cops showed up so quickly otherwise he would've "taken care of me". The SOB's luck was such that the second cop was just behind him when he said it to me and overheard the conversation
Have the 2nd peace officer corroborate this threat in the police report

TLC has a spreadsheet of all NYC taxi insurance carriers with policy numbers. Download from here:
http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/html/industry/vehicle_insurance_info...
and simply lookup the medallion number of the taxi that hit you.

Not to excuse bad behavior by taxi drivers, but the system is rigged against them. It's impossible to make a living driving a cab in NYC unless you drive like a maniac and do it for 12 hours straight six days a week. If their incentives were safe and courteous service instead of speed and recklessness the streets would be much safer.

zgori said:   TLC has a spreadsheet of all NYC taxi insurance carriers with policy numbers. Download from here:
http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/html/industry/vehicle_insurance_info...
and simply lookup the medallion number of the taxi that hit you.


Wow! Who knew that was public published information? (you obviously)

The power of FWF!

OP, I'd still contact the TLC to make sure they are aware of the accident. They might have disciplinary process in place too.

Alcibiades said:   wadias said:   BTW.....the cabbie had the gall to tell me that I was lucky the cops showed up so quickly otherwise he would've "taken care of me". The SOB's luck was such that the second cop was just behind him when he said it to me and overheard the conversation
Have the 2nd peace officer corroborate this threat in the police report


Hit and run driver threatens me like that, and he becomes my personal hobby for the next year, beginning with separating him from his job.

This is what you do.

Goto the precinct to pickup the police report. While you are there, let them know the guy threatened you which was witnessed by another officer. You want to get this complaint filed as he may retaliate (he has an access to your home address by obtaining the police report).

It will have all the info needed to pursue his insurance. Don't bother with your Geico.
Call up his insurance company, fax/email them the report.
Wait for your check.

I am from NYC and I am a PRO at this (being hit by a cab 4 different times...once it was a day after my repair)

Thanks all for the tips. I will go tomorrow to get the report and call up his insurance company. I did not get his medallion, just his plates. Will try to see if I can get any information off it.

you dont need anything at this point. Police report will have ALL his info for you to pursue him. GL!

zgori said:   Not to excuse bad behavior by taxi drivers, but the system is rigged against them. It's impossible to make a living driving a cab in NYC unless you drive like a maniac and do it for 12 hours straight six days a week. If their incentives were safe and courteous service instead of speed and recklessness the streets would be much safer.

This is in fact, true. Medallion lease in NYC is $800/week plus the cost of the car, gas, etc. Average fare is $13.10 so it takes about 60 fares per week just to break even on the medallion.

In DC the car is leased for $300/week for 03-06 CVPI (bubbleking specials). There is a moratorium on new cab companies in the city. They require owners and drivers insurance here, but many are able to self insure. Many garages incorporated 7 or 8 companies under it just before the moratorium. If one gets in a serious accident, they are only out 5 or 6 CVPIs when they declare bankruptcy instead of paying the claim, probably even less when they sell off the cars to pay for bills around the shared garage that suddenly requires maintenance.

Curious. What type car where you driving?

taxmantoo said:   Alcibiades said:   wadias said:   BTW.....the cabbie had the gall to tell me that I was lucky the cops showed up so quickly otherwise he would've "taken care of me". The SOB's luck was such that the second cop was just behind him when he said it to me and overheard the conversation
Have the 2nd peace officer corroborate this threat in the police report


Hit and run driver threatens me like that, and he becomes my personal hobby for the next year, beginning with separating him from his job.


how is doing go about such separation

Plate number and medallion number are the same with yellow cabs.

Pun said:   Don't bother with your Geico.
Call up his insurance company, fax/email them the report.
Wait for your check.


Why do you not recommend working through your own insurance company? My thinking is that in accidents that aren't your fault you should let your insurance company do the work. Given their expertise (it's their job and they deal with it daily) and incentives (they'd rather make the other side pay instead of paying it themselves) it seems like they'd be on your side and thus a great ally.

nomenclature said:   Pun said:   Don't bother with your Geico.
Call up his insurance company, fax/email them the report.
Wait for your check.


Why do you not recommend working through your own insurance company? My thinking is that in accidents that aren't your fault you should let your insurance company do the work. Given their expertise (it's their job and they deal with it daily) and incentives (they'd rather make the other side pay instead of paying it themselves) it seems like they'd be on your side and thus a great ally.


In NY, if you inform your insurance company, although you are not at fault, few dings would flag you as a liability.
According to Geico and Allstate, whenever there is a claim made (even with restitution) it stays on your record for future rate evaluation. They see it as, if you are prone to getting hit by someone, you are at a higher risk.

I went through my insurance twice (out of 4 cab hits) and my insurance did go up. The reason why I had to go with my insurance was because the cab's insurance refuse to pay 100% and EVEN REFUSED to look at the police report.

Rule of thumb is,
Contact the other party's insurance. If they don't play nice, call yours and have them fight for you.
In Op's case, he has the police report and witnesses. Best to call and just wait for his check.

Pun said:   This is what you do.

Goto the precinct to pickup the police report. While you are there, let them know the guy threatened you which was witnessed by another officer. You want to get this complaint filed as he may retaliate (he has an access to your home address by obtaining the police report).

It will have all the info needed to pursue his insurance. Don't bother with your Geico.
Call up his insurance company, fax/email them the report.
Wait for your check.

I am from NYC and I am a PRO at this (being hit by a cab 4 different times...once it was a day after my repair)


The last cab driver (in his 70's) who hit me insisted that I hit him (crazy? Dementia?). The police officer was able to determine that he was at fault by looking at the damages. The cab driver said, and quote "I may not see well, but i DONT LIE!" The officer smiled and said, "How many fingers am I holding up?" The old man looked dazed and confused.

Go through your insurance company, they will ask for the police report. Your insurance company will get all the cabbie's details and you can file a claim through the cab's insurance company i.e. not pay for anything. They will send you a claims adjuster who will look at the damage and write a check for the same. Good luck.

Pun said:   
In NY, if you inform your insurance company, although you are not at fault, few dings would flag you as a liability.
According to Geico and Allstate, whenever there is a claim made (even with restitution) it stays on your record for future rate evaluation. They see it as, if you are prone to getting hit by someone, you are at a higher risk.


Wow. That's messed up.

Is it only for claims though? What stops Geico/Allstate/others from mining public records (e.g. - police reports) and raising rates (for NY customers) that way?

Cabs tend to have low insurance policy limits. The cab's policy probably has a $10K property limit.

bobley said:   Cabs tend to have low insurance policy limits. The cab's policy probably has a $10K property limit.

What are you basing that on? As I noted earlier in the thread, New York City (where the OP's accident took place) requires $100,000 / $300,000 minimum liability on all city licensed taxis.

elektronic said:   Medallion lease in NYC is $800/week [...]

Wow. My first apartment didn't cost that much.

Per month.

You can't rent a cardboard box in NYC for $800 a month

I used to think that NYC taxi medallions would make a great investment. That was when they sold for less than half of what they do now ($1 million for a corporate medallion). Personally I think they're overpriced now; once interest rates start to rise the price will level off.

The NYC Taxi and Limosine Commission has info on how to file a complaint against a cab driver. You can also search online for any taxi's insurance info.

You didn't get either: (1) license plate, (2) the cab companys number, usually displayed on the cab, or (3) medallion number.

Either of this can help you chase down the driver, owning company, or some other party.

Pun said:   nomenclature said:   Pun said:   Don't bother with your Geico.
Call up his insurance company, fax/email them the report.
Wait for your check.


Why do you not recommend working through your own insurance company? My thinking is that in accidents that aren't your fault you should let your insurance company do the work. Given their expertise (it's their job and they deal with it daily) and incentives (they'd rather make the other side pay instead of paying it themselves) it seems like they'd be on your side and thus a great ally.


In NY, if you inform your insurance company, although you are not at fault, few dings would flag you as a liability.
According to Geico and Allstate, whenever there is a claim made (even with restitution) it stays on your record for future rate evaluation. They see it as, if you are prone to getting hit by someone, you are at a higher risk.

I went through my insurance twice (out of 4 cab hits) and my insurance did go up. The reason why I had to go with my insurance was because the cab's insurance refuse to pay 100% and EVEN REFUSED to look at the police report.

Rule of thumb is,
Contact the other party's insurance. If they don't play nice, call yours and have them fight for you.
In Op's case, he has the police report and witnesses. Best to call and just wait for his check.


It kind of makes sense that if you are prone to be hit, your insurance should be higher.

A lot of states are no-fault, so that totally makes sense.

Even in at-fault states that makes sense. Even if fault is 100 percent the other sides every time, there could be the belief that the fault was less than 100% theirs, and thus, you had something to do with it.

I don't necessarily agree with this line of thinking, but I can see why insurance companies would do this.

NEDeals said:   bobley said:   Cabs tend to have low insurance policy limits. The cab's policy probably has a $10K property limit.

What are you basing that on? As I noted earlier in the thread, New York City (where the OP's accident took place) requires $100,000 / $300,000 minimum liability on all city licensed taxis.


I dealt with a cab that had a $10K property limit. Maybe that limit would then roll over to the liability limits.

$10K is the minimum for property coverage in NYS: http://www.dmv.ny.gov/insurance.htm NYC TLC has no property minimum for taxis that I can see: http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/downloads/pdf/vehicle_transaction_ch...

NEDeals said:   You are very lucky that it happened in New York City and not Boston or Philadelphia, where insurance minimums for cabs are tiny and many are "self insured" but refuse to pay under almost non-existent regulations. New York City has 100k/300k minimum insurance for all cabs.

Although not directly related to the OP, I highly recommend this very recent investigative reporting of the Boston Taxi scene, including what happens when cabs injure or kill people there. It's also very interesting how big medallion owners use a complex corporate structure, unregulated self-insurance schemes, and highly leveraged medallions to nearly avoid all liability (in part 2).

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2013/03/30/world-...

OP, I would definitely report it to your insurance carrier. The taxi company and insurer are going to drag things out for you as much as they can. I would also buy the witness a very nice dinner.

100% agree with the dinner. Very rare to get Samaritan these days..

Kanosh said:   I used to think that NYC taxi medallions would make a great investment. That was when they sold for less than half of what they do now ($1 million for a corporate medallion). Personally I think they're overpriced now; once interest rates start to rise the price will level off.

According to NYC.gov they are still around $1M. That seems pretty low in exchange for an $800/week inheritable annuity. It may not meet the 1% rule for real estate, but as a passive investment requiring no maintenance (other than campaign donations to keep the medallion sales low), it's not a bad deal.

The most dangerous part of any trip to NYC is the cab ride to & from the airport.

saladdin said:   Curious. What type car where you driving?

1993 Toyota Land Cruiser

Hi All

Thanks to the link posted by zgori I found the insurance info for the cab driver. I did have his license plate.

Called up his insurance Fiduciary of America, and they asked me to start an online claim. Did that last night. Today someone called and asked me for the police report etc. Have to swing by the precinct tomorrow to get that and fax it over.

Skipping 64 Messages...
Take this asshole to the cleaners. He hit you and tried to run. See if you can sue for diminished value, too.



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