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Struck by a cab in New York City, how best to proceed?

New York, NY |

Is there a way to insure that the taxi medallion (a valuable asset) isn't refinanced or otherwise shielded from a potential suit should insurance not prove to be adequate compensation in the event my injuries have long lasting consequences?

I have filed all forms in a timely fashion and have the names of the passengers of the cabs. A complaint was filed. The taxi driver was issued a ticket for failing to yield to a pedestrian. Is there a way to insure that the owner/driver does not refinance the medallion during this legal process? Some sort of a lien, or is it premature to be thinking about this at this time?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

You should contact a New York attorney immediately and let them handle your case. They can explain your options to you. I am sure you will hear from someone from New York through AVVO, or you can research locally and find a good attorney to help you.

JOYCE J. SWEINBERG ESQUIRE
Attorney at Law
105 A East Maple Avenue
Langhorne PA 19047

215-752-3732
jjsesq@comcast.net

Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice. It is merely intended to provide general information to aid the poster in finding answers to the problem posed. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. In most cases, it is best to contact an attorney directly to find answers to your problems

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Posted

Good question. First, you should act promptly to preserve your rights. If you were struck by a taxi, you want to promptly identify all target defendants, register the proper claims with the proper insurance carriers, and give the proper notice of your claims.

As for the taxi medallion, New York law may permit you to reach such valuable assets, particularly if you can demonstrate a pattern of negligent entrustment, negligent driving, etc.

Under New York law, in fact, if your facts are strong, the Taxi and Limousine Commission could, in an appropriate case, revoke a taxi driver's medallion license and order him to sell his ownership interest in the medallion. You would then have a civil right to intercept the funds paid to purchase that ownership interest, in partial satisfaction of your damages.

You should also know that under the city administrative code, the owner of a medallion is "fully responsible for the operation of a vehicle bearing such medallion...regardless of the appointment by such owner of an agent." Therefore, you may have an owner and an agent to go after in your case.

Keep in mind, too, that the Taxi & Limo Commission has, in the past, increased the amounts of liability insurance coverage on taxicabs, and medallion owners and drivers in violation of this law may be on the hook to you in a number of different ways -- if they cannot cover your injuries through insurance coverage.

The Commission can suspend or revoke any driver's license under Code section 19-505(l), and often the threat of this action is enough to prompt useful settlement discussions.

I might add that the Supreme Court of New York (Appellate Division) has held Article 78 hearings, in which they have completed divested taxicab owners of their medallions and of their interest in any corporations owning medallions because of highly unlawful conduct. THis process inevitably forces the sale of the medallions and generally produces another sources of money for you to claim damages.

I'd be happy to assist you with your injury case. I have 25 years experience in these kinds of injury cases. We have offices throughout the city. Please feel free to call me at any time.

Mark S. Guralnick, Esq.
Office: 1-866-337-2900
Cell Phone: (609) 481-9900

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Posted

The previous answer you received from Mr. Guralnick is correct and extremely informative. I would only respectfully add to my colleague's answer to make sure to let the New York City Taxi and Limo Commission know about your potential lawsuit directly as soon as possible. Nonetheless, the medallions are usually mortgaged to the max by the companies who own them, leaving little or no value to them. So, even if you force the sale of the medallion, your recovery from the sale will probably be minimal at best. Good luck with your case, and do not hesitate to contact me directly if I can be of further assistance. -rich
RJaffe@lcjLawFirm.com
www.lcjLawFirm.com

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Posted

You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow your doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to your medical records. Photograph your injuries and the damage done to any vehicle or other property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing.

Legal Disclaimer:

Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to insure proper advice is received.

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