Taxi Passenger Rights as Third-Party Beneficiaries in Accident Claims in Nebraska

When a taxi is involved in an accident, the passenger can potentially make a claim against the taxi driver’s insurance policy as a third-party beneficiary. This allows the passenger to receive compensation even if they were not directly involved in the taxi’s insurance policy. Understanding when and how taxi passengers can make claims as third-party beneficiaries is important for protecting one’s rights after an accident in Nebraska.

Legal Basis for Third-Party Beneficiary Claims

The legal basis for taxi passenger third-party beneficiary claims arises from contract law. When a taxi driver obtains insurance, they are entering into a contract with the insurance company. The insurance policy contract is intended to benefit and protect not just the driver, but also passengers who ride in the taxi.

Even though passengers are not explicitly named in the insurance policy, they are considered intended third-party beneficiaries who can make a legal claim for compensation if they suffer losses in an accident. This is known as the third-party beneficiary doctrine in contract law. Courts have upheld the rights of taxi passengers to make claims under this doctrine in many jurisdictions.

Requirements for a Valid Third-Party Claim

For a taxi passenger to successfully bring a third-party beneficiary claim against the driver’s insurance after an accident, certain requirements must be met:

  • There must be a valid insurance policy contract between the taxi driver and the insurance company.
  • The passenger must prove they are an intended beneficiary, not just an incidental beneficiary, of this insurance contract. Courts typically find taxi passengers are intended beneficiaries.
  • The passenger must have suffered legally recognizable monetary damages in the accident. This can include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
  • Proper legal procedures must be followed in making the claim, such as submitting evidence of damages and losses.
  • The claim cannot exceed the policy limits of the taxi’s insurance coverage.

Types of Compensation Available

If they are successful in bringing a third-party beneficiary claim, the types of compensation a taxi passenger can recover include:

  • Medical expenses to treat any injuries suffered in the accident, such as emergency room treatment, hospital stays, medications, and more.
  • Loss of income due to missing work because of accident injuries, calculated based on lost wages and benefits.
  • Costs for ongoing healthcare services like physical therapy, which may be needed for months or years after the accident.
  • Payments for permanent disability or long-term care if severely injured, to cover major life changes needed.
  • Pain and suffering damages to compensate for physical and emotional trauma from the accident.
  • Property damage if any belongings were lost or damaged, either repaired or replaced.
  • Wrongful death damages if someone died, providing for funeral costs and loss of companionship.

Most insurance policies have limits on the total payout, so claims must be made strategically if policy limits are low.

Statute of Limitations

There is a statute of limitations on how long after an accident taxi passengers have to file their third-party insurance claims. The statute of limitations varies but is typically 2-6 years. In Nebraska, the statute of limitations is four years.

It is important to talk to Monge & Associates to begin the claims process as soon as possible before the statute of limitations expires.

Settling Third-Party Claims

Many third-party taxi passenger claims settle out of court. We will negotiate with the insurance company to reach a fair settlement. However, sometimes negotiations fail and the claim must go to trial.

One of our experienced personal injury lawyers can advise whether accepting a settlement or going to trial is the best option based on factors like the severity of damages, liability disputes, and time and legal costs of trial. Settlements allow resolution faster but may not maximize recovery amounts.

Consult Us

The best way for a taxi passenger to exercise their third-party beneficiary rights is to consult a personal injury attorney from Monge & Associates as soon as possible after an accident. We can handle the claims process properly and negotiate aggressively to recover the maximum compensation the passenger deserves. We will determine if a third-party claim is viable and protect the client’s legal rights and interests. With our guidance, taxi passengers can successfully obtain the compensation they are entitled to under the driver’s insurance policy.

If you were involved in an accident while a taxi passenger, we can help you fight for compensation. We have offices in 32 locations and 19 states, including Nebraska, Illinois, and Utah.

Call now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597.