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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Chicago
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    5

    Default Car Door Opened Into Traffic

    In Chicago, Illinois:

    A taxi was stopped in the left traffic lane of a one-way street. Passenger opened the right rear door as my car passed, damaging my car door and fender and taxi's door. Can the taxi driver be held liable for the accident, or only the passenger? Passenger gave a phony name. If the taxi driver (or owner) is liable, what is the applicable Chicago or Illinois law or vehicle code?

    Any help appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Taxi Driver's Liability

    How was the taxi driver negligent?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Chicago
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    Default

    Negligence on driver's part was allowing the passenger to open door on traffic side of cab. Maybe also stopping in traffic lane instead of pulling to curb nearby. But that's actually the question: is the driver negligent? And, if so, what's the statute applicable in Illinois or Chicago?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    310

    Default Re: Taxi Driver's Liability

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    How was the taxi driver negligent?
    It doesn't matter whether it was the taxi driver or passenger who was at fault. The taxi's insurance should pay either way.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Chicago
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    Default

    I understand that the insurance should pay, but they offered a settlement that would not cover the amount of the repair. So I need to sue. Do you have any idea of the applicable law, ordinance or case law?

  6. #6
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    Default

    The taxi driver's negligence (or lack thereof) may be relevant to identifying the proper party to sue, as these days many taxi companies will "lease" taxis for the day to drivers who are not technically their employees. The taxi driver in such a circumstances isn't the owner of the vehicle, and quite possibly has no insurance beyond whatever comes with the taxi.

    But the insurance policy holder has already seemingly been identified, so that would seem to be the party to target, presumaby the owner:
    Quote Quoting 625 ILCS 5/7‑317 - Motor Vehicle Code - 'Motor vehicle liability policy' defined.
    (b) Owner's Policy. ‑‑Such owner's policy of liability insurance:
    • 1. Shall designate by explicit description or by appropriate reference, all motor vehicles with respect to which coverage is thereby intended to be granted;

      2. Shall insure the person named therein and any other person using or responsible for the use of such motor vehicle or vehicles with the express or implied permission of the insured;

      3. Shall insure every named insured and any other person using or responsible for the use of any motor vehicle owned by the named insured and used by such other person with the express or implied permission of the named insured on account of the maintenance, use or operation of any motor vehicle owned by the named insured, within the continental limits of the United States or the Dominion of Canada against loss from liability imposed by law arising from such maintenance, use or operation, to the extent and aggregate amount, exclusive of interest and cost, with respect to each motor vehicle, of $20,000 for bodily injury to or death of one person as a result of any one accident and, subject to such limit as to one person, the amount of $40,000 for bodily injury to or death of all persons as a result of any one accident and the amount of $15,000 for damage to property of others as a result of any one accident.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Chicago
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    Default

    Problem here seems to be proving negligence on the part of the owner or driver. They say that only the passenger who opened the door is negligent. Is there any statute that would throw liability back onto the driver or cab owner?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
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    28,906

    Default

    It sounds more like you need to come up with a viable theory of negligence against the driver (or find authority making the driver responsible for the actions of a passenger).

    How large is your claim - that is, how much would your full repair cost?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Chicago
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    Default

    Repair plus rental expenses are only about $3000. That's kind of the problem. Hardly enough to make it worth pursuing with an attorney.

    Concerning what you said, that's exactly the crux of the matter: Is there a statute in Chicago or Illinois assigning negligence to the driver if a passenger opens the door into traffic?

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