DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A Volusia County woman never expected the wild ride that followed an accident involving a taxi driver.
Hannah Barcomb said she could see the taxi when it was about to slam into her SUV. “When he was coming, my heart, everything dropped. I’m like ‘eeehhh’ and of course I braced for it.”
She showed Action 9′s Todd Ulrich dashcam video recorded from a vehicle that was behind her.
The taxi crashed into her vehicle’s driver side, with her boyfriend at the wheel. According to Barcomb, they approached the driver from American Taxi.
“He was trying to blame us like it was our fault,” Barcomb said.
Barcomb says the police report and the video backed up her version of events. So she assumed American Taxi in Daytona Beach had the insurance coverage for her SUV’s damage and boyfriend’s injuries.
Barcomb said she couldn’t believe the company’s initial response. “They had said on the phone that there was no accident that month involving their company.”
She took pictures of the damaged taxi in the company’s lot, with unit numbers matching those on the police report.
“It’s sitting right there with damage,” Barcomb said.
She hired an attorney who told her a month later he could not find any auto insurance policy covering American Taxi.
Barcomb contacted Ulrich. Action 9 found four Volusia County lawsuits involving insurance coverage after accidents with American Taxi vehicles.
“If the taxi cab is at fault, they’re supposed to have coverage,” said attorney Brent Steinberg with Swope, Rodante P.A.
Steinberg is an auto insurance expert and says Florida law requires taxi companies and driveshare services to carry bodily injury and liability insurance. And yet these kinds of complaints are not uncommon.
“The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles does their best but inevitably
there are people who fall through the cracks and you have uninsured drivers,” Steinberg said.
The owner of American Taxi, Donald Jackson, told Ulrich the cab driver involved is based in Orange City at a related company and that’s why there was confusion. Jackson also said the driver is an independent contractor and is responsible for his own auto insurance.
“I don’t know how they got away with it,” Barcomb said.
If you’re in this kind of accident, prepare for what’s to come. Take pictures of everything. Collect names and contact information, and call the police so there’s an accident report.
Consumers involved in taxi or rideshare accidents can also send complaints to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
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