Public liability claims mean you need more than just passenger liability cover

You probably already have passenger liability insurance that protects your taxi business against claims relating to the injury or death of passengers. (If you don’t, read this article now to find out why passenger liability cover is important.) Public liability, on the other hand, comes into effect when the passenger or a third party is injured while outside of your vehicle. In South Africa there is a rising trend in liability claims – and their litigation – is gaining speed.

One of the main reasons that liability claims litigation is gaining traction in South Africa is the fact that individuals who could not previously afford to hire an attorney, can now do so under the Contingency Fees Act 66 of 1997.

Any person who wishes to engage the services of an attorney must be able to pay for these services. A contingency fee arrangement means that an attorney may represent a plaintiff and conduct litigation on their behalf. The attorney carries all costs involved on the condition that, if the litigation is successful, they can charge the plaintiff double their original fee or up to 25% of the compensation awarded to the plaintiff. These contingency fee arrangements have influenced the number of and the size of personal liability claims that end up in mediation or court.

Yes, the Road Accident Fund provides cover for injury and loss of income to all road user in the event of an accident, but there are still ways in which taxi operators (or other businesses) can legally be held liable for someone’s injury. And contingency fee arrangements mean that any person with a valid, legally reasonable claim can now instigate legal action against you. Do you have the correct kind of liability cover in place to protect your fleet?

Contact us to make sure that you have the right type of policies to cover your taxi business against passenger- and public liability claims. Khwela sihambe!