There is no question that ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft have revolutionized public transportation throughout the country and in Las Vegas. But what happens if you are involved in an accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft in Las Vegas? Nevada law is very clear on what must happen if a ride-sharing vehicle is involved in an accident.
What Happens if I Get in an Accident in an Las Vegas Uber or Lyft?
Ride-sharing companies offer a valuable benefit, especially in areas with little public transportation, allowing people to get from one location to another with just a few taps on a phone. In large cities, Uber and Lyft are often easier to use than taxis or buses, reducing the time you spend driving in traffic, letting you arrive at your destination less stressed because you had to fight for parking and getting you back home safely, especially after a few adult drinks with friends. But what happens if you are involved in an accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft. Nevada law is very clear on what must happen if a ride-sharing vehicle is involved in an accident.
Law on Transportation Network Companies
Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 706A addresses what the state calls “transportation network companies.” These are companies that use software apps or digital networks to connect drivers and passengers in order to provide transportation services. Transportation services in Nevada begin when the driver accepts the passenger’s request and ends when the passenger exits the vehicle. All drivers in Nevada, as of July 1, 2018, must carry car insurance with the following minimum limits:
•$25,000 per person for bodily injury or death
•$50,000 per accident for bodily injury or death
•$20,000 per accident for property damage
Until July 2018, the limits remain $15,000/$30,000/$20,000.
Uber and Lyft Responsibility When Driver is Off Duty
Because Uber and Lyft drivers use their personal vehicles, when the driver is not actively looking for or carrying passengers, the company is not liable for anything that happens in an accident. This means that if an Uber or Lyft driver hits the vehicle you are riding in, even if it is their fault, Uber or Lyft is not responsible for any damages or injuries. This means that the driver’s insurance would be responsible for any claims should he be deemed at fault.
Driver Waiting for Passenger
If an Uber or Lyft driver is active, in what is called “driver mode,” but has not yet accepted a request from a passenger, there may be contingent liability on the part of Uber or Lyft based on Nevada law. The driver’s liability insurance will provide the primary coverage, but Uber and Lyft may be liable for up to $50,000 for injury or death and up to $25,000 for property damage above the limits provided by the driver’s insurance.
If You are A Passenger
Once an Uber or Lyft driver has accepted your request for a ride and you are in the vehicle, the ride-sharing company takes over all liability should you be involved in an accident. Under Nevada law, Uber and Lyft must carry commercial liability insurance with limits of up to $1,000,000 per person per accident up to a maximum of $2,000,000 for all passengers. In addition, any accidents involving Uber or Lyft vehicles must be reported to the Nevada Transportation Authority.
Taxi vs. Ride Sharing
There are benefits to choosing a ride sharing company like Uber or Lyft over a taxi in Nevada beyond just the convenience and lower cost. In addition to the $1 million in liability insurance, Uber and Lyft drivers are required to carry uninsured and under insured insurance under Nevada law. Therefore, if you are involved in an accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft vehicle and are struck by a motorist without insurance, your injuries may still be covered. In a taxi, you may only have the required $250,000 to cover injuries if the taxi is at fault and no coverage if the accident is the fault of another driver.
What all of this means is that there could be more than one person who is liable for any injuries you suffer in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver. Whether you were a passenger in the Uber or Lyft vehicle or you were in another vehicle that was struck by a ride-sharing vehicle, you need to speak to an attorney to determine where liability lies. Contact the Las Vegas Schnitzer Law Firm today by filling out the simple query form online or give us a call at 702-960-4050 to set up your free, no-obligation consultation.