If you’re in a Lyft car accident in Las Vegas, it’s important to understand how Nevada law works when it comes to legal liability for these accidents. With more people using ride-sharing to get around Las Vegas than ever before, accidents involving Lyft vehicles are bound to happen.
If it happens to you, you may be left wondering where you can turn for compensation when you’re hurt in an accident. Working with an experienced car accident lawyer after a Lyft accident gives you the best chance of receiving the compensation you need to make a full recovery. Here’s how Nevada law treats liability for Lyft car accidents.
The Person at Fault Pays for the Accident
The rule throughout Nevada is that the person who causes a car accident pays for the damages. When you’re in a crash of any kind in the state, the driver who caused the accident should pay the victims for their losses.
The rule also applies when you’re in an accident in a Lyft vehicle. If the Lyft driver causes the crash, they should cover your damages. If the other driver causes the accident, it’s the other driver that should pay the Lyft driver and any other victims for their losses.
Nevada’s Minimum Insurance Laws
In Las Vegas, all drivers have to buy a minimum amount of car insurance. Nevada’s insurance minimum laws apply whether you drive for a ride-sharing service or not.
You must have at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 total in coverage in case you cause a personal injury accident. You must also have at least $10,000 to pay for property damage. In theory, recovering from a Lyft car accident is a simple matter of determining who caused the accident and bringing the claim to the appropriate insurance provider.
Lyft Provides a Backup Insurance Policy
Reality is a bit more complicated. In many cases, $15,000 is hardly a dent in a person’s medical bills and other damages after they’re hurt in an accident. Most people don’t have the assets to pay a victim directly out of pocket.
Fortunately, Lyft passengers, drivers, and even accident victims in other vehicles can all benefit from a generous Lyft insurance policy. All Lyft drivers receive the benefit of a one million dollar ride-sharing policy. This policy covers anyone in a Lyft vehicle that’s hurt in an accident. It also covers Lyft drivers when they’re at fault for a crash so that victims in the other car can recover their full losses.
The first step is to figure out who the at-fault driver is and look at their insurance. If that’s the Lyft driver, the one-million-dollar policy is the first choice for recovery. If the other driver is at fault, you look at their insurance first. If their insurance doesn’t cover it, or if they don’t have insurance at all, you can look at the Lyft policy as a secondary insurance for full recovery of your losses.
When Does the Lyft Insurance Policy Apply?
The million dollar Lyft insurance policy applies any time a driver has a passenger en route. It also applies any time that a driver is on their way to pick up a passenger. The insurance policy remains in effect from the time a driver accepts a request to the time that the ride ends. The company uses the app to measure when these events occur.
What About Before the Driver Has a Ride Request?
If a driver is waiting for a ride request to come in when the accident occurs, their personal insurance is the first option for recovery. In cases where the driver’s personal insurance refuses to pay, or their personal insurance doesn’t adequately cover your losses, you have the option to ask for supplemental compensation from Lyft. It’s called Lyft’s contingent liability insurance policy.
The amounts of available compensation are much lower with the contingent liability insurance policy than they are for the insurance policy that applies after a driver accepts a ride request. The maximum limit is $50,000 per person. However, it’s still a viable option in many cases where a driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your losses.
What If I Don’t Agree With What Lyft Wants to Pay?
Even with Lyft’s one million dollar insurance policy guarantee, you might still run into a disagreement with Lyft or a vehicle driver about your compensation after an accident. You might disagree about what insurance policy applies to your situation. The company may not agree to pay you fairly for your losses. You may need to prove who caused the accident.
If you don’t agree with how the company wants to resolve your claim, you have options. You can work with a Las Vegas attorney to present a demand letter to the company. A demand letter details the strength of your case and how you’d like to see it resolved. You can also work with your attorney to bring a claim against the at-fault driver, Lyft or both. Each case is different, and your attorney can help you determine the best way to go about getting fair compensation.
Remember that Nevada’s contributory negligence laws apply. The contributory negligence rule means that more than one person can contribute to an accident. Even if you did something to make the accident occur, as long as you’re not more at fault than others, you could still recover for part of your damages. It’s up to the jury to sort out whose actions led to the crash.
If you’re partially to blame, your recovery is less than it would have been otherwise. However, unless you’re more than 50 percent to blame, you can still recover something. Nevada’s contributory negligence rules can impact how you recover after a Lyft accident. Your attorney can help you determine what you can expect to recover and how to bring your claim.
Requirements to Drive for Lyft in the State of Nevada
To drive for Lyft, you must comply with requirements that are set by Lyft. You must also comply with requirements set by the State of Nevada. Drivers in Clark County have requirements from the county to follow, too. Here are the requirements to drive for Lyft in the State of Nevada.
1. Criminal history and driving record requirements to drive for Lyft in the State of Nevada
Nevada requires Lyft drivers to have a good driving record and a clean criminal history. While you can have a few minor things on your record, if you have too much, you’re disqualified from driving for Lyft. Here are the driving and criminal history rules:
- Fewer than three motor vehicle violations in the past three years
- No gross misdemeanor or felony driving offenses
- Any drunk driving or drugged driving conviction in the previous seven years is an automatic disqualifier
- Within the past seven years, you may not have a criminal conviction for terrorism, violence, fraud, theft or property damage
- Within the past seven years, you may not have used a motor vehicle to commit a felony
Lyft will check your driving record each year and your criminal history every three years.
2. Personal requirements to drive for Lyft in Nevada
You must meet the following personal requirements to drive for Lyft:
- 21 years of age or older
- A valid State of Nevada driver’s license
- A registered, insured motor vehicle – Lyft will keep records about the vehicle that you drive
- You may not drive for Lyft for more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period
3. What vehicles can you use to drive for Lyft in Nevada?
In addition to meeting personal requirements to drive for Lyft, you must drive a vehicle that is a 2009 model or newer. The standards for newer vehicle models may not be as stringent in other locations, but they are strict in Las Vegas. Your vehicle must also meet the following requirements:
- Four doors
- Five or more seatbelts
- Subcompact vehicles are not allowed
- Taxis are not allowed
- Stretch limousines are not allowed
4. State and county business licenses to drive for Lyft in Nevada
To drive for Lyft in Nevada, you must have a state business license. The cost for a state business license is about $200, and you can apply online. You must renew your license annually. You have until six months after you begin driving to get your business license.
If you drive in Clark County, you also need a Clark County rideshare driving license. The Clark County license is only $25. You may apply in person or online.
5. Attend a Lyft welcome session
To drive for Lyft, you must attend a welcome session. In Las Vegas, the welcome session is held at 7255 S. Tenaya Way, Suite 300A, Las Vegas, Nevada 89113. At your welcome session, Lyft representatives perform a 22-point inspection of your vehicle. You receive a Lyft emblem to place on your car. You also receive a Transportation Network Company permit number to display at all times when you drive.
How Can an Experienced Attorney Help?
You might be the Lyft driver, another driver, a passenger, or even a pedestrian. When you’re in a crash that involves a Lyft vehicle, there’s a good chance that the company’s insurance policy can come to your aid. However, it can be a bit tricky to know where to bring your claim and how to get a payment that fairly represents your losses.
An experienced attorney can help you examine your case and make a plan for recovery. Although there are measures in place to ensure you get the compensation you need after a Lyft car accident, the process can be overwhelming, so it’s essential to work with an expert.