Understanding Nevada’s Rideshare Laws: A Comprehensive Guide for Uber & Lyft Users

Rideshare services, epitomized by companies like Uber and Lyft, have seen a meteoric rise in popularity across Nevada. This surge is due to the convenience, efficiency, and often cost-effectiveness these services offer compared to traditional transportation methods. As these services become increasingly woven into the fabric of Nevada’s transportation landscape, understanding the state’s rideshare laws becomes crucial. This knowledge is vital for both drivers and passengers to ensure safe, legal, and responsible use of these services, shaping the future of urban mobility in Nevada.

Key Takeaways

  • Rise of Rideshare Services: Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular in Nevada, offering convenience and cost-effectiveness compared to traditional transportation.
  • Regulatory Framework: Since 2015, Nevada has had specific legal frameworks for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), covering insurance, liability, driver background checks, vehicle standards, and passenger rights.
  • Insurance Requirements: Rideshare drivers in Nevada must adhere to varying insurance requirements based on their activity status, ensuring adequate coverage during all stages of a ride.
  • Liability in Accidents: Nevada’s at-fault insurance system determines liability in rideshare accidents based on the driver’s status during the accident.
  • Comparative Negligence: Nevada employs comparative negligence rules in accidents, affecting compensation based on each party’s degree of fault.

Nevada’s Regulatory Framework for Uber, Lyft, and Other TNCs

In 2015, Nevada introduced legal frameworks specifically for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft, marking their official recognition and regulation within the state. These laws address various aspects unique to TNCs, such as:

  • Insurance and Liability: TNCs must adhere to specific insurance coverage requirements, ensuring adequate protection for both drivers and passengers.
  • Driver Background Checks: Strict checks, including criminal and driving history, are mandatory for all TNC drivers.
  • Vehicle Standards: Regulations specify vehicle requirements for safety and operation in the rideshare context.
  • Passenger Safety and Rights: Laws include fare transparency, anti-discrimination policies, and guidelines for protecting passenger information.

Understanding Nevada’s Rideshare Insurance Requirements

In Nevada, rideshare drivers are subject to specific insurance requirements that vary depending on their activity status. These requirements are designed to ensure adequate coverage throughout different stages of a rideshare trip, protecting both drivers and passengers.

The Different Insurance Phases in Ridesharing

Phase 1: Driver Logged In and Waiting for a Ride Request

  • In this phase, the driver is logged into the rideshare app, but hasn’t accepted a ride request yet. The insurance provided by TNCs typically covers any damages exceeding the driver’s personal insurance limits.
  • Minimum coverage in this phase includes contingent liability insurance, which covers up to $50,000 per individual per accident for injuries, and up to $25,000 for property damage.

Phase 2: Driver En Route to Pick Up a Passenger

  • Once the driver accepts a ride request and is on their way to pick up the passenger, the coverage increases significantly.
  • During this phase, Nevada law requires TNCs to provide insurance coverage of up to $1.5 million for bodily injury, death, and property damage. This ensures a higher level of protection as the driver is actively engaged in a rideshare service.

Phase 3: Passenger in the Vehicle Until Drop-off

  • This phase starts when the passenger enters the vehicle and continues until they are dropped off at their destination.
  • In this final phase, the TNC’s commercial liability policy is liable and the liability coverage must not be less that $1.5 million per accident.  
  •  This covers both bodily injury and property damage caused by the rideshare driver.

Liability in Rideshare Accidents

Understanding liability in rideshare accidents is crucial, especially in Nevada, which operates under the at-fault insurance system. This system dictates how liability is determined and who is responsible for damages in the event of a rideshare accident.

Nevada as an At-Fault State: Implications for Rideshare Accidents

In an at-fault state like Nevada, the driver who is responsible for causing the accident is also responsible for the damages. This principle applies to rideshare accidents as well. The liability in such cases often depends on several factors, including the status of the rideshare driver at the time of the accident.

Scenarios Determining Liability

  1. Accident with a Passenger Onboard
  • If a rideshare driver is involved in an accident while a passenger is onboard, the rideshare company’s insurance is typically liable. This is because the driver is considered to be “on duty”, providing a service under the company’s operation.
  • In this scenario, the commercial policy of the rideshare company, often with high coverage limits, would come into play to cover the damages.
  1. Collision While En Route to Pick Up a Passenger
  • When a rideshare driver accepts a trip and is on the way to pick up a passenger, they are also considered “on duty”. Therefore, in the case of an accident during this period, the rideshare company’s insurance usually covers the damages.
  • This coverage is crucial because it fills the gap between personal insurance coverage and the time a passenger is in the vehicle.
  1. Incidents During Personal Use by the Driver
  • If a rideshare driver is involved in an accident while not logged into the rideshare app (thus not working as a rideshare driver), their personal auto insurance is responsible for covering the damages.
  • This scenario treats the driver as a regular motorist, separate from their role as a rideshare driver.

Comparative Negligence in Nevada

Comparative negligence, also known as comparative fault, is a legal concept used in Nevada to determine the degree of fault in accidents involving multiple parties. Under this rule, each party involved in an accident can be assigned a certain percentage of fault. The key implication of this system is that it allows for the distribution of responsibility and damages based on each party’s contribution to the accident.

How Comparative Negligence Affects Compensation in Rideshare Accidents

In rideshare accidents, the comparative negligence rule plays a crucial role in deciding compensation. Here’s how it works: 

  • Determining the Degree of Fault: If involved in an accident, both the rideshare driver and the other party (or parties) will be assessed to determine their respective levels of fault. This assessment is based on evidence, witness statements, and other relevant information.
  • Impact on Compensation: The compensation that a party can receive is directly affected by their degree of fault. For example, if a party is found to be 30% at fault in an accident, their compensation will be reduced by 30%. In Nevada, as long as a party is not more than 50% at fault, they can still recover damages.
  • Application in Rideshare Context: For rideshare accidents, this means that both the driver and the passenger (or other involved parties) need to consider their actions leading up to the accident. Any reckless behavior, like distracted driving or not wearing a seatbelt, can affect the fault percentage and, consequently, the compensation.

Rideshare Insurance Debate in Nevada: The Case of Bill SB 125

A recent development in Nevada’s legal landscape concerning rideshare services involved the proposed bill SB 125. This bill aimed to increase the insurance coverage required for rideshare drivers, such as those working for Uber and Lyft. However, it failed to pass during a session of the Committee on Revenue and Economic Development. The existing law in Nevada mandates that rideshare firms provide $50,000 in coverage for drivers who are working, but not yet transporting passengers.

The rejection of this bill maintains the status quo, but sparked discussions on whether the current insurance coverage is sufficient for catastrophic accidents. This development is crucial for both riders and drivers as it directly impacts the insurance coverage available in the event of an accident. 

Drummond Law Firm: Your Guide to Nevada’s Rideshare Laws 

At Drummond Law Firm, we understand the complexities of Nevada’s rideshare laws and their impact on your safety and legal rights. If you find yourself in a rideshare-related legal situation or need more information, Drummond Law Firm is here to help.

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The content presented on this blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended as professional legal advice and should not be construed as such. The information contained herein may not be current and is subject to change without notice. Readers are advised to seek formal legal counsel before taking any actions based on the information or opinions expressed on this site. Any reliance on the material contained within this blog is at the reader's own risk.