Las Vegas, Nevada is one of the most popular destinations in the United States for tourists from both within the country and abroad. With some of the most well-known casinos in the world, more glitz and glamour than Hollywood, billions of dollars up for grabs—and just the right number of Elvis impersonators—there are hundreds of thousands of people trying to make their way from one place to another in Vegas at any given moment.
When it comes to getting around in Las Vegas, especially with so many people just visiting from outside the city, the most popular method is in a taxi. In some places, like the famed Vegas Strip, there are so many taxis available that it doesn’t make sense to use some of the more modern services like Uber or Lyft. Why wait for a driver to show up when there’s a smiling taxi driver with an empty cab right in front of you?
Unfortunately, with taxi cabs making up such a large part of the traffic in Las Vegas, that also means a lot of taxi cab accidents.
Las Vegas Taxi Cab Accident Classifications
If you are involved in an accident with a taxi in Las Vegas, the first thing that will be determined is the classification of your relationship to the taxi company. There are three possible classifications.
Unaffiliated Vehicle Operator Or Pedestrian
In this case, you have not made any agreement to utilize the services of the individual taxi or the taxi company. For example, you did not wave down a taxi on the street or call to request a taxi. You were involved in an accident with the taxi as either a pedestrian or as another motorist.
As A Customer – Passenger
In this case, you did enter into an agreement to utilize the services of the taxi and were inside the cab or shuttle as a passenger at the time of the accident. An example would be if a taxi is involved in a collision with another car while you are in the back seat.
As A Customer – Pedestrian
In this third case, you would have entered into an agreement to utilize the services of the taxi but you were injured as you tried to either enter or exit the vehicle. An example would be if a driver pulls over too fast and hits you or drives over your foot.
If you are a customer in the care of a taxi company at the time of an accident, it is very common for the company to be found at least partially liable for any injuries you sustain. Even if there is no business relationship between you and the cab company, the driver or company can still be found negligent and therefore liable for your injuries.
Las Vegas, NV Taxi Regulations
All activity concerning taxis in Las Vegas is overseen by the Nevada Taxicab Authority. If a taxi is involved in an accident and the driver, company, or car are found to be in violation of any regulations, it could be used to support an injured party’s claim that negligence caused the accident.
For example, all taxi drivers must undergo a background check and pass a special test to require a permit to drive a taxi. If someone is behind the wheel of a cab and has an accident without meeting these prerequisites, the company can be held liable for damages and injuries.
Drivers, too, are responsible for making sure that any cab they operate meets regulation standards including:
- The system that comprises the front suspension must be in good repair and proper working order.
- The engine and drivetrain of the vehicle, including other parts necessary to connect the engine and drivetrain to each other or to other parts of the vehicle, must be in good repair and proper working order so that, during normal operation, the engine does not die, miss, backfire or show noticeable loss of power.
- The vehicle must not pull to the left or the right or tend to drift under normal driving conditions.
- The engine, drivetrain, radiator and other accessories must not allow a noticeable amount of fluid to leak.
- The engine must not emit an excessive amount of smoke from the crankcase or system for exhaust.
- The vehicle must be equipped with seat belts which must be maintained in a clean and operable condition at all times.
- The linings of the brakes must be of sufficient thickness to prevent the metal portion of the brake shoe or pad from coming into contact with the brake drum or disc. Under normal braking conditions, the vehicle must not pull to the left or to the right and the wheels of the vehicle must not lock.
If a taxi does not meet these requirements it must be removed from service until any defective condition has been completely corrected. If a taxi does not meet all of the regulatory fitness requirements and is involved in an accident on Las Vegas roads, the driver and company can both be found negligent and held responsible for injuries and damages resulting from the accident.
Taxi Accidents Are Not The Same As Car Accidents
Because taxis are commercial vehicles, usually part of a fleet owned by a taxi company, there are special laws and regulations that apply to them and they are held to a higher standard of safety. When a taxi is involved in an accident, be it with another vehicle or a pedestrian, it is not the same as when a privately owned vehicle is in a car crash.
The cab driver in the vehicle and the cab company that owns the vehicle share responsibility for making sure that driver and car meet all legal requirements, that both are fit to be on the road, and that proper care is taken as they are circulating in traffic.
Previous taxi accident settlements and awards where drivers and/or companies in Las Vegas were found to be at fault have reached into millions of dollars.
A jury awarded a $4.5 million judgment to a woman involved in a collision with a taxi in Las Vegas.
A bellboy at a local Las Vegas hotel received a $3 million settlement for injuries sustained after being hit by a commercial limousine.
Our own firm recently recovered a substantial compensation award for a client who suffered injuries to her shoulder, arm, neck, back, and leg as a result of an accident with a Vegas taxi.
Speak With An Experienced Las Vegas Taxi Accident Attorney
Because of the special laws and regulations regarding taxis and taxi cab companies in Las Vegas—and their deeper pockets—injury cases stemming from a taxi crash require a personal injury law firm with specific experience. A personal injury lawyer has to understand what it takes to fight back against a well-funded legal team that will do anything to shift financial responsibility away from both the taxi and insurance companies.
With more than 30 years of experience helping accident victims as personal injury attorneys, the legal team at Cap & Kudler has the understanding and expertise necessary to ensure that you receive the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled.
Don’t risk your physical and financial health by taking legal advice from just any car accident attorney you find on Google. Contact the Law Firm of Cap & Kudler today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your claim. You can contact us online anytime or call (702) 878-8778 to schedule an appointment. We’ll look over the details of your case and explain what we can do to help you.