As one of the largest tourist areas in the country, Las Vegas is inundated with taxi traffic on almost every street at all hours of the day and night. In fact, in 2015 alone, the Nevada Taxi Authority reported taxis made almost 27.5 million trips. Despite the incursion of ride-hailing services in the state, taxi companies still maintain a significant amount of business. The Las Vegas Review Journal reported that taxi companies pulled in a record high revenue at $425.1 million for 2015. This is even after a slight decline in the overall number of taxi trips from the previous year. However, with all of these taxis on the roads, there are bound to be automobile accidents with at least some of them.
Taxi Drivers May be Safer
In the early 2000s Schaller Consulting published its research concerning taxi drivers. Although the research was based on New York City (NYC) taxi drivers, the results are still pertinent. The research concluded taxi drivers were generally safer than most other drivers in NYC. However, the flipside to this was that the injuries sustained by people in taxi cabs were often more severe than those of other vehicles. The research partially attributed this to a low rate of seatbelt use in taxi cabs.
The dangers connecting seat belt usage and taxi cab accidents are very present in Las Vegas. In 2010 the Las Vegas Sun reported an accident on I-15, which left one passenger dead and two others injured. The passengers in that accident were not wearing their seat belts. Typically those individuals injured in taxi cab accidents retain counsel experienced in automobile accident law in order to seek damages. As the law in Nevada currently stands, the absence of seat belt use cannot be used in a civil action to show negligence on the fault of the passenger.
Earlier in 2015 the Nevada legislature seriously contemplated changing the existing seat belt law. According to the Las Vegas Sun the proposed law would permit juries to consider the negligence of passengers if they chose not to wear seat belts. This would be a complete inverse to the current state of Nevada law. Incidentally, the law did not pass the Senate. However, the margin for not passing was a mere one vote short of the necessary ⅔ majority. This is likely an indication that a change in the law may be coming soon.
If a change were to be made with the current state of Nevada’s law, this would put more pressure on taxi passengers when it comes to civil suits. Victims of taxi cab accidents can suffer injuries ranging from subtle to debilitating. If you are a taxi passenger in an accident you should attempt to document the accident as best as possible using a camera, or your phone. Then you should seek immediate medical treatment if you sustained any injuries. After that you should contact a licensed Nevada automobile accident attorney to discuss your claims and the potential for recovery.