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A Rash of Carjackings Has Uber and Lyft Drivers in Illinois and Across the Country Worried About Their Safety

The news has been ominous these last several months for Uber and Lyft drivers. In addition to the many other challenges these drivers face on the job, they’ve also been targeted in an increasing number of carjackings lately, including right here in and around Chicago. According to many Uber and Lyft drivers, part of the reason their jobs are so dangerous is Uber and Lyft’s failure to do their part and take reasonable measures to ensure safe rides. No one should have to fear that their job as a rideshare driver will cost them their life. If you’ve been hurt while working as a rideshare driver, it may have been because Uber or Lyft didn’t do enough to protect you. Reach out to an experienced Chicago injury attorney to find out how you may be entitled to compensation.

One of the more notorious recent incidents was a driver’s death in Washington, D.C. A 66-year-old Uber Eats driver was carjacked by two teenage girls. After the girls took off, the car crashed with the man partially in and partially out of his Honda sedan, according to a CBS News report. He died at the scene.

Closer to home, a Lyft driver working on Chicago’s South Side told WGN that he was “thankful to be alive” after a late 2020 carjacking. After picking up two riders, the driver found a gun pointed at his head. He surrendered his phone, wallet, and vehicle to the men, and they did not kill him.

Another Lyft driver was carjacked in the Bronzeville neighborhood in December, according to an NBC 5 report. The 24-year-old driver picked up a rider who, along with a companion, held him at gunpoint almost immediately after entering his SUV. That driver was profoundly traumatized but survived.

J.R., a driver for Uber, was not so lucky. In late March, the Franklin Park man was picking up a rider on the West Side when he was carjacked. The driver fought back and the perpetrator shot J.R. in the head and face, killing him, according to reports.

Drivers Say Uber/Lyft Could Do More to Protect Them

Drivers say that part of the problem when it comes to these carjackings lies with Uber and Lyft themselves, according to another CBS 7 report. A group of drivers, working together with the Independent Drivers Guild, are trying to persuade Uber and Lyft to make changes in the wake of this surge in carjackings.

One of the most basic requested changes is identity verification. Drivers and their families have requested that Uber and Lyft modify their apps to require riders to confirm who they are, such as demanding photo verification. This would involve users having a photo on file and verifying their identity by taking a selfie as part of each ride request.

The Independent Drivers Guild is also advocating for an additional form of driver protection, which is a “voice-activated ‘panic button’” for drivers encountering emergencies, according to CBS 7.

Whether you were an Uber or Lyft driver or passenger, the attack you suffered has very likely harmed you significantly, and it may have been, at least in part, the result of Uber or Lyft’s failure to establish proper safety protections. If you can prove that the company’s shortcomings were unreasonable and that your injuries were a foreseeable outcome of those failures, then you may be entitled to receive substantial compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, call upon the AV-rated firm of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our skilled Uber/Lyft accident lawyers are familiar with the unique features of these kinds of cases and have the know-how to provide you with the diligent and effective legal advocacy you deserve. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 800-444-1525 or through our website.

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