Recently, this blog touched upon a serious risk for riders using rideshare services like Lyft and Uber. That danger is being sexually assaulted by a driver who should have been removed from the app or never should have been contracted in the first place.
The danger for riders is real, but, as a recent report details, riders are not the only ones at risk. According to the report, many drivers (mostly women) have been the victims of assault. The report calls into question the adequacy of the services’ actions to protect drivers, with some drivers indicating that the rideshare services are even less responsive to the dangers riders may pose to drivers as opposed to driver-on-rider assaults. If you’ve been hurt by your rideshare rider and you can show your injuries were due, in part, to the service’s inadequate safety measures, then you may be entitled to significant compensation. To find out more about what you can do, contact a knowledgeable Chicago injury attorney right away.
Back in 2017, the issue of rideshare drivers victimized by sexual assault was in the news. An Uber driver accused a famous professional football quarterback of having sexually assaulted her. According to the driver, the star NFL player reached between her legs and groped her genitals over her yoga pants. The player later apologized for “the position I put you in” and the NFL suspended him for part of the 2018 football season.
For many rideshare drivers, these kinds of circumstances and assaults are regrettably far more than a one-time occurrence. A female Lyft driver in Sacramento indicated that, on a weekend night, where the driver might expect to give 20-30 rides, it was “likely” that 1-2 riders would “take things too far.” This included everything from “veiled prostitution solicitations” to inappropriate touching.
That same driver indicated that a rider who wanted to spend the night with her used the app’s “lost item” feature to stalk her, contacting her 15 times. Lyft promised never to pair that rider with that driver again. However, she indicated that 90% of the time, Lyft gave no response whatsoever to her complaints, according to the report.
Another Sacramento Lyft driver asserted that she had been “kissed, groped, spit on and screamed at.” Once, she was grabbed by the neck because a rider disliked her politics, according to the report.
A Los Angeles Lyft driver, however, pointed out the flaw in the approach of simply blocking certain riders from being paired with specific drivers. In the report, she worried about “What about the next driver who happens to assist that same passenger? What if something dangerous happens?”
A rideshare service’s unreasonably weak driver safeguards could trigger liability
If you’re injured while working as a Lyft or Uber driver, you may be entitled to relief through the legal system. If you are able to prove that your rideshare service’s actions were something that a reasonable person would clearly identify as unreasonable, then you may be entitled to negligence damages. If you are able to prove that your rideshare service acted maliciously or with reckless indifference to your safety, you may be able to collect punitive damages on top of your other damages.
Whether you were injured as a Lyft or Uber driver, or as a user of the rideshare apps, you may be entitled to seek compensation in court for the harm done to you as a result of your assault. Talk to the diligent Chicago injury attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca to find out more about the legal avenues available to you. Our attorneys are here to help and to provide you with the legal representation you need. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 800-444-1525 or through our website.