Articles Posted in Uber/Lyft

If you’ve been checking the news headlines – or this blog – regularly over the last several months, you know that one of the issues facing rideshare service users (and some drivers) is sexual assault. Recently, a report released by Uber provided a shocking image of just how prevalent this problem is. That report indicated that, just in 2018, more than three thousand Uber riders and drivers were sexually assaulted, according to ABC News.

In politics, a politician’s level of blame for a scandal may be measured by answering the questions “what did he know and when did he know it.” Sometimes, a civil lawsuit against an entity may also be greatly strengthened by providing proof of what the entity knew (or reasonably should have known) and when it knew it. While these pieces are important, they aren’t everything. To be sure your case has everything it needs for success, be sure to obtain skillful representation from an experienced Chicago Uber injury attorney.

That Uber report also indicated that 464 people were raped using Uber in 2017 and 2018, with roughly 425 of those 464 being passengers. Stock market analysts declared the shocking report to be “another black eye for Uber as the company continues have business model issues which need to addressed,” according to a Mercury News report.

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Senator and presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren is drafting a bill that would ban “mega mergers” between the nation’s largest companies as well as try to improve the bargaining power of short-term and temporary workers.

The forthcoming legislation, a collaborative effort with Rep. David Cicilline of the House antitrust subcommittee, would bar tie-ups including a company with over $40 billion in annual revenue or two companies each with at least $15 billion in annual revenue, according to a person familiar with the matter.

It would also grant gig workers the power to unionize, a potential landmark change for rail-hailing companies like Uber Technologies and (click here) to read the full article via CNBC.

Uber and Lyft drivers who have been injured while transporting passengers in the past have run into significant roadblocks while trying to obtain compensation for those injuries. Rideshare services like Lyft and Uber have aggressively and consistently argued that all of their drivers are independent contractors and are not employees. This makes a huge difference as employees are entitled to many things that independent contractors are not, such as receiving a minimum wage, overtime pay or workers’ compensation benefits if they’re hurt on the job.

A recent federal court ruling offers some potential good news for drivers hurt on the job. These types of rulings should remind drivers that, if you’re hurt while driving for Uber or Lyft, there may be more options for compensation than you might have thought, so be sure to reach out to an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney right away.

In that federal court case, no one was injured, but the Third Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling still has the potential to help injured drivers. In the case, a driver in New Jersey, J.S., brought a class action lawsuit against Uber for its failure to pay him overtime compensation. The key to J.S.’s case was his argument was that Uber had engaged in misclassifying its drivers as independent contractors when the true nature of the relationship was one of employee-employer. That was vital because, generally, non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay, whereas independent contractors are not.

Rideshare services like Lyft and Uber continue to make headlines for negative reasons. According to a multitude of riders who have filed several lawsuits recently, Lyft isn’t doing nearly enough to protect riders and that unreasonable level of inaction by Lyft has played a role many injuries, including a Brooklyn woman’s alleged gang rape.

According to that woman’s lawsuit, Lyft doesn’t interview potential drivers, doesn’t do significant background checks on potential drivers, doesn’t fingerprint drivers and doesn’t remove drivers after riders report sexual misconduct. These failures and more, she argued, created the circumstances that allowed for her rape to occur. If you’re injured here in Illinois due to an attack perpetrated by your Lyft or Uber driver, it is possible that the rideshare service’s negligence may have played a role and you may be entitled to compensation from the rideshare service. Contact an experienced Chicago injury attorney to find out more about the legal options available to you.

According to a Vice report, the Brooklyn woman was injured in 2017 after she used Lyft for a ride home from a Crown Heights party. The ride should have taken only 15 minutes and cost less than $20. Instead, the driver allegedly took her on a 79-minute drive to a remote New Jersey location and gang raped her. On top of that terror and injury, Lyft charged the woman $106 for the ride, she asserted.

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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.

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Recently, this blog discussed a lawsuit where more than one dozen women sought damages based on the rapes or sexual assaults they allegedly suffered at the hands of their Lyft drivers. Certainly, it is entirely possibly for a rideshare company to contract with, and continue using, a driver who’s dangerous without knowing the risk. That lack of knowledge doesn’t insulate the rideshare service from liability; it simply means that the service is only potentially liable based on the legal concept of negligence.

However, what happens, you may wonder, if the service’s culpability goes further? What if the service did know and continued using a driver anyway? If that were true, then the service might be liable both for negligence and for its intentional misconduct which, in turn, could possibly open up additional damages, such as punitive damages. To find out what kind of damages your case might allow you to recover, be sure to reach out swiftly to an experienced Chicago injury attorney to discuss the facts of your specific situation.

This question of negligence versus intentionally wrongful conduct could be of particular interest to some Uber riders. The Washington Post recently reported that Uber has some practices with regard to drivers who pose a risk of sexual misconduct that some may view as troubling. According to the report, the rideshare service uses a “three strikes” system, in which drivers are allowed to stay on the road even after exhibiting inappropriate conduct.

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Recently, news stories have highlighted many different potential safety issues with rideshare services like Uber or Lyft. These issues can include things like the service’s failure to weed out people who are unsafe drivers and failure to weed out people who are dangerous individuals (such as sexual predators.)

The potential safety issues don’t stop there, though. As a recently article in pointed out, rideshare riders have to worry, not only about their drivers being safe, but about the safety of the vehicles carrying them. The Consumer Federation of America estimates that there are roughly 70 million vehicles on U.S. roads that have unrepaired safety recall issues, according to Wired. In other words, any time you ride with Lyft or Uber, you may be riding in a recalled car. If that’s true and you’re hurt in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation, so you should reach out to an experienced Chicago car accident attorney to learn more about your legal options.

The problem of unrepaired recalled vehicles is fairly widespread. Part of that is because the volume of recalls is quite large. General Motors recently issued a sweeping recall due to defective ignition switches and another large one recently for vehicle with airbags made by a certain manufacturer. Given that NHTSA statistics show that fewer than 60 percent of recalled vehicles were fixed, it is easy to see how tens of millions of unrepaired recalled cars could be on U.S. roads.

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For most people, using a rideshare service to get around is an ordinary activity and no big deal. One night in October 2018, a woman named Gladis hailed a Lyft for a ride, but her ride was horrifically the opposite of ordinary. The driver allegedly locked the doors of his vehicle, drove around for many hours, and then forcibly took Gladis to a beach and raped her, according to her lawsuit.

Gladis was far from alone. In Gladis’ California lawsuit against Lyft, more than a dozen women additional women joined her, asserting that they were raped or sexually assaulted by Lyft drivers. ABC 7 in San Francisco reported that the women’s attorneys allegedly unearthed more than 100 instances where women suffered sexual assaults during Lyft rides, all in California and all in an 18-month period. What this tells you is that, for too many women, sexual assault or rape by rideshare drivers is a painful reality. If you suffer such harm while using a rideshare service like Lyft or Uber in Illinois, you should be sure to reach out to an experienced Chicago injury attorney to discuss your legal options.

The California survivors making up the group of plaintiffs in Gladis’ lawsuit asserted that Lyft’s efforts to weed out sexual predators from contracting as Lyft drivers were so insufficient as to amount to negligence in multiple different ways. For one thing, the service allegedly did not take proper steps after receiving a sexual assault complaint. According to the survivors, Lyft merely conducted internal investigations into the complaints and did not forward those complaints on to law enforcement authorities.

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Many major national and international entities use complex corporate structures to attempt to minimize or avoid civil liability, especially in today’s more complicated “gig” economy. They may have layers of subordinates or franchisees which, they will argue, are independent and solely liable for negligence that injures you. These large entities can range from online retailers to pizza restaurants to rideshare companies. Many times, these franchisees or subordinates may be very small and/or very financially limited.

The law, however, recognizes some important exceptions when the larger entity is actually the one “pulling the strings” and maintaining control of the activities being performed, and therefore potentially liable. With the right proof, you may still be able to get the full recovery you deserve by pursuing the (often much larger) parent or principal entity. To accomplish these kinds of goals (and others) in your Illinois accident case, be sure you have placed a skilled Chicago injury attorney on your side.

A case from Florida gives some insight into how success might be achieved. In the Florida case, a former fire chief was traveling a state highway when a pizza delivery driver cut in front of him. The chief reportedly swerved to avoid contact but lost control of his truck and flipped. The accident left the chief with permanent spinal injuries that rendered him a quadriplegic. He died 15 months later as a result of complications of the accident, according to a Florida Today report.

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An Uber driver in Chicago made the news in late July for the wrong reasons. The driver, a 27-year-old from Midlothian, allegedly was driving drunk when he struck a police officer’s vehicle on I-94 near 76th Street. The officer was injured and required hospitalization.

If you were injured in an accident caused by a drunken Uber (or Lyft) driver, would you know what to do? Would you know who to pursue for compensation for the harm you suffered? For answers to these and other essential questions, be sure to seek out the advice of an experienced Chicago car accident attorney.

In that type of situation, you’d probably recognize that you could sue the driver. But, what do you do if the driver has few assets only has minimal insurance coverage, while you have piles of medical bills and other damages? Can you sue Uber? The answer is: potentially yes.

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