Posted On December 17, 2022 Personal Injury
Lyft and other rideshare companies provide tremendous convenience to passengers, not to mention offering a good side hustle for drivers. However, the entire system relies on rideshare companies doing their part to ensure the safety of both drivers and passengers. In recent months, there have been numerous reports of assault and sexual abuse occurring in Lyft vehicles. It is possible that these alleged assaults could have been avoided had Lyft done more to protect those who use the company’s service.
When you decided to call a Lyft, you never thought you’d be assaulted. You reasonably assumed that Lyft would run the appropriate background checks and monitor drivers’ conduct and user reviews to ensure they do not pose a threat to passengers. Unfortunately, historically, Lyft has not done enough to prevent instances of abuse and sexual assault in its vehicles.
At the law firm of Console & Associates, P.C., we stand proudly with abuse victims and survivors of sexual assault, helping them to recover compensation from the parties responsible for what they are forced to endure. We recognize the difficulties you and your family have been put through and want you to know you are not alone. Our Lyft sexual assault lawyers are here to help. They are actively investigating claims against the company for its failure to ensure the safety of both passengers and drivers. As a part of our investigation, we are scheduling free consultations for individuals who experienced abuse while riding in a Lyft. We can help you understand your rights and explain your legal options so you can make the best decision on how to proceed with your case.
The rideshare concept operates on a certain level of trust. Passengers trust that Lyft drivers are qualified and will transport them safely to their destination. And both riders and drivers trust that Lyft will do everything possible to prevent an attack. However, while it’s a reasonable assumption to make that Lyft takes the precautions it needs to, it may not be an accurate one.
There are many reasons why Lyft drivers and passengers may be at a heightened risk of sexual or physical assault. First, unlike taxi drivers or bus drivers, Lyft drivers typically operate as independent contractors. Because of this, the company does not impose the same licensing requirements on its drivers. Further, although most ride-hailing companies conduct routine, preliminary background checks, their screening process does not adequately eliminate the full extent of passengers’ risks. For instance, until recently, rideshare companies did not conduct periodic background checks during employment. Lyft’s apparent failure to conduct regular background checks may have created opportunities for drivers to continue working for the company even though they have committed crimes while they’ve been driving for the company.
Second, Lyft has not implemented many of the safety protocols that are common among traditional taxi services. For instance, most Lyft vehicles are not equipped with dividers separating the driver from the passenger. Further, the company does not require drivers to maintain onboard cameras. Both of these things could help to protect both drivers and passengers; however, for whatever reason, Lyft has been reluctant to implement such requirements.
Third, the company’s carpool option creates additional risks to drivers and passengers. Lyft allows multiple, unacquainted individual riders to share a vehicle, often in lieu of driving to and from work. Although this option might be cost-effective for many users, it presents safety risks to riders.
It depends. Because Lyft hires its drivers as independent contractors rather than employees, by default, the company is not liable for the negligent acts of its drivers. Therefore, the traditional theory of vicarious liability (which allows an accident victim to hold an employer financially liable for the negligent acts of an employee) does not apply.
However, it is possible to file a personal injury claim against Lyft in the wake of an assault or sexual assault. Most claims against the company allege that Lyft is responsible for assaults based on theories of negligent hiring, training, supervising, or its negligent failure to protect drivers and occupants.
There are a few possible ways that Lyft may be found liable for an assault occurring in a rideshare vehicle. For example, if Lyft had reason to believe that one of its drivers posed a danger to passengers but failed to take any remedial action, it could show that Lyft disregarded a known risk. In fact, this allegation is the basis of several pending sexual assault lawsuits against Lyft.
Another possible way that Lyft could be found liable is for the company’s failure to implement additional requirements for drivers and vehicles, such as mandatory cameras in all cars. Other possible allegations that could result in liability include:
If you or a loved one were recently physically or sexually assaulted while riding or driving for Lyft, it is important that you understand your options to hold the company accountable. Lyft generates billions of dollars in revenue each year and has more than enough resources to make its service safer. However, for whatever reason, the company has apparently failed to make meaningful changes to its driver requirements, leading to an unacceptable number of assaults.
At Console & Associates, P.C., our Lyft assault lawyers want to assist victims during this difficult time and aggressively pursue compensation on behalf of assaulted passengers and drivers, helping them hold the company financially accountable for the harms they’ve suffered. We offer free consultations to all prospective clients and take Lyft sexual assault cases on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t need to pay us anything unless we can win your case. If you are interested in learning more about pursuing a claim, reach out to a personal injury lawyer at Console & Associates, P.C., at 866-778-5500 or complete our contact form. We will attentively listen to your story, answer your questions, and offer you guidance about how you may be able to pursue a claim against Lyft for everything you’ve been put through.