Jun 3, 2021
Whether it’s Uber or Lyft, using a rideshare service as a mode of transportation can be convenient and affordable. But regardless of which company you choose as a means of getting from Point A to Point B, ridesharing can also be quite dangerous – for both passengers and drivers. In fact, the potential for being physically or sexually assaulted during a rideshare is alarmingly high.
In 2016, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) began tracking rideshare crimes, according to USC Annenberg Media. Since the tracking began, Uber and Lyft drivers have reportedly committed more than 500 crimes, 80% of which remain unsolved as of December 2019. The details pertaining to those crimes are troubling:
In December 2019, Uber confirmed to USC Annenberg Media that mandatory arbitration would no longer be required for sexual assault claims made by drivers, riders, or employees.
That means survivors of Uber sexual assault crimes are now able to bring their own civil lawsuits against the company and the perpetrator – allowing for a substantial financial damages award to potentially be recovered for the trauma endured.
Uber and Lyft both issued statements to USC Annenberg Media claiming that they conduct “thorough background checks” on drivers. However, as the article points out, the extent of those background checks remains questionable.
“There are a lot of scandalous people out there and that’s an easy job,” Sergeant Rodney Peacock, a supervisor at USC’s Department of Public Safety and LAPD reserve officer, told USC Annenberg Media. “They don’t have to go to an interview and get the job. They can just get it because [they have a] car.”
The report provided a snapshot of the classification of Uber and Lyft crimes in Los Angeles (from 2016 through December 2019):
In December 2020, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) had fined Uber $59 million for failing to answer the regulator’s questions pertaining to a safety report issued by the rideshare company. The safety report uncovered nearly 6,000 rideshare sexual assault claims and 19 rideshare murders that occurred in the U.S. from 2017 to 2018.
When the 84-page report was released, CPUC wanted to know more. But Uber stonewalled their inquiries, and was eventually hit with the $59 million fine (which they’ve appealed).
Wired reported that a criminologist and senior fellow at the University of Chicago, John Roman, called Uber’s crime statistics “alarmingly high.” In the safety report, Uber confirmed that police were involved in only 37% of the rape incidents reported through its app.
Uber’s safety report also included statistics on fatalities from rideshare accidents. During those two years studied, 107 people died in crashes involving Uber cars. But when it comes to criminal incidents, Uber isn’t alone.
In September 2019, 14 women filed suit against Lyft alleging the rideshare company mishandled their sexual assault, sexual misconduct, and rape complaints. The women, who were listed anonymously on the complaint, claimed that Lyft chose “to stonewall” law enforcement investigating those sex crimes.
A few months later, in December 2019, 20 additional people came forward to sue Lyft for various sex crime incidents. Many of the alleged sexual assault incidents occurred after a night of drinking, according to the complaint.
Both lawsuits allege that Lyft’s background checks are inadequate, and that the company fails to protect passengers with sufficient safety features.
Last month, many local media outlets reported on a Lyft driver who was robbed at gunpoint at an ARCO gas station on Rosemead Boulevard in South El Monte. The driver was sitting in his vehicle when an unidentified man entered through the back seat while pointing a gun. The perpetrator told the driver to hand over his wallet.
After taking his cell phone, wallet, and cash, the perpetrator demanded the driver turn over the keys to the vehicle. The 67-year-old driver stated the vehicle was keyless and could only be driven by him. The suspect became angry and hit the driver in the face with this gun, fracturing the man’s nose. FOX 11 released video footage of the incident.
In March, a San Francisco Uber driver was assaulted by a woman who refused to wear a mask. The woman verbally berated the driver, shouting expletives, and eventually grabbed the man’s cellphone from the center console and ripped off his facemask. She proceeded to cough on the driver while not wearing a mask. Finally, after exiting the vehicle, the woman reportedly pepper-sprayed the driver through the front passenger window.
Last year, The Guardian published an article noting that 42% of the sexual assault claims revealed in Uber’s 84-page safety report were made by Uber drivers, not passengers. The article also noted some rideshare driver attacks that made headlines in recent years:
An Uber driver, identified only as Angela, told the news outlet that she was violently assaulted by an “extremely intoxicated” rider on a deserted mountain road near Sacramento in the early morning hours.
“I stopped so he could vomit. Next thing I know, he’s cursing and grabbing my wrist. I punched him, drove away, and started to cry.” The Guardian reported Angela also found a box-cutter (“with the blade out”) on the back seat later that night. Angela told The Guardian that Uber mishandled her case. “Their response was ‘Just rate him a 1, and we won’t pair that passenger with you any more.’ I said: ‘You shouldn’t pair that passenger with anybody – he should be banned from the platform!'”
Yes. If you are an Uber or Lyft driver who was physically, sexually, or verbally assaulted by a rideshare passenger, you have rights under the law. Filing a personal injury civil lawsuit can be a means of recovering financial compensation for the assault you’ve endured. The skilled team of rideshare assault attorneys at Dordulian Law Group (DLG) will listen to the facts, conduct a thorough investigation, and determine the approximate value of your claim.
Yes. If you are a rideshare passenger who was physically, sexually, or verbally assaulted by an Uber or Lyft driver, you have rights under the law. Filing a personal injury civil lawsuit can help you recover financial compensation for various losses – such as medical bills, emotional or psychological trauma, lost wags, reduced quality of life, and more. The dedicated team of rideshare sexual and physical assault lawyers at DLG will listen to you, launch a thorough investigation, and help determine an approximate value for your claim.
At DLG, we’ve taken on rideshare companies and obtained multi-million dollar settlements for victims. If you take a moment to view our recent results page, you’ll notice that we’ve handled rideshare assault and accident cases in the past. In one particular case, we secured a multi-million dollar settlement for a rideshare passenger who was raped by her driver (the company name can’t be disclosed due to the terms of the agreement).
With DLG’s experience and knowledge in the specific personal injury subset of rideshare assault and accident law, there’s no better choice when filing your Uber or Lyft claim. DLG was founded by former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, Sam Dordulian.
Dordulian has accrued more than 100 jury trials throughout his esteemed career. With this level of courtroom experience, rideshare accident companies like Uber and Lyft know that when we bring a claim, it’s serious. We prepare every rideshare assault and accident case for trial because of Dordulian’s extensive courtroom experience. That means we never have to settle for anything less than a maximum financial damages award. If the rideshare company or their insurers try a lowball offer, we simply take the case to trial and prove it there (as we’ve done with other rideshare cases in the past).
Additionally, every DLG Uber and Lyft rideshare assault/accident client gets the added advantage of having their case thoroughly investigated by a seasoned professional who spent nearly 30 years with the LAPD – our Chief Investigator, Moses Castillo. Castillo investigates every rideshare assault or accident claim, ensuring that each piece of evidence that can help prove your case and increase your damages award will be recovered. In rideshare assault or accident cases, the slightest piece of evidence can be the difference between a $10,000 settlement and a multi-million dollar settlement. With DLG, you can rest easy knowing that every bit of evidence will be recovered.
With a 98% success record and over $100,000,000 recovered in settlements and verdicts, DLG is the best rideshare assault firm you can find. We’re here to be your dedicated advocate after an unfortunate Uber or Lyft assault (whether it be sexual, physical, or verbal). We will fight aggressively on your behalf and never rest until we recover a maximum financial damages award on your behalf.
With our No Win/No Fee Guarantee, rideshare assault or accident clients can have peace of mind knowing there will never be any hidden fees or upfront costs to worry about. With DLG, you pay nothing until we recover the maximum financial compensation you deserve.
Contact us today online or by phone at 818-322-4056. Whether you’ve been sexually assaulted by an Uber or Lyft driver or physically assaulted as an Uber or Lyft rider (and vice versa), you deserve a firm with the knowledge, experience, and dedication that will ensure you recover the maximum damages award you truly deserve. You deserve the DLG rideshare victim advantage. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you recover maximum financial compensation after an unfortunate Uber or Lyft rideshare assault.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.