If you watch any of Uber or Lyft’s marketing campaigns, you will see that safety is always repeated as a key benefit of these services. But are ridesharing apps really as safe as they seem? What about the countless individuals who have filed lawsuits against Uber and Lyft for car accidents, assaults, sexual harassment, and murders? Are Uber and Lyft misleading the public when they congratulate themselves on their “excellent” safety records? When you take a look at what has happened within the past few years, it becomes obvious that these rideshare apps have the potential to be extremely dangerous for innocent victims in Linden.
Lyft Hit With Scores of Lawsuits from Injured and Sexually Assaulted Passengers
In September of 2022, it was reported that 17 plaintiffs were suing Lyft for physical and sexual assault. One of these plaintiffs was actually a driver when she was attacked by an intoxicated passenger. She described how she was verbally and physically assaulted during the ride, with the passenger punching her back, face, and head. After heading to the emergency room, doctors recommended that she get physical therapy to deal with her wounds. But due to her lack of income, she could not afford it. After all, she had started driving for Lyft because she was fired from her job during the pandemic.
Another plaintiff was a passenger who claims she was sexually assaulted in 2021 by a Lyft driver. She states that this driver made sexual advances toward her throughout the ride before locking the doors when they arrived at their destination. He then sexually assaulted her. The driver then threatened the passenger, stating that he “knew where she lived.”
Each of these 17 plaintiffs has their own unique story, and each one highlights how dangerous this platform can be. But although their stories might be unique, they all share one thing in common – Lyft did virtually nothing to help them after they had reported their experiences. Aside from a copy-and-pasted line about being “sorry for their experience,” Lyft offered only vague promises to suspend guilty drivers and provide a few hundred dollars in compensation.
While the main goal of a lawsuit is generally to receive compensation for damages like medical expenses, missed wages, and emotional distress, these plaintiffs also sought to make the platform safer for future users – potentially avoiding similar incidents suffered by innocent people. Among other things, they called on Lyft to install video cameras and biometric scanners on their vehicles. They also asked for better background checks.
Another obstacle is the fact that Lyft apparently refuses to share user information after an alleged assault, which makes it difficult for police investigators to do their jobs and bring perpetrators to justice. These 17 victims are just a handful of cases, and Lyft has faced many other similar lawsuits over the years.
Lyft issued an official response to these lawsuits, stating that safety incidents on their platform are “incredibly rare.”
Uber Faces Legal Challenges Over Background Checks
While victims claim that ridesharing apps have inadequate background checks, others claim that these checks are too extensive. On December 21, 2022, it was reported that Uber was being sued for allegedly violating state and federal laws in New York for rejecting or deactivating drivers with criminal histories. In the end, Uber was allowed to arbitrate these claims instead of fighting them in court.
So what does this mean? Is Uber concerned about having criminals representing it on the road? Well, another lawsuit filed against Uber on December 8th stated the exact opposite: That Uber’s background checks are not thorough enough. Among other things, this lawsuit states that applicants can easily pass Uber’s background checks using stolen identities. This means that there may be Uber drivers out there with virtually no accountability for their actions since no one actually knows their true identity.
Baltimore Police Struggling to Handle “Dozens” of Rideshare Carjackings Within a Single Month
If you want to know how unsafe ridesharing apps can be, just take a look at what is going on in Baltimore. On December 22nd, the Baltimore Police reported that they were investigating “dozens” of rideshare carjackings within the past month. These incidents often end with drivers having their phones and cars stolen. Some are forced to use mobile payment apps to transfer cash to robbers, while others are taken to ATMs and forced to withdraw cash at gunpoint. Passengers are also targeted.
Baltimore Police admitted that there had been 39 rideshare carjacking incidents since November 22, with the most recent case happening only a few days prior to December 22nd. Many of the perpetrators are teens, and criminals as young as 15 are carjacking rideshare drivers with multiple prior arrests on their records.
Uber issues an official statement in response, saying:
“The reported attacks are horrifying. We’re in close touch with law enforcement to support their continued investigation and worked with them to send safety tips to riders and drivers in the Baltimore area.”
Where Can I Find a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney in Linden?
If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney in Linden, look no further than Smith & Williams Law Firm, LLC. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured plaintiffs strive for the best results – including those who have been harmed by ridesharing apps like Uber or Lyft. We know these apps are not as safe as they might seem at first, and many innocent victims are misled into believing that Uber and Lyft represent some of the safest options for travel in the United States. With our help, you can hold these negligent companies accountable for the damages you have sustained – whether you’re struggling with medical bills, missed wages, or emotional distress. Remember, the statute of limitations can prevent you from suing if you wait too long – so it is best to get in touch and book a consultation at your earliest convenience. Reach out today to get started with an effective action plan.