James McKiernan Lawyers Files Sexual Assault Lawsuit Against Lyft
James McKiernan Lawyers has filed a class action lawsuit against Lyft, Inc. on behalf of a passenger who was sexually assaulted by a driver. On November 4, 2018, a woman who had been drinking used the Lyft app to hail what she thought would be a safe ride home. During that ride, the woman blacked out and was escorted into her home by the Lyft driver. The driver sexually assaulted the unconscious woman for 30 minutes. After the assault, the man used the woman’s cellphone to give himself a $20 tip on the Lyft app. Authorities later arrested the assailant. His actions were caught on a home surveillance system.
Many individuals rely on rideshare companies to get home safely after a night on the town. Yet few people realize just how unsafe the drivers for these companies can be. This can lead to kidnappings, physical attacks and sexual assault.
Ridesharing companies have the technology and resources to make their rides safer but have not taken the necessary steps to do so. When cities asked Lyft to institute fingerprint background checks, the company claimed the measure would scare away potential drivers. Yet it operates in New York City and Houston despite both cities requiring the security measure. In May of 2018, a report from CNN highlighted that over the past four years, 120 rideshare drivers sexually assaulted passengers. CNN’s report also listed Lyft drivers. The company has not taken clear action to prevent the hiring of drivers with questionable backgrounds. This is why lawsuits like the one we have filed in San Luis Obispo Superior Court are so important.
Lawsuits like these, pioneered by trial lawyers, hopefully will make an eventual and lasting change in securing safety for all rideshare passengers. —James McKiernan
About James McKiernan Lawyers
Our San Luis Obispo law firm has over 30 years of experience helping injury victims and their families recover compensation. James McKiernan Lawyers serves clients in San Luis Obispo and the surrounding areas.
What Do I Do If I Am Injured in an Uber or Lyft Ride?
What do you do if you are injured in an Uber or Lyft vehicle?
Uber considers its employees independent contractors, a classification the company has used to avoid liability in lawsuits before. You may recall an accident in 2014, where a six-year-old child was hit by and Uber driver and killed in San Francisco. Because the driver was an independent contractor, so it went, the company was not liable.
Uber drivers are expected to maintain their own private insurance. However, if you are injured during the course of your trip and your driver is at fault, you are covered under a $1 million liability policy that Uber and Lyft have.
If you are not a passenger or the driver is off duty, it’s a little more complicated. In those situations, you will likely have to make your claim on the driver’s personal insurance policy. If the driver is on duty and does not have a passenger, you will still be required to make your claim on the driver’s policy, not Uber’s $1 million dollar policy.
If you are injured in a crash while an Uber passenger, here’s what you need to do:
- Call 911 immediately. While you wait for emergency services, if possible without causing yourself more injury, begin to document the accident scene.
- Call for any witnesses you see and write down their names, email addresses and phone numbers
- Write down the name of the driver or screenshot their name in the Uber app
- Screenshot your Uber receipt and the photograph the scene
Once you have been treated, your first call should be to a personal injury attorney. The accident likely led to damages such as your pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages or capacity for work and more. The best way to seek those damages from a negligent driver is to enlist the help of an attorney