Lyft Ride From Hell – Stories of Sexual Assault
Jill Filipovic has detailed the harrowing stories of multiple sexual assault survivors at Marie Claire. The piece begins:
The stories all start out more or less the same way: “I was trying to be responsible.” “I was trying to take care of myself.” “I thought I would be safe.” And so instead of driving drunk or walking alone or taking public transportation at night, these women hopped into rideshare vehicles. But they weren’t safe at all. Link.
The stories form the basis of the long but important history of assault on passengers during Uber and Lyft rides. Levin Simes Abrams now represents hundreds of survivors after sexual assault or harassment during or after a rideshare trip.
Lyft advertised their services as a save way to drink and get home, offering free rides to women from bars and partnering with bars and alcohol manufacturers to promote their service. Unfortunately, Lyft has failed to maintain a safe environment for the passengers, and Marie Claire spoke with 29 of them for their story.
Levin Simes Abrams – Lyft Assault Attorneys
Many of the survivors are now represented by the attorneys at Levin Simes Abrams. Levin Simes Abrams has successfully asked the courts to coordinate the many claims against Lyft in San Francisco CA, and has been appointed lead counsel against Lyft.
Quotes by our attorneys in the article:
“Regardless of whether the driver is an employee or an independent contractor or whatever, [the company] set this up so that strangers are getting into strangers’ cars and [it] is making money from it.”
“Owning what has happened to women in the past and owning the behavior of drivers going forward—addressing the problem and doing everything [it] can to make sure it doesn’t happen to other women.”
“[Lyft] has come up with solutions and innovations that I could never have imagined; I have no doubt that if [it] wanted to do something about this problem, [it] could have put an end to these assaults.”
Uber Safety Report
As previously covered by Levin Simes Abrams, Uber has released a safety report detailing the number of serious assaults and harassment reported to Uber during a two year period. Uber has not yet updated the figures to include 2019 reports.
Sexual Assault Lawyer
Levin Simes Abrams attorneys are available for a private call or text regarding instances of assault or harassment. We represent Uber survivors, Lyft survivors, and workplace and other assaults. Contact us at 415-426-3000, [email protected] or by starting a chat on this page.
What Can I Do After An Assault?
If you have been sexually assaulted, employing the following actions might not only ensure your safety, but increase the chances that your attacker will be caught, and decrease their chances of assaulting another person:
- Ensure you are secure and in a safe place. If possible, call a friend or family member and stay on the phone with them until you are safe. This can be hard to do if you are intoxicated, disoriented, or in a state of shock. If you can get home, make sure that all points of entry are locked and secured. If you are in a public space, ensure that you are not alone and reach out to someone (a store employee, a passerby, etc.).
- If you are injured, immediately go the hospital. If a friend or family member cannot take you to the hospital, you can contact the police and they can arrange transportation. Receiving medical treatment as soon as possible is of the utmost importance. Medical providers can offer a physical exam to identify injuries, provide emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy, and administer sexually transmitted infection (“STI”) testing. Physicians can perform a forensic exam or a rape kit with your consent to preserve evidence. Ensuring that all evidence is collected can help identify the assailant.
- Once you are in a safe place and have received the appropriate medical treatment, report the crime to the police. Depending on the procedures used in your area, you may be required to go to the police department and file an official report, or an officer may meet you at a safe location. During the interview, you can have a friend, family member, or other support advocate by your side. Filing a report does not mean you have to proceed with a criminal suit; you can file an incident report without prosecution.
- Report the driver to the rideshare company. After receiving a complaint, rideshare companies should investigate the crime and suspend the perpetrator’s account, rendering them unable to terrorize other passengers. Be sure to document any communications you have with the rideshare company regarding the incident and assailant.
- Take detailed notes of the incident. As difficult as it is to relive the experience, it is important to write down all the details you can remember about the car, driver, and what was said and done. Having a detailed record of the incident is helpful in aiding the investigation against the driver. Taking screenshots of the ride in the application and the driver’s profile plays a role in confirming the driver’s identity as well. If possible, requesting copies of any medical or therapy records associated with the incident are useful tools in helping calculate costs if you would like to pursue a claim against the rideshare company.
- Consult with an attorney. If you were sexually assaulted by an Uber or Lyft driver, you may have a claim. Levin Simes Abrams is a majority female managed and staffed law firm. We have significant experience representing survivors of sexual assault and seeking justice on their behalf. (link to this/media articles). We are sensitive to the significant emotional trauma and the long, difficult healing process associated with experiencing a sexual assault. We will handle all communications with Uber or Lyft, keeping you informed and answering questions every step of the way. We try to keep the process as easy as possible for survivors, so they can spend their energy on healing.
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800.656.HOPE
- RAINN (the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization)
- National Alliance to End Sexual Violence
- National Sexual Violence Resource Center
- Healing Trauma by Peter A. Levine