Have You Experienced Sexual Assault Or Abuse?

Lyft Sexual Assault Lawsuit

In recent years, many people have sued Lyft for poor vetting and hiring practices, negligence in ensuring rider safety, and failure to respond to incident reports. If you are a survivor of rideshare sexual assault in a Lyft, you have rights and options to seek healing and justice.

Key Takeaways

  • There have been hundreds of survivors who have filed sexual abuse lawsuits against Lyft for failing to adequately vet drivers and protect riders from perpetrators including known and repeat offenders
  • Survivors of rideshare sexual assault, including those involving Lyft, have specific legal rights and options including reporting to law enforcement and seeking compensation and healing through the civil court
  • Hiring an experienced attorney specialized in rideshare sexual assault cases is crucial for navigating the legal process and helping you get the full justice you deserve while enabling you to focus on healing rather than the case

Lyft Sexual Assault Lawsuit Overview

Since the early 2010s, rideshare apps including Lyft have offered a supposedly safe and convenient way for people to get around. However, using any form of rideshare carries some risk since it requires getting into a stranger’s car. Thousands of people have experienced sexual harassment, abuse, assault, kidnapping, and other violent crimes in rideshares. This unfortunate reality has resulted in survivors of rideshare sexual assault seeking justice and future harm prevention by filing sexual assault lawsuits against Lyft and Uber.

In their first and only US Safety Report, Lyft self-reported showed they received 4,158 reports of sexual assault between 2017 – 2019. They have not published data for 2020 – 2024, and although rides decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic, the overall data from our partners and the media show that the issue continues to be a prevalent problem.

The individuals who perpetrate sexual violence can be reported to the platform and to law enforcement, which will start the criminal justice process. Individuals who experience harm can then decide to file a lawsuit against Lyft for negligence in sexual assault cases.

If you have experienced sexual assault in a Lyft, we hope this page serves as a resource to help you understand your reporting rights and options, including filing a claim against Lyft for the harm that happened to you. You can speak to a lawyer and keep your information confidential before, during, and after the process — so if you are seeking advice, please reach out to us.

Why Survivors File a Lyft Sexual Assault Lawsuit

Any service or product you use has certain legal requirements that they must abide by if you are their customer. As it relates to rideshare apps, they must uphold their duty of care to protect their users from sexual assault and other violent offenses.

Experiencing any form of gender-based violence or harassment can create long-lasting impacts on survivors. This can include depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and work-related issues. You deserve to be able to heal from this, and oftentimes the monetary damages awarded in civil lawsuits enables individuals to get the help they need to heal and move forward with their lives.

Most law firms file Lyft sexual assault lawsuits citing Lyft the following claims:

Last Date Modified
March 18, 2024
Content Reviewed By:

Kathryn Kosmides
Managing Director | Helping Survivors

Like other rideshare apps, Lyft requires drivers to undergo initial and annual criminal background checks. It also requires drivers to undergo continuous criminal monitoring.

Unfortunately, that’s not enough since sexual assaults still happen. For one, Lyft’s criminal background checks only look at records from the last seven years and oftentimes can only look at convictions, not arrests. Also, sexual offenders who have yet to be convicted can use Lyft to find victims.

Lyft currently provides in-app emergency assistance, including a 24/7 safety team that riders can contact if they feel unsafe or have concerns.

However, Lyft only implemented these features after sexual assault victims came forward and took legal action. Sexual assault victims have also argued for additional safety features, such as video monitoring of rides in Lyft cars, and on the app.

Sexual assault survivors have also spoken out against Lyft’s failure to respond to incident reports. According to Caroline Miller, who was raped by a Lyft driver after celebrating her birthday, Lyft’s response to her sexual assault report was to send her a small amount of money.

Miller and 18 other women jointly filed a lawsuit against Lyft. Similarly, 14 plaintiffs in a 2022 lawsuit said that Lyft did nothing after they reported their assaults other than telling them that Lyft was sorry for their experience and that it would suspend the perpetrator’s account.

An attorney for the plaintiffs, Adam Wolf, told NPR, “The thing Lyft is most concerned about protecting is its own profit margins.” Survivors deserve healing and filing a lawsuit is oftentimes their only way to have the money to pay for services and their missed work.

As of March 2024, numerous new lawsuits against Lyft for sexual abuse have made headlines recently including a sexual assault of teen by Lyft driver in Kansas, a lawsuit against Lyft in a San Francisco federal court from a woman who was impregnated by a driver, and a Lyft driver allegedly raping a USC student near the campus. These ongoing headlines show the continued problem of rideshare sexual assault and the lack of support for survivors provided by the platforms.

Steps to File a Lyft Sexual Assault Lawsuit

Over the last few years, many survivors of Lyft sexual abuse have filed claims against the company for failing to uphold its duty of care to protect its users from sexual assault and other violent offenses.

The steps to file a lawsuit against Lyft for sexual assault include:

  • Document Your Experience – Write down everything you can remember and take screenshots of any evidence related to the ride.
  • Speak with an Attorney – It’s advisable to consult an experienced Lyft sexual assault attorney as soon as possible to guide you through the steps and processes involved.
  • Review & Sign with Law Firm – Law firms typically take these cases on a contingency basis, meaning they are compensated once there is a settlement or you win the case in court. This arrangement doesn’t require any upfront payment, and most states have standard percentages that law firms can take.
  • Law Firm Files Claims Against Lyft – Depending on the state you are in, there may be different steps to file a claim against Lyft. The law firm will handle all of this work so you can focus on your recovery.
  • Responding to Court Summons – If any court appearances or filings are required, your attorney will manage these, and you will likely not need to attend.
  • Discovery Process – This is the process of gathering evidence and information related to the harm that occurred and what information Lyft does or does not have, such as the driver’s background check results.
  • Settlement Negotiations or Trial Proceedings – Once the discovery is complete, both sides will come together to discuss a settlement, or the case will proceed to a hearing.

The statute of limitations determines how long the state has to press criminal charges and how long you have to file a lawsuit against Lyft, so speaking to a professional attorney as soon as possible is important.

You can file a claim even if you were assaulted while traveling outside of your home state.

Your information can typically be kept confidential during this entire process, meaning that the public and those around you do not have to know the details of your experience.

The Importance of Hiring an Experienced Lyft Sexual Assault Lawyer

Most individuals have never needed to hire an attorney, particularly for personal injury matters like rideshare sexual abuse. Finding a trustworthy attorney and knowing the right questions to ask can be confusing and challenging, especially after going through a traumatic experience.

We collaborate with multiple law firms nationwide to assist survivors of all forms of sexual abuse, including Lyft sexual assault. We hold these partners to high standards, ensuring they are up-to-date with the latest developments in Lyft sexual assault lawsuit proceedings and that they handle every case with the care survivors deserve.

Here are some important factors to consider when consulting a lawyer about a potential Lyft sexual assault case:

  • Free Consultation: The law firm should offer a free consultation to thoroughly review the facts and circumstances of your case, and inform you of your rights and options.
  • Contingency Basis: The firm should take your case on a contingency basis, meaning you do not have to pay upfront. The firm will take a percentage of the settlements or damages awarded by the courts once the case concludes.
  • Transparency: The law firm should be transparent about your legal rights and options, as well as the potential outcomes of each, including reporting to law enforcement and filing a civil claim against Lyft.
  • Trauma-Informed: It’s important to have a lawyer that will fight for you while also understanding and empathizing with your experience. Your law firm should be responsive, communicative, and sensitive to your needs.

We can connect you to a local or national law firm that can provide the support you need. Reach out to us using the form below or visit our “Get Legal Help” page for further assistance.

Current Lyft Sexual Assault Lawsuits in the Headlines

Some recent high-profile lawsuits against Lyft allege that the company is directly liable for negligently hiring, retaining, and supervising perpetrators and for fraudulently representing itself as a safe transportation option.

Plaintiffs have also accused Lyft of “vicarious liability for the torts of its agents.”

Seventeen Lawsuits for Sexual Assault

In 2022, Lyft faced 17 new lawsuits from users around the United States for failing to protect drivers and passengers from sexual and physical assault. Of the 17 lawsuits, 14 were filed by victimes of sexual assault.

One of the plaintiffs described how her driver locked the car doors and sexually assaulted her in June 2021. He then told her to keep the assault a secret because he knew where she and her friends lived.

All of these passengers and drivers reported that Lyft did nothing to help them after they reported their assaults other than telling them that Lyft was sorry for their experience and would suspend the account of the passenger or driver who assaulted them.

Nineteen Women Sue Lyft for Failing To Prevent Sexual Assault

In December 2019 in the Superior Court of San Francisco, 19 women filed lawsuits against Lyft. The women accused Lyft of:

  • Failing to prevent sexual assaults
  • Downplaying the seriousness of their assaults
  • Failing to follow up on their complaints

According to The New York Times, many of the victims, all between the ages of 19 and 41, were drunk or unconscious during the alleged assaults, one has autism, and one is blind.

At Least 34 Women Sue Lyft for Failing To Prevent Sexual Assault

In August 2019, Alison Turkos was kidnapped by her Lyft driver at gunpoint. He then drove her across state lines and gang-raped her with two other men. Turkos is one of more than 34 women suing Lyft for enabling a sexual assault “epidemic.”

Lyft Sexual Assault Lawsuit FAQs

Lyft has only officially published one US Safety Report which covered the years 2017 – 2019. The report showed they received 4,158 reports of sexual assault between 2017 – 2019. They have not published data for 2020 – 2024 but we continue to hear from survivors.

Before 2018, Lyft required sexual assault victims to pursue claims through independent mediation and arbitration. Fortunately, Lyft changed its tune in 2018 after more than a hundred Lyft drivers were arrested for sexual assault. As a result, Lyft sexual assault victims can now settle claims in any way they want, whether through mediation, arbitration, or in open court.

In general, most survivors are able to keep their personal information and the details of the harm that happened to them confidential.

While there is no set amount for a sexual assault lawsuit claim against Lyft, the potential compensation from damages and the time required to handle the claims will vary based on the type of harm you’ve experienced and the specifics of your case.

A skilled attorney, well-versed in sexual assault lawsuits against Lyft and other personal injury claims, can provide an estimate of the damages. This estimation will consider current and future expenses, financial losses, and their knowledge of previous settlements with Lyft and within the broader industry. Although many factors will influence the value of your case and the final settlement or award amount, consulting with an attorney for a free assessment of your situation is always beneficial.

Finding an attorney who specializes in helping rideshare sexual assault survivors seek justice is critically important to ensure you have the expertise necessary. We can put you in touch with a leading law firm in this area to help you wherever you are located in the United States.

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Understand your legal rights and options as a survivor of sexual assault and abuse.