Do you have any idea who the driver of a rideshare vehicle is? Many people who use a service like Lyft or Uber in cities such as Las Vegas, or NYC, or Chicago believe that the driver has had a background check done prior to driving strangers around in a vehicle. Current drivers are indeed required to pass a background check, but every now and then a case happens where a driver falls through the cracks.
One such disturbing case was filed in June 2017. A Kansas City woman filed a lawsuit against Uber, saying a former driver with a criminal record raped her after driving her home in January. The lawsuit named two defendants– the company and the former driver, Yahkhahnahn Ammi. According to the lawsuit, Ammi drove the woman to multiple locations then talked his way into her home after driving her there. He then attacked her. The lawsuit alleges that Uber failed to act on earlier reports of Ammi assaulting others.
According to Uber, Ammi had been a driver for the company in the past but did not have driving privileges in Kansas City. Ammi got around this by becoming a driver in St. Louis. The company declined to comment on Ammi’s criminal history which includes a first-degree murder attempt in 1996.
It’s terrifying to imagine being in a situation like this as an Uber passenger. Here are some ways you can protect yourself when riding in a rideshare vehicle:
- Always confirm that the license plate of the vehicle that is picking you up matches the plate on the app.
- If solo in a big city, consider the higher end version of each rideshare vehicle, such as Uber Black. Drivers of higher-end vehicles tend to be more vetted and have more experience.
- Take a look at the number of trips the driver has made. Less than a certain number? You can always cancel.
- Read the reviews of the driver and the comments made.
- Leave reviews of drivers you ride with. Be honest about negative experiences you have. These are drivers others may want to avoid.
- When the driver arrives, use and trust your instincts. If something does not feel right about the driver or vehicle, cancel your ride on the spot. You can do this anytime you feel uncomfortable.
If, unfortunately, you have experienced a dangerous situation or accident in a rideshare vehicle like a Lyft or Uber car, don’t hesitate to consider your legal options. Rideshare companies can and should do more to protect their passengers from situations which may cause injury and/or harm. The rideshare accident lawyers from Rideshare Law Group are happy to answer any questions you may have or speak to you regarding a potential case. Don’t hesitate to get in touch today.