Whenever two strangers get into a car together, there may be no telling what will happen. Unlike coming across a stranger in a bar or restaurant, strangers in a vehicle are confined to a narrow space. The driver may have control over the locks on the doors and where the vehicle drives. The passenger may be able to hop out of a car when stopped and disappear into the night.
Unfortunately for both Lyft passengers and Lyft drivers, the rides can be dangerous, with the possibility of violence and sexual assault. Passengers can assault the driver without the driver being able to defend themselves. Drivers can also assault the passenger, especially if the passenger is impaired or threatened.
If you were injured in an assault involving a Lyft ride, talk to a Colorado personal injury lawyer about your rights. The attorneys at accidentdenver.com will investigate your case, deal with the rideshare company, and work to get you the maximum compensation after an injury assault in Denver. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Personal Injury Claim for Assault in Colorado
Assault and battery are crimes in Colorado. Assault in Colorado can be a misdemeanor or felony, with the possibility of jail time and fines. However, an assault victim can also file a civil lawsuit against the attacker. The individual responsible for assault may be liable for damages to the victim.
Most personal injury claims are related to negligence, such as a careless driver getting into an accident or a landlord who does not repair broken stairs, resulting in a fall. However, a personal injury claim can also be filed for intentional actions, like assault.
Assault and battery are often used together but they are technically separate crimes and offenses. Assault places someone in fear of being harmfully or offensively touched. Battery involves being actually touched or harmed.
In order to recover damages from the defendant for a claim of assault, the plaintiff needs to show:
- The defendant intended to cause an offensive or harmful physical contact or place the plaintiff in the apprehension of such contact;
- The defendant placed the plaintiff in the apprehension of immediate physical contact; and
- The contact was or appeared to be harmful or offensive.
In order to recover damages from the defendant for a claim of battery, the plaintiff needs to show:
- The defendant's act resulted in physical contact with the plaintiff;
- The defendant intended to make harmful or offensive physical contact, or knew he or she would probably make such contact, with the plaintiff or another person; and
- The contact was harmful or offensive.
Violence Against a Lyft Passenger
Lyft is a popular ride-sharing service for people across Colorado. Many people use Lyft as a way to go out with friends and not have to worry about driving after having a couple of drinks. Lyft is also an option after someone has had too many drinks and needs to get home safely. Using a rideshare service should be a safe option for riders but some drivers take advantage of an impaired passenger.
For example, if a Lyft driver sees a drunk passenger, the Lyft driver may think that he or she can get away with sexually assaulting the passenger and the passenger won't be able to stop the assault or won't remember the assault. Many sexual assault victims never report the crime out of fear that no one will believe them or wrongly blame themselves for the assault.
Battery is not limited to getting punched, kicked, or suffering serious physical injury. Battery includes harmful or offensive contact, including touching someone against their will. Harmful contact includes contact that causes emotional distress. Offensive contact is contact that would offend another's reasonable sense of personal dignity.
Violence Against a Lyft Driver
Lyft passengers are not the only victims of violent assault. Lyft drivers can also be the victim at the hands of a violent passenger. Many impaired passengers use Lyft as a way to get home or to an event without risking a drunk driving arrest. However, impaired passengers may also be more likely to be belligerent or get into fights.
For example, a drunk passenger calls a Lyft to go home after a night of drinking in LoDo. The Lyft driver misses a turn and has to take a detour. The drunk passenger accuses the driver of going the wrong way to increase the fare. The drunk passenger and Lyft driver start yelling at each other. At the passenger's destination, before getting out of the car, the passenger punches the driver in the side of the head and runs off.
The injured driver may have the name, address, or contact information for the passenger but even after reporting the incident to Lyft and the police, nothing may be done to help the injured driver.
Denver Rideshare Injury Lawyers
The attorneys at accidentdenver.com have successfully represented Lyft passengers and Lyft drivers in Denver, Boulder, Aurora, and throughout Colorado who were victims of violence. Even if Lyft or the police do not take your claim seriously, our experienced attorneys will fight to get the maximum compensation available for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.