Ridesharing is promoted as a convenient, safe, affordable, alternative to other forms of public transportation. Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies offer drivers a way to earn extra income by using their private vehicles to transport passengers who request rides through the rideshare app. However, the companies have been plagued with problems over the years, including legal issues related to liability for car accidents involving rideshare drivers. Now, a new report sheds light on another serious rideshare problem — Uber sexual assault claims.
Keep reading to learn more about:
- Uber Safety Report Reveals Thousands of Sexual Assault Incidents
- Can You Sue Uber for Sexual Assault by Uber Drivers?
- What Should You Do if an Uber Driver Sexually Assaults You?
Uber Safety Report Reveals Thousands of Sexual Assault Incidents
Uber recently released a safety report that reveals a serious problem with the rideshare service. The safety report was released just over a year after CNN investigated reports of sexual assault by Uber drivers. The CNN investigation found that 103 Uber drivers had been accused of abusing or sexually assaulting passengers over four years. Thirty-one drivers had been convicted of various sexual assault crimes with dozens more cases pending.
In its safety report, Uber revealed that it received 5,981 reports of sexual assault during 2017 and 2018 in the United States, including 464 reports of rape. Many of those cases involved Uber drivers assaulting passengers. Law enforcement was only involved in 37 percent of the cases alleging rape. It is unknown how many of the other sexual assault allegations against Uber drivers were reported to law enforcement officials.
Uber states that the incidents only represent a small fraction of the total rides during the two years covered by the report. In the United States, Uber reports 2.3 billion rideshares during 2017 and 2018. However, because some victims are hesitant to report sexual assault, the actual number of cases of sexual assault by Uber drivers is unknown.
Questions have been raised regarding whether Uber has taken sufficient safety steps to protect passengers. The company’s policy regarding the treatment of sexual assault claims against Uber drivers has also been questioned.
Can You Sue Uber for Sexual Assault by Uber Drivers?
Uber attempts to deny liability for sexual assault claims as it does for traffic accident claims. The company alleges that it is not liable for the actions of drivers because the drivers are independent contractors instead of company employees. Therefore, the company claims that it cannot be liable for sexual assault by rideshare drivers. This argument may not hold up in court.
There are several ways in which a rideshare company can be negligent. That negligence can be a factor in a rideshare sexual assault. For example, if a rideshare company fails to conduct thorough background checks or does not screen drivers for a history of sexual assault crimes, the company could be subject to liability if a driver commits sexual assault while using the company’s app. Likewise, if a rideshare company fails to act on allegations of sexual assault by a passenger, the company might have some liability in a personal injury lawsuit.
Sexual assault by rideshare drivers can take many forms. It is a crime to touch someone or force someone to perform sexual acts without that person’s consent. Behaving inappropriately can also be considered assault or harassment.
Examples of physical attacks and sex crimes that can give rise to an Uber sexual assault lawsuit include, but are not limited to:
- Highly inappropriate or suggestive remarks
- Forced sexual acts
- Revealing genitals or other sexual misconduct
If you believe your Uber driver committed inappropriate or wrongful acts of a sexual nature, you might have a claim against the driver and Uber for your damages and injuries.
What Should You Do if an Uber Driver Sexually Assaults You?
Being the victim of an Uber sexual assault can be frightening and overwhelming. The first step is to protect your health and wellbeing. Go to the emergency room or doctor immediately for treatment. Tell your physician or the emergency room personnel that you are the victim of a sex crime so that evidence of the crime can be collected during the examination.
Report the crime to law enforcement officers. Give the officers as much information as possible about the driver, including a description of the driver, the vehicle, and the license plate number. If possible, screenshot the Uber app to show that you were taking a scheduled ride when the assault occurred. You can also request a copy of your bank statement or credit card statement to show that you were charged for the ride.
You should also report the sexual assault to Uber as soon as possible. Most rideshare companies have procedures for reporting sexual assault and other wrongdoing alleged against their drivers. Keep copies of all correspondence with the company and take detailed notes of any conversations you have with anyone regarding the incident.
Contact a California Uber Sexual Assault Attorney Immediately!
As soon as possible, contact our office to speak with an Uber sexual assault attorney. Your time to file a claim against Uber and the Uber driver is limited by law. Furthermore, the steps you take after the incident can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case.
It is important to remember that being intoxicated is not considered consent. If you were intoxicated, you still need to report the crime and seek advice from a California rideshare assault attorney. Also, the driver does not need to be arrested on convicted of a crime for you to seek compensation for damages in a civil lawsuit.
Having the support and guidance of an experienced attorney and legal team can help you hold the individual who assaulted you responsible for criminal acts. Our lawyers can also help you seek compensation from Uber for its negligence or wrongdoing that might have allowed the incident to occur.
You might be entitled to compensation for a variety of damages, including loss of income, medical expenses, counseling, therapy, emotional suffering, and physical injuries.
Call Now for Your Free Case Review with a California Rideshare Assault Attorney
If a rideshare driver harms you, please contact our office for a free consultation with a California Uber assault lawyer. Call 1-650-513-6111 for more information or to schedule your free case review.