Uber Sexual Assault Cases: Who’s Affected?

Uber Lyft sexual assault

Were you or a loved one sexually assaulted by an Uber or Lyft driver?

Uber received almost 6,000 reports of serious sexual assault in 2017 and 2018 combined, according to a safety report the rideshare company released in early December 2019. That number includes riders and drivers who reported assault.

The sexual assault allegations that were reported fall under one of the following five categories:

  • Non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part
  • Attempted non-consensual sexual penetration
  • Non-consensual touching of a sexual body part
  • Non-consensual kissing of a sexual body part
  • Non-consensual sexual penetration

Sexual assault is among the most under-reported crimes in the United States. The vast majority of sexual assault are not reported to the police—indeed, more than 2 out of every 3 sexual assaults go unreported, RAINN notes, according to statistics from the Department of Justice.

That means that it is likely that there are more Uber sexual assault crimes that were not reported.

Lyft has also faced allegations of sexual assault perpetrated by its drivers.

Do You Qualify?

Legal help is available to individuals affected by sexual misconduct by rideshare drivers under the following circumstances: 

  • You were sexually assaulted by an Uber driver between 2009 and the present; or
  • You were sexually assaulted by a Lyft driver between 2012 and the present; and 
  • The sexual assault was perpetrated while the Uber or Lyft driver was working in an official capacity either before, during, or after a person used the rideshare service.

See if you qualify to join a Lyft or Uber sexual assault lawsuit by filling out the form on this page or calling (855) 610-0444 for a free case evaluation by experienced sexual assault lawyers. 

What is a Rideshare App?

Ridesharing services—sometimes called “ride-hailing”—match people with drivers in private vehicles to transport them short distances, like a taxi service.

Rideshare companies use phone apps to connect riders with drivers.

Rideshare apps are great for convenience, but there has been growing concern that using these apps can be dangerous.

It’s always important to take steps to make sure you’re being as careful as possible to ensure your safety while using rideshare services.

What Are the Best Rideshare Apps?

Two of the most well-known rideshare apps are Uber and Lyft. Uber’s presence stretches across dozens of countries, and Lyft is widespread in the U.S.

Other, lesser-known rideshare apps include Sidecar, Zimride, Hitch, and Carma Carpooling, among others.

While Uber and Lyft perform background checks on their drivers, some of their drivers may still have criminal intent. An investigation by CNN in 2018 found dozens of Uber drivers that had been accused of sexually assaulting or otherwise abusing their passengers.

After the CNN investigation, Uber released its safety report, showing thousands of reports of sexual assault in 2017 and 2018, including nearly 500 reports of rape.

Read more: Rideshare Sexual Assaults Cause Increasing Legal Trouble for Uber & Lyft

Uber Safety Report & Sexual Assault Allegations

The Uber Safety Report is the first report of its kind that the rideshare company has published. The report revealed that there were 5,981 sexual assault allegations in 2017 and 2018. There were also 19 deaths caused by physical assaults over the two years.

The report found that both riders and drivers were victims of sexual assault, which Vox says also raises questions about workplace safety for Uber drivers since about 19 percent of Uber drivers are women.

The decision to create and publish the report came in May 2018 after Uber was hit with a lawsuit filed by 14 women in April 2018 who all claim they were victims of sexual assault, but they were being forced into mandatory arbitration. The women wanted to have their allegations heard in open court, according to Vox.

Along with the announcement to create the safety report in May 2019, Uber also lifted forced arbitration for riders, drivers, and employees who wanted to file a sexual assault lawsuit against the company, Vox reported.

Lyft uber sexual assault

Have There Been Cases of Lyft Sexual Assault?

Uber isn’t the only rideshare company that has faced allegations of sexual assault.

Lyft has been hit with numerous cases of sexual assault lawsuits, which claim that the company’s background checks are inadequate and that Lyft does not have proper safety measures in place to protect passengers, according to CNN.

Reports claim that Lyft didn’t actually acknowledge the incidents of sexual assault, telling one passenger who reported rape by a Lyft driver that she would be getting her money back but failed to address the sexual assault report itself, according to AP News.

Lyft Sexual Assault Lawsuits

A lawsuit was filed against Lyft in a San Francisco court in early December 2019 by 19 women who all claim that they were victims of sexual assault by Uber drivers, according to The New York Times.

The women said in their sexual assault lawsuit that Lyft did not do anything to prevent the sexual attacks, which could have been done if the company had implemented basic safety measures, and once the women reported the incidents to the rideshare company, Lyft either failed to follow-up on the allegations or didn’t take the allegations seriously.

This was not the first Lyft sexual assault lawsuit filed against the rideshare company. Lyft was hit with a similar sexual assault lawsuit filed by 14 women, ABC News reported. Others have also been filed.

Is Uber Safe? Uber Driver Background Checks

What is Uber doing to ensure Uber safety and prevent passengers from being harassed by their Uber drivers?

Despite the number of lawsuits that Uber is constantly dealing with, there actually is a screening process in place to try and weed out any potentially violent candidates.

Uber uses an external background checking company called Checkr to run these checks, which focuses on violent crimes, sex crimes, and unsafe/bad driving records from the last seven years.

As thorough as these checks are, they are not able to inform Uber if the potential driver has committed a crime that they were never convicted of.

Just because the person has not been caught does not mean that they are innocent, so Uber safety can never be completely guaranteed.

Uber safety

Tips to Stay Safe While Using a Rideshare App

Rideshare safety is of the utmost importance when you use these apps and Safety.com shares the following tips to have a safe journey.

One of the biggest things to do to ensure rideshare safety is to make sure the car that pulls up in front of you is a legitimate driver from the app you’re using.

Uber and Lyft drivers should already know your name, so ask them what your name is. If they don’t know your name, they are not legitimate.

Your app should have also sent you information such as their picture, their car make and model, and their license plate number. Check that all of these things match before getting in the car.

Lyft and Uber both have trip-sharing features in their apps that let you send information on your trip, including location and arrival time, with friends or family members who can check in on you.

It’s also important to let the driver know that you’ve got people looking out for you so that they know they’re more likely to get caught.

Making a phone call so the driver can hear letting someone know where you are, giving them a time frame for when they should hear back from you, and even mentioning that you’ve shared your location.

You don’t have to rely on your app’s limited safety technology. Other apps are available with video recording and panic button capabilities.

If possible, ride with another passenger for strength in numbers, rather than going alone.

Similarly, while you’re waiting for your ride to show up, stay inside or with other people if possible, or at least in a well-lit area.

Sit in the backseat of the vehicle for maximum access to exits.

Just like with any other vehicle, a vehicle you’re using for rideshare may get in a car accident. Pay attention to whether or not your driver is driving safely, and report any issues to the rideshare app. As always, remember to wear your seatbelt.

You can feel free to chat with your driver, but do not share your personal information with them like where you work or how they can contact you.

In that vein, consider having your driver drop you off nearby your home without actually giving away your address.

If something feels off or unsafe from the get-go, even if you can’t put your finger on it, don’t get in the car. Your safety is the most important thing.

What Financial Compensation Can You Receive?

The existing background checks in place are not enough to guarantee your safety in an Uber. Uber is responsible for providing more safety measures to protect both their passengers and drivers, such as in-depth safety training, in-car safety devices for drivers and much more.

As a result, if you have been the victim of Lyft or Uber sexual assault as a passenger or driver, then you are entitled to financial compensation that can be reached through a Lyft or Uber sexual assault lawsuit.

The financial compensation that you are entitled to receive for your encounter of Lyft or Uber sexual assault varies on a case-by-case basis, however damages generally involve three components:

  • Economic damages: Covers costs related to property damages, medical treatment, therapy, reduced income resulting from the traumatic event, any potential future costs for ongoing recovery.
  • Non-economic damages: Costs related to the physical and mental impacts that the trauma may have caused.
  • Potential punitive damages to hold Uber or Lyft responsible for failing to provide Uber safety, and protect their passengers and drivers.
  • Loss of consortium: Damages paid to the family of the victim to cover the emotional impact that may have been caused by the victim’s inability to have a normal, functional relationship as a direct result of the trauma.

Read more: Woman Files $1 Million Lawsuit Alleging Sexual Assault by an Uber Driver

Should I file a Lyft or Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit?

If you were the victim of sexual assault by an Uber driver from 2009 to the present or a Lyft driver from 2012 to the present, you may qualify to share this rideshare lawsuit investigation.

Consulting a rideshare lawyer can help you determine if you have a claim, navigate the complexities of litigation, and maximize your potential compensation. The qualified lawyers that work with Top Class Actions are highly experienced in filing a range of class action lawsuits, and other lawsuits. 

Legal help is available by filling out the form on this page or calling (855) 610-0444 for a free case evaluation by an experienced sexual assault lawyer. 

Get Help – It’s Free

Get a Lyft or Uber Driver Sexual Assault Lawsuit Claim Review

If you qualify, an attorney will contact you to discuss the details of your potential case at no charge to you.

  • Fill out the form below or call (855) 610-0444.

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