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What to About Uber or Lyft Driver Sexual Assault


What to About an Uber or Lyft Driver Sexual Assault

Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft market themselves as being the safer alternative to transportation rather than driving a vehicle or taking public transportation or walking to a destination. However, although they might market themselves as such, these companies don’t necessarily take the proper steps to ensure that they are indeed safe for everyone, especially young women who are the majority in sexual assault cases. People take rideshares to get to their destinations safely, not to get sexually assaulted. Survivors of sexual assault by their rideshare companies can hold these companies accountable by filing an insurance claim and/or lawsuit for their losses. Below, our expert team of Uber and Lyft rideshare accident injury attorneys from West Coast Trial Lawyers break down the legal implications of an Uber or Lyft sexual assault case.

Rideshare Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Assault


When you get into the backseat of a rideshare driver’s vehicle, you are expecting that the driver will do their job and safely deliver you to your next destination. However, sometimes, as it is with strangers, a driver might not be someone who is looking to provide you with a safe service. Unfortunately, it has been common among rideshare companies that their drivers commit sexual misconduct and sexual assault.

Sexual misconduct is when a driver begins to insinuate inappropriate comments or gestures. Sexual assault is the action of non-consensual touching, kissing, or violating among other inappropriate actions toward a passenger in their vehicle. An Uber or Lyft rideshare driver can and should be reported for all sexual misconduct and sexual assault actions. As soon as a driver expresses inappropriate comments and sexual misconduct, the driver should ask the driver to pull the vehicle over and end the ride. This should only be done if it is safe to do so. The incident should be immediately reported to Uber of Lyft and the passenger should request a ride from another driver. If a rider is unable to get themself out of such a situation for one reason or another, there could be more severe damages to come, such as sexual assault.

Steps to Take After the Assault


The aftermath of being sexually assaulted can be an emotional haze, and although it may be very hard to process the actuality of the events, it is important to take action quickly to hold the perpetrator and the rideshare company accountable. 

  • Do not destroy any evidence. Sexual assault can be messy and make a victim feel shameful and want to crawl out of their skin, shower, and change into clean clothes. While this is understandable, it is crucial that victims of sexual assault not shower, brush their hair or teeth, or change their clothes in order to preserve evidence that can identify the rideshare driver as the perpetrator of the sexual assault. Sexual assault survivors should document everything and take photos of the scene of the assault (if they can), any injuries, and property damage done. 
  • Call 911 for emergency services to call them to the scene of the accident and have them direct emergency medical assistance for you to to get examined by a medical professional and conduct a series of exams to collect evidence, also known as a “rape kit”. It is imperative that the police file an official report of the account and that you get immediate medical attention. You cannot lose one moment or any evidence that can be crucial in finding your perpetrator as guilty. Share with the officers on site the driver’s information from the rideshare app, a description of them and their vehicle, and any other important details you know. 
  • Report the assault to the rideshare company as soon as possible. It is imperative for you to report the sexual assault to the rideshare company so that they can fire the driver and investigate your case and the driver’s history. 
  • Get an experienced Uber or Lyft rideshare attorney. An experienced attorney can assist you by helping build your case, ensure that police and medical professionals do their job accordingly, preserve evidence, and navigate filing an insurance claim and/or lawsuit to ensure that you get the maximum compensation that you deserve for having undergone such a terrible situation at the hands of a violent perpetrator and negligent rideshare company. 

Rideshare Company Liability in a Sexual Assault Case


Sexual assault can occur for a number of different reasons - a driver might take advantage of the passenger’s limited abilities due to intoxication or other circumstances, a driver might kidnap a passenger to sexually violate them, or a driver might simply force themself on a passenger. All of these situations are the fault of the driver and of the rideshare company for not properly screening their drivers before employing them.

Prior to the passing of California Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), Uber and Lyft drivers were considered independent contractors, rather than employees, which created a loophole for these companies to not be held responsible for the actions of their drivers. Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft currently use third party background check screening companies to provide them with quick turn around background checks that are inexpensive and can help them get more drivers faster. This is considered negligence and false advertising on behalf of the company because they are not taking the proper precautions to thoroughly investigate their employees before hiring. This negligence on behalf of these rideshare companies is what leads to sexual misconduct and sexual assault of their passangers.

Need an Uber or Lyft Rideshare Injury Attorney? West Coast Trial Lawyers Can Help


Get the compensation that you deserve for your losses. Our experienced team of Uber and Lyft rideshare accident injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you cover the property damage experienced to your vehicle, cover medical bills as they come in, and receive compensation for all of your losses. Call us today at 888 341 9802 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate expert personal injury legal team.

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