Catching an Uber or Lyft after consuming alcohol or going to the airport seems like a dream come true. But, what about when the rideshare car is in an accident, or worse, your rideshare driver sexually assaults you?
Individuals (usually women) have described their rides from hell after they called rideshare cars to take them home. Uber received almost 6,000 sexual assault claims in 2017 and 2018 combined. When people have been drinking, they call an Uber or Lyft to be responsible by not driving. A driver might take advantage of their passenger’s state of intoxication. Even if the passenger is not intoxicated, drivers can take advantage of their passengers with their physical strength or because they are able to stop the car in a quiet location.
While nothing can compensate for the trauma that the victim goes through, there are some actions that a passenger can take in the interest of fairness and justice. You can empower yourself and help other women by taking legal action against the rideshare company and driver by filing sexual assault.
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault happens when a person makes sexual contact with another person without their consent. Sexual assault actions include forced sex, sexual acts, or inappropriate touching. Sexual assault makes a person feel threatened, scared, or uncomfortable. Common rideshare sexual assaults happen in the following circumstances:
The driver assaults a victim sitting in the front passenger seat
The driver takes the victim to a remote location and assaults the victim there
The driver walks the victim to the door of their home and forces their way in
Remember that lack of consent is an important element of sexual assault. Often a victim cannot give consent because of intoxication or other reason.
If you are unsure whether what you experienced constitutes sexual assault, you probably did. Talking to attorneys experienced with sexual assault cases can confirm whether you were a victim and what actions you can take.
What You Need to do After a Rideshare Driver has Sexually Assaulted You
You will likely feel traumatized and in shock after you have been sexually assaulted. Immediately call someone you trust to be with you and take steps to protect yourself:
Call the police
Get immediate medical care
Take pictures, if possible
Obtain witness information, if possible
Contact sexual assault resources, such as a hotline
Work with a therapist who understands sexual assault cases
Report the assault to the rideshare company
Preserve evidence from that night; for example, take screenshots of the driver information
Consider filing criminal charges against the driver
Work with you to obtain the necessary documentation
Communicate with Uber and Lyft
Take aggressive legal steps, including filing a lawsuit if appropriate
Explore whether the driver has a history of sexual assault
Uber and Lyft’s Standard of Care
Rideshare companies are expected to exercise a standard of care, meaning they should operate their business as you expect a reasonable rideshare business would: safe and free from sexual assault. Uber and Lyft have not met their standard of care if they reasonably should have done more to prevent the accident. For example, rideshare companies reasonably should have background checks for the drivers, implement policies to ensure passenger safety, and effectively follow up on complaints.
What You are Entitled to
If you were touched or assaulted without your consent, you may have a strong legal case against the rideshare company and the driver. You may be entitled to compensation, including:
Lost wages for missed work
Property damage if anything was lost, broken, or damaged during the assault
Compensation for pain and suffering
If you are a Victim of Sexual Assault in a Rideshare Car, Call CEO Lawyer Immediately
The attorneys at CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm understand the trauma associated with sexual assault in rideshare cars. We understand the discretion needed to gain your trust. We will keep all information completely confidential. Remember:
Filing a lawsuit allows you to control and exert power over what you experienced
You are helping other potential victims by taking a stand against the perpetrator of your sexual assault
You are forcing Uber and Lyft to act against sexual predators
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