The popularity of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft has exploded in recent years. While this is a positive development in some ways, it has also resulted in a drastic increase in reports of sexual harassment and sexual assaults during Lyft/Uber rides .
Rideshare sexual assault claims and sexual harassment allegations differ slightly from standard sexual assault and harassment claims because Uber and Lyft owe certain obligations to keep their customers safe. That means that in addition to a possible criminal investigation, you can seek financial compensation from the rideshare company for the harm you suffered due to their driver’s misconduct. Uber and Lyft are facing multiple lawsuits from victims who suffered sexual harassment or sexual assault while using the rideshare service.
You are not alone if you were a victim of sexual assault or sexual harassment while using Uber or Lyft. Thousands of other victims suffered the same fate. No matter what the circumstances of your assault were, it was not your fault. Contact D’Amore Law Group today to learn how you can hold your attacker accountable and recover damages to compensate you for the harm you suffered.
Sexual Assault Statistics Involving Uber or Lyft Services
In June 2022, Uber released information indicating that 3,824 people reported a sexual assault on its platform between 2019 and 2020. This is an alarming number of assaults, especially considering the drop in usage due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Uber, categories of sexual assault range from “non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part” to “non-consensual sexual penetration,” or rape. Women made up approximately 81% of the victims. Uber implemented various measures to decrease incidents of sexual assaults on its platform, including sexual misconduct education for its drivers and on-trip reporting for riders.
In 2021, Lyft reported 4,158 assaults on its platform between 2017 and 2019. More recently, Lyft agreed to a $25 million settlement with its shareholders over allegations that it failed to adequately disclose threats to its reputation and business before going public. Specifically, Lyft did not disclose the “existential risk” presented by reports of drivers assaulting passengers on its platform. Notably, the settlement proceeds go to the Lyft shareholders, not the individuals harmed due to the incidents.
In March 2021, Uber and Lyft announced they would share names of drivers whose accounts were deactivated over the most severe safety violations, including sexual assaults.
What Should I Do After a Ride Sharing Sexual Assault?
A sexual assault is a traumatic experience. You may experience feelings of guilt or shame. Here are some steps you can take following an assault to preserve evidence and strengthen your civil claim.
Seek Medical Attention
Your safety and wellbeing are of paramount importance. As soon as possible, get to a safe location. Once you are no longer in harm’s way, seek medical attention. Medical treatment may be necessary to tend to your wounds and preserve evidence of your assault.
If you seek medical attention at an emergency room, medical personnel will likely contact the authorities for you. Alternatively, if you contact authorities first, they will likely transport you to a medical facility for treatment. A law enforcement agent will respond to your location and collect information about the assault. They will complete a police report that details the time and place of the assault, along with other information about the assailant.
Make sure to inform law enforcement if you were assaulted by an Uber or Lyft driver. Your application could help the authorities find the identity of your attacker. The same is true if you are an Uber or Lyft driver who was attacked by a passenger.
After a sexual assault, an Uber/Lyft driver or passenger may attempt to deactivate their account. If possible, screenshot the attacker’s information before they have a chance to remove their profile from the rideshare platform. Additionally, keep any clothing you were wearing to turn over to law enforcement. You never know what information may help them find your attacker.
Contact a Lyft/Uber Ride Sexual Harassment Lawyer
The burden of proof in a criminal case is harder to meet than the burden of proof in a civil case. That means that even if your attacker does not face criminal charges, you could still hold them accountable in civil court. You have only a limited amount of time to file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires. Contact an attorney at D’Amore Law Group to discuss your options.
Tips for Staying Safe in Uber/Lyft Rides
There are steps you can take to enhance your safety when using a ridesharing platform, such as:
- Verify the license plate number of your driver when they arrive;
- Do not wait outside for your driver to arrive;
- Check your driver’s rating on the app;
- Share your drive and trip date with others during your ride;
- Ask the driver who they are picking up before entering the vehicle;
- Travel in groups if possible; and
- Do not share any personal information with your driver.
Uber and Lyft implement their own safety measures like background checks. But taking precautionary measures of your own can add another layer of safety to your trip.
Contact D’Amore Law Group with Questions About Rideshare Sexual Assault Laws
We cannot imagine the fear and trauma sexual assault victims face in the aftermath of their attack. Our lawyers are committed to helping rideshare sexual assault victims hold their attacker accountable for their wrongdoing.
Our attorneys strive to meet the needs of our clients in the most effective and efficient way possible. We are committed to working closely with you and your family to address your injuries, your financial losses, and your personal losses. Our practice emphasizes representing clients and families that have been seriously injured or killed by the wrongful, negligent, or intentional conduct of individuals as well as large corporations like Uber and Lyft. Contact D’Amore Law Group online today so we can get started on your case.