Uber and Lyft Sexual Assault

Uber and Lyft Sexual Assault

For those looking for a convenient ride, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are a popular choice. In recent years, there has been an increasing number of reports of rideshare drivers committing sexual assaults. With the help of a sexual assault attorney, a victim can file a lawsuit against the rideshare company and the driver.

Melissa Hague is a woman warrior devoted to obtaining justice for survivors of sexual assault. A rideshare assault report to the police can result in charges and jail time, but it does nothing to heal the wounds suffered by the victim. 

Melissa believes that taking legal action in civil court is a crucial part of the healing process. A sexual assault can leave a survivor physically, mentally, and emotionally scarred for life. Survivors of Uber or Lyft sexual assaults can obtain the resources necessary for healing through legal action.

Let your voice be heard. If you have been sexually assaulted while riding in an Uber or Lyft, speak with Melissa Hague about your options in a free and confidential consultation. 

Sexual Assault Committed by Rideshare Drivers

Uber and Lyft have been accused of failing to protect their passengers from sexual assault by their drivers for years. The companies have been criticized by victims and advocates for failing to provide a safe environment for riders, and for focusing more on their bottom line than on safety.

Lyft was sued by 14 plaintiffs in 2015 who claimed to have suffered abuse while using the company’s platform. The lawsuit alleged the company failed to adequately investigate their drivers’ backgrounds, failed to provide appropriate sexual harassment training, and failed to take reasonable steps to oversee driver behavior.

Uber has also been accused of not following up adequately on allegations of assault when they do occur.

During a 2019 investigation by the Washington Post, it was found that employees tasked with investigating allegations of misconduct against Uber drivers often neglected to report incidents to the police. Former Uber investigators said their primary goal was to protect Uber from liability rather than to protect its passengers.

Uber and Lyft have both released reports in recent years about the frequency of sexual assault on their platforms, showing that assault allegations were widespread.

  • During the time period between 2017 and 2019, Lyft received more than 4,000 allegations of sexual assault, including non-consensual touching, non-consensual kissing, and non-consensual sexual penetration, according to a “community safety report” released in 2021.
  • According to Uber’s 2015 safety report, there were 5,981 sexual assault accusations between 2017 and 2018. 
  • In 2018, Uber received 235 reports of rape, an average of about four reports per week

Reports from both companies stress that most of the rides they offer are safe, and that assaults on their platforms are low compared to the number of rides booked.

What You Can Do to Avoid Rideshare Sexual Assaults

Due to the popularity of ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, passengers often overlook basic safety precautions. A passenger might never anticipate that a sexual assault could take place in Uber or Lyft. There are, however, a few basic safety steps passengers can take to ensure a safe ride. 

Before entering the vehicle, passengers should: 

  • Stand in a well-lit area
  • Verify that the vehicle type and license plate match the information on the app
  • Have the driver provide their name and confirm it matches on the app
  • Ride with a friend
  • If you must ride alone, call someone and stay on the phone with them 
  • Sit in the back seat 

When a customer is intoxicated, fatigued, or otherwise compromised, Uber and Lyft are intended as safe transportation options. Unfortunately, drivers have been known to take advantage of impaired customers.

Many victims of rideshare sexual assault report noticing suspicious driver behavior before the assault. Some red flags to look out for include: 

  • Making sexual comments
  • Acting nervous
  • Taking an unexpected route
  • Missing the destination
  • Asking overly personal questions
  • Claiming that the app isn’t working

If you feel uncomfortable with a rideshare driver, it is best to call someone you trust, inform them of your current location, and ask the driver to let you out of the vehicle prematurely. 

You can call 911 from within the Uber and Lyft apps, and the information about your driver can be shared with your friends if you want them to know exactly where you are.

What to Do if You’ve Been Sexually Assaulted by a Rideshare Driver?

Being sexually assaulted by a rideshare driver is a terrifying and traumatic experience.

A victim should get to a safe place as soon as possible. Call the police to report the assault. 

A victim of sexual assault should seek medical attention immediately. Get an evaluation done by a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE), and if necessary, a rape kit. This should be done as soon as possible so that DNA evidence can be preserved.

It is important for a sexual assault victim to keep all information about the rideshare driver. Take screenshots of the app that show the ride history, the driver’s name, any messages from the driver, and proof of payment. Be sure not to delete the app or your account.

It is also important to inform the rideshare company about the assault so that they can perform an investigation

Last but not least, a rideshare assault victim should contact an attorney who has experience handling such cases. 

Both criminal and civil charges can be filed against a rideshare driver who commits sexual assault. Criminal court can bring an arrest, conviction, and jail time, as well as a criminal record as a sexual offender. Suing in civil court can help a victim receive compensation for the effects of their trauma.

Melissa Hague can help if you have been sexually assaulted by an Uber or Lyft driver. 

When you put your trust in the hands of a rideshare company, sexual assault should never happen. Coming forward brings justice to a survivor and prevents other passengers from being victimized by this traumatizing crime.

Melissa Hague offers free, confidential consultations to victims of sexual assault.

Tell Melissa Your Story

It is possible for survivors of sexual assault to receive justice. An experienced sexual assault lawyer can help a survivor tell their story, however, it is still a very challenging task. Trauma, shame, confusion, and fear all contribute to a victim’s silence. 

Melissa Hague and her trauma-informed team are committed to helping sexual assault survivors feel safe and supported while sharing their stories. 

Melissa Hague believes that providing compensation to a victim of a sexual assault is an important part of restoring justice. 

A victim’s long-term health and well-being are greatly impacted by giving them the time and resources necessary to heal from sexual assault.

Melissa is a zealous, determined advocate for survivors of sexual assault. She fights for her clients’ rights through every step of the legal process with empathy and solidarity. 

Tell us your story. Request a free, confidential consultation with Melissa today.

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