Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have disrupted the way millions of people travel. At the touch of a button anyone can easily book a ride for their destination. But this convenience has come with a major downside for both drivers and passengers. Sexual assault is an all too common occurrence for both Uber and Lyft. According to one report from National Public Radio (NPR), Uber received nearly 6,000 allegations of sexual assault between 2017 and 2018. These claims ranged from unwanted touching and kissing all the way to rape. Lyft reported that it received 1,807 allegations of sexual assault in 2017.
The statistics put forward by Uber and Lyft do not paint a complete picture. For the most part, the reports do not include solicitation for sex or verbal threats of assault. Moreover, reporting rates for sexual misconduct and assault are already very low. The problem isn’t just with Uber and Lyft’s workers. In the data released by Uber, passengers were the ones accused of sexual assault in nearly half of the reports. If you or someone that you love has been the victim of sexual assault while in an Uber or Lyft you may have legal recourse. Our team of Uber & Lyft sexual abuse attorneys at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. are here to help you and listen to your concerns. We understand how traumatic and destabilizing it can be to endure a sexual assault. You can contact us anytime for a free and confidential case evaluation at 800-529-9997.
Uber and Lyft have both pledged to take steps to help reduce the frequency of sexual assaults on their platforms. For example, Uber has plans to require all of its drivers in the U.S. and Canada to receive sexual assault and misconduct training. But there are still many ways Uber and Lyft have fallen short. According to one report from CNET, Uber and Lyft used background screening services that were less expensive and less thorough than those used in the taxi cab industry. Those background checks ultimately missed 25 drivers who had criminal records. In one instance, they missed a convicted terrorist. There are a number of steps that passengers can take to help keep themselves safe.
If you have to take an Uber or Lyft, it’s best to do so with another person. But this will not always be possible. Both drivers and passengers should always be observant of their surroundings. It’s not a big deal to cancel a ride if you’re uncomfortable in any way. Uber and Lyft are primarily concerned with making their respective businesses profitable. In far too many situations, it’s obvious that safety has taken a backseat.
Women who are college-educated or who are struggling financially tend to be at increased risk of victimization. Though, any woman or man can become a victim of sexual assault. Sexual assault has long term mental and physical impacts. According to one report in WebMD, “sexual assault and harassment often take a significant long-term toll on a victim’s mental and physical health, increasing the risk not only for depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but also high blood pressure and sleep loss.” Other common injuries that a person could suffer may include:
Even when sexual assaults never go past unwanted touching, this can seriously impair a person’s health. This is especially true when the victim has already gone through prior trauma. It’s not uncommon for victims of sexual assault to not realize the full extent of their injuries for many months or years. For example, it’s common for victims to have recurring nightmares long after the trauma. Sadly, though, many victims do not seek treatment or even report their assault due to stigma.
There could be numerous sources of potential negligence for any sexual assault that takes place in an Uber or Lyft. All rideshare companies have a legal obligation to take reasonable measures to keep their passengers safe. This includes making sure that their drivers have a clean driving record and are otherwise fit to drive. It also includes taking reasonable steps to protect passengers from sexual assault. If either Uber or Lyft fail to take reasonable steps, this could be potentially construed as negligence.
If you’ve been the victim of sexual assault, there are a number of steps that you should take to help protect your rights. You should get to safety as soon as you can. Once you’re safe, it’s imperative to seek medical attention. Doctors can treat your injuries and take steps to preserve key pieces of evidence. It’s also important to file a police report and put what happened on record. After that, it’s best to speak with an attorney. An attorney can investigate your case free of cost and take steps to help protect your rights.
Have you or someone that you love been the victim of sexual assault while using Uber or Lyft? There are a number of laws designed to help you and resources at your disposal. Our team of highly skilled and compassionate New York City personal injury attorneys at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. are here for you. They’ve devoted their careers to helping victims and standing up to insurance companies and large corporations.
Experiencing a sexual assault is one of the most horrific and traumatic things that most people will ever go through. You can rest assured that if you reach out to us that your information will be kept in confidence. Our attorneys are committed to helping sexual assault victims understand their rights and fighting hard to get them the justice that they deserve. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any particular incident we are here for you. You’re always welcome to reach out to us anytime at 800-529-9997.
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