Uber Sexual Assault Lawyers

Women across the country are filing lawsuits against notable rideshare company Uber. Allegedly, the company failed to protect these women from sexual assault or properly vet their hired drivers. As a public company, Uber has a duty to its riders to provide safe transportation, and no one should have to experience the physical or psychological horrors of sexual assault. If you’ve suffered sexual assault due to the heinous actions of an Uber driver, contact the lawyers at Cutter Law to learn how you can pursue legal action.

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    Recent Sexual Assault Cases Filed Against Uber

    In recent months, rideshare companies have faced hundreds of charges of sexual assault and harassment. These include claims that drivers committed the assault while riders were asleep or under the influence. These are serious crimes that can result in significant physical and mental harm. 

    One claim made by a New York woman asserts that Uber was not transparent about its safety record or reports of rape. The unnamed woman began the process of suing Uber late last year, claiming that the company does not properly vet its drivers or responsibly keep track of driver-rider interactions. These shortcomings allegedly resulted in the woman’s sexual assault in 2018.  

    The lawsuit reads, “Despite providing minimal background checks and no oversight or monitoring of its drivers, Uber nonetheless affirmatively induces passengers, particularly young, unaccompanied, vulnerable women, to use its services with the false expectation of safety.” 

    Another claim of assault came from Oregon, where a woman sued Uber for more than a million dollars in 2020. At the time of print, multiple news outlets reported that Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

    When picked up on a late night out, the woman reported that her Uber driver’s back doors were locked, forcing her to sit in the front seat with him. He began making sexual comments about her and her body and then proceeded to assault her. Upon arriving home, she reported the incident to her boyfriend and the police. The following morning, she reported it to Uber. She sought $1,025,000 in damages for the trauma it caused her, including anxiety and frequent nightmares. Her alleged assaulter was found not guilty, and it’s unknown whether or not Uber still employs him.

    How many sexual assaults are associated with Uber?

    According to Uber’s 2017-18 U.S. Safety Reports, Uber received 5,981 claims of sexual assault those two years alone. Forty-five percent of those claims accuse the rider, not the driver, of sexual assault or harassment.

    How does Uber’s Safety Report address sexual assaults and preventative measures?

    Uber’s U.S. Safety Report for 2017-18 offers data on motor vehicle deaths, fatal physical assaults, and sexual assaults between users and drivers alike. It includes an introduction and a summary of the safety precautions Uber has taken. 

    Although the report conveys a recommitment to rider safety, the nearly 6,000 sexual assault claims reported show there is much more for Uber to do. Their precautions have failed. According to Vox, they have tested a system that would record video of the entire drive to make the ride safer and the individuals more accountable. However, this attempt has brought more surveillance issues to a company already accused of missteps with personal data.

    Does Uber require you to go through mediation and arbitration?

    Arbitration and mediation are private alternatives to disputing claims in open court. While arbitration involves a third-party arbitrator who makes decisions on the conflict, mediation consists of a third-party mediator who only facilitates the process. In mediation, both parties must agree on a resolution to end a dispute.  

    Previously, Uber required passengers alleging sexual assault to enter arbitration under its terms of service. However, in 2018, Uber changed its terms. Now, Uber allows passengers to choose their form of dispute resolution between mediation, arbitration, or open court.

    How much financial compensation can I receive if an Uber driver sexually assaulted me?

    Financial compensation for rideshare sexual assault varies. Every case is different, so compensation depends on various factors. These include whether the assault caused long-term physical harm, the severity of harassment or assault, and proof of negligence on the part of Uber.

    What is Uber doing to improve its passenger protection against sexual assault?

    Uber’s web page dedicated to “women’s safety” details the following precautions the company has undertaken to improve its protection of passengers from sexual assault, including:  

    • Educational materials 
    • Safety tips 
    • 24/7 support
    • Categorization and tracking of sexual misconduct and assault incidents
    • “Meetups with executives across various industries to brainstorm ways to create meaningful change” 

    Uber also uses their U.S. Safety Report to highlight their efforts to address rampant sexual assaults happening in ridesharing. The company asserted that the very release of a document like this helps tackle the issue. Uber’s chief legal officer said in the Safety Report’s opening letter, “Most companies don’t talk about issues like sexual violence because doing so risks inviting negative headlines and public criticism. But we feel it’s time for a new approach. As someone who has prosecuted sex crimes and worked on these issues for more than 25 years, I can tell you that a new approach is sorely needed.” 

    In the letter, Uber’s CLO also addressed Uber’s partnerships, stating: “Because we alone cannot meet all of the safety challenges inherent in our industry, we’re already working with law enforcement officials, road safety organizations, and more than 200 gender-based violence prevention experts—including the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, and the National Network to End Domestic Violence—to innovate on new approaches that will raise the bar on safety in ridesharing.”

    infographic for sexual assault ride share safety

    What should I do if an Uber driver sexually assaulted me?

    If you are sexually assaulted by an Uber driver, get to a safe place. If injured, seek medical attention immediately. Medical reports can be a crucial part of supporting your claim of assault. File a police report as soon as possible and report the incident to Uber. Copy and take thorough notes on any documents obtained during these processes—these too will be essential to support your claim. Finally, consult with a lawyer to ensure you’re aware of your rights in this unfortunate situation.

    How can I hold Uber responsible for failing to protect me?

    Uber can be held responsible for sexual assault committed by their drivers under negligence laws. These laws hold companies accountable by allowing victims to show the company’s negligent hiring and monitoring practices of employees and other negligent actions.  

    Although rideshare companies like Uber have defended themselves by claiming they cannot be responsible for the actions of independent contractors, federal courts have ruled in favor of the victims. These cases highlight passengers’ reasonable belief that a driver worked for the company.

    Should I file a sexual assault lawsuit against Uber?

    If an Uber driver has sexually assaulted you, file a lawsuit as soon as possible. You deserve justice. Cutter Law can provide sexual assault lawyers with years of experience to help you through this challenging process. Contact Cutter Law today for a free case review.

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