Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit
Uber and other ride-hailing services have become an increasingly popular mode of transportation. However, poor hiring and vetting of drivers, as well as inadequate reporting mechanisms put Uber customers at risk for sexual assault.
If you have been sexually assaulted by a driver or other rider while taking an Uber, you can seek justice through a sexual assault lawsuit against Uber and the perpetrator. Many Uber sexual assault victims are suing Uber for inadequate vetting and hiring policies, deceptive marketing, and a lack of oversight of drivers.
Uber is a popular way to travel. Unfortunately, because it requires you to get into a stranger’s car, there’s always a chance that drivers and other riders may sexually assault you. According to the 2019-2020 Uber US Safety Report, 2020 saw:
- 137 incident reports of non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part
- 82 incident reports of attempted non-consensual sexual penetration
- 528 incident reports of non-consensual touching of a sexual body part
- 110 incident reports of non-consensual kissing of a sexual body part
- 141 incident reports of non-consensual sexual penetration
Take proper precautions before and during Uber rides and to hold Uber and the perpetrator(s) accountable if and when these incidents happen.
Read on to learn more about Uber sexual assault lawsuits, why people are suing Uber, whether Uber mandates mediation and arbitration, and how much an Uber sexual assault settlement can be. You will also learn the process and duration of filing an Uber sexual assault case.
Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit
As its name suggests, an Uber sexual assault lawsuit is a legal action taken against:
- Uber – for a failure to adequately protect users from predatory drivers and riders
- An Uber driver or rider – for attempted or actual sexual assault during or after an Uber trip
You can file an Uber sexual assault lawsuit if an Uber driver or rider has forced or attempted to force a sexual act on you when you were unwilling or unable to refuse or consent.
Perpetrators of Uber sexual assault often use physical force, but they may also use blackmail, threatening words, or any kind of coercion to force sexual acts upon you.
Examples of Uber sexual assault that you can sue for include:
- Unwanted fondling or touching
- Attempted rape
- Other non-consensual sexual acts, such as oral sex
Why Are People Suing Uber?
In the last few years, many people have sued Uber for failing to protect its users from sexual assault. Most sexual assault survivors are suing Uber for:
- Poor hiring and vetting of drivers: Although Uber performs annual background checks on drivers and automatically disqualifies anyone convicted of sexual offenses or sexual assault, it’s not enough. As revealed by a 2016 lawsuit, Uber used low-cost background check services that failed to access databases with full criminal histories. As a result, Uber hired drivers with prior criminal histories.
- Deceptive marketing: Some victims are suing Uber for deceptive marketing practices that perpetuate a false image of safety despite having lax screening procedures for drivers.
- Lack of monitoring or oversight of drivers: Victims are suing Uber for failing to monitor its drivers during trips
Does Uber Mandate Mediation and Arbitration?
Prior to 2018, Uber required customers to pursue sexual assault claims through independent arbitration and mediation rather than court. The company also prevented survivors from speaking about their experiences by requiring them to sign nondisclosure agreements.
Fortunately, Uber scrapped required mediation and arbitration after several large scandals. Uber sexual assault survivors can now choose to settle claims through:
Lawsuits Filed Against Uber
Here are some recent lawsuits filed against Uber:
Over Five Hundred Women Across the U.S. Sue Uber
In July 2022, the law firm Slater Slater Schulman LLP filed an Uber sexual assault lawsuit in a San Francisco court. The lawsuit detailed the claims of 550 women in multiple states who were sexually assaulted, kidnapped, raped, harassed, stalked, falsely imprisoned, or otherwise attacked by Uber drivers with whom they had been matched through the Uber app.
New York Woman Sues Uber
In September 2020, a New York woman filed a civil lawsuit against Uber, claiming the company failed to protect her and other riders against sexual assault, despite a pattern of reported incidents. The plaintiff argued that Uber’s negligence resulted in her 2018 sexual assault. She also sued the company for:
- Engaging in deceptive marketing practices that created a false image of safety, despite a lack of safety policies at the time of her assault
- Providing zero oversight or monitoring of drivers while riders were in their care
Massachusetts Woman Files Uber Sexual Assault
In July 2020, a Massachusetts woman sued Uber for a 2018 sexual assault. The driver accused of sexual assault was arrested but soon fled the country.
Oregon Woman Sues Uber for More than $1 Million
In January 2020, an Oregon woman sued Uber and one of its drivers for sexual assault. The woman, who was assaulted by the Uber driver in 2018, asked for over one million dollars in damages. The accused driver had previously faced charges related to the assault but was acquitted of these charges in 2019.
How Much Is My Sexual Assault Claim Against Uber Worth?
Your Uber sexual assault settlement value depends on the facts of your case. Generally speaking, the more damaging the assault, the more money you will receive.
For instance, let’s say the assault resulted in emotional scarring, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression, and these conditions have made it impossible for you to work. Because the assault has permanently changed your life, you would be more likely to receive a larger settlement.
Your attorney will estimate your damages based on current and future expenses and financial losses. These factors will influence the value of your case and your final settlement or award amount.
How Long Do I Have to File an Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit?
The deadline for filing an Uber sexual assault lawsuit depends on your state. Some states, such as Virginia, have eliminated the statute of limitations for all felony sex crimes.
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network’s State by State Guide on Statutes of Limitations provides readers with information regarding their state’s deadline for filing sexual assault lawsuits.
To ensure that you have the most up-to-date information on these state laws, though, you should speak to an attorney about your specific case.
How to File an Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit
If you have been sexually assaulted by an Uber rider or driver, you can file an Uber sexual assault lawsuit by hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Although it’s possible to file a sexual assault lawsuit by yourself, we don’t recommend doing so. Self-representation can be incredibly stressful and difficult, especially when you are a sexual assault victim. It also requires a lot of time, energy, and resources. One misstep or missed deadline, and you may miss the opportunity to file your lawsuit forever.
That’s why it’s best to find a personal injury lawyer who has experience with ride-hailing service sexual assault lawsuits. They can help you seek justice by:
- Analyzing your case
- Gathering and preserving photographic and physical evidence, such as torn clothing and incriminating photos, videos, and audio recordings
- Building solid arguments
- Filing paperwork ahead of deadlines
- Negotiating with insurance companies and the opposite party
- Representing you in court
A skilled, compassionate, and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer will handle every step of your case so that you can focus on recovery.